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Wild West without the sheriffs: Cosmetic clinics accused of botched surgeries, breaches – Sydney Morning Herald

Wild West without the sheriffs: Cosmetic clinics accused of botched surgeries, breaches – Sydney Morning Herald


The operation left her in excruciating pain for two years and she ultimately had to undergo corrective surgery.

He ruined a very long time in my life. He caused me extreme pain.

She sued Dr Lanzer in 2002 and the court found he was either negligent towards Ms Patterson or had breached his contract with her and ordered him to pay damages. Dr Lanzer appealed but lost.

Donna Patterson has spent 21 years living with the mental and physical scars of a breast reduction.Credit:Aaron Smith/ABC

Ms Patterson wrote to the Medical Board after she won the appeal, but her complaint was dismissed.

Dr Lanzer rushed to the Federal Court last week to try and injunct the program after he learnt that two former employees had been assisting 4 Corners in their investigation.

Justice John Nicholas dismissed the application and said, the surgeon fears the episode will cast him in an unfavourable light.

Its not safe, a former employee is alleged to have said, as outlined in the judgment. Something needs to be done about it because if no one steps in, he will do harm.

The Federal Court was shown graphic video footage of patient operations, including one of Dr Lanzer performing a tummy tuck in which he was seen cutting open a womens abdomen and cutting out the fat.

One woman, who has asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons, decided to get a tummy tuck in 2020, Dr Lanzer filmed the entire process.

She had consented to being filmed but not identified and was shocked when she saw the footage on Instagram with a tattoo which she believed identified her.

The woman says she was horrified when she took the bandages off.

My stomach, at the top has a bulging muscle hanging out. And my stomach at the bottom underneath my belly button, is rock hard and flat, which makes me look abnormal, she said.

A womans stomach after surgery at Dr Daniel Lanzers clinic.

She ended up spending thousands getting corrective surgery by a plastic surgeon.

I had to then have labiaplasty because he had pulled the bottom of my stomach up so hard and tight that it was then uncomfortable for me in my labia area.

The woman said the place was unhygienic and took photos.

In a video response to a series of questions, Dr Lanzer said his business had the highest standards of hygiene and safety. I do not think that theres a surgeon in the world who could show a better safety record than Ive done over the last 30 years, he said.

Dr Lanzer said the dispute with Ms Patterson went to the medical practitioner board of Australia, which ruled in his favour. Im happy to advise that my method now is an accepted surgical option for breast reduction all around the world.

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He also denied allegations by a patient that the business used blank scripts. I think youve been given false information... Our audit practice policy is to write scripts according to the guidelines of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, he said.

The investigation has found that that behind the scenes of the multibillion-dollar cosmetic procedures industry sits a broken regulatory system that is failing to protect patients.

I would describe the cosmetic treatments industry as like the Wild West but without the sheriffs, industry expert Dr Margaret Faux told the investigation.

Cosmetic surgery, unlike specialist plastic surgery, is not a recognised specialty in Australia, meaning any qualified doctor can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon.

Dr Faux, a health regulation expert with 40 years experience, said the health industry regulator AHPRA is failing to keep cosmetic surgery patients safe.

This entire regulatory framework needs a complete overhaul, its basically lawless. Its like any other consumer market, its buyer beware.

The full Cosmetic Cowboys investigation will be released on Monday night.

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Wild West without the sheriffs: Cosmetic clinics accused of botched surgeries, breaches - Sydney Morning Herald

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