Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
This is an update on my Las Vegas Plastic Surgery blog about an Arizona physician who performed liposuction without training as a plastic surgeon.
The Arizona Republic is reporting that Dr. Peter Normann was pronounced guilty on two counts of second-degree murder two and one count of manslaughter after three of his patients died from complications following plastic surgery procedures at his clinic in Anthem, Arizona.
Duringthe trial, which began on June 10, Dr. Normann’s attorneys maintained that the deaths were accidental and a result of the implied risk associated with plastic surgery. His attorneys also claimed that If Dr. Normann were found guilty it would mean that all doctors would be liable forany procedure that went wrong. Autopsey results listed the patient deaths as accidental.
At trial the District Attorney Jeannette Gallagher stated that Dr. Normann’s “extreme indifference to human life” warranted the second degree murder charges and that the third charge of manslaughter was apropriate because of Dr. Normann’s “conscious disregard of substantial and unjustified risk of death.”
After the second patient death Dr. Normann agreed to a voluntary suspension of his medical license and he hired a homeopathic physician, Gary Page, to do liposuction. Gallagher maintained that as a homeopath, Page was not qualified or licensed to perform liposuction or any type of major plastic surgery procedure.
Following post surgery complications Dr. Normann attempted to resuscitate all three of the patients, but in every attempt he incorrectly placed the breathing tube. It is even reported that he tussled with the paramedics who arrived on scene and tried to fix the placement of the parient’s breathing tube.
Dr. Normann had been an emergency-room physician, certified as an internist, and had never done a residency in plastic surgery or anesthesiology.
District Attorney Gallagher maintained Dr. Normann underwent six days of training in liposuction and had done some “hands-on training” in liposuction and breast augmentation. He never recieved any training in fat augmentation, Gallagher said.
Furthermore, she said, his operating room lacked proper oxygen and monitoring equipment. Normann worked without anesthesiologists or nurses, relying on a massage therapist and a former restaurant worker with little or no training as medical technicians.
The massage therapist, who assisted in surgery, has already pleaded guilty to eight counts of unlawful practice of medicine and was sentenced last year to five years in prison.
The deaths of Dr. Normann’s innocent patients are a tragedy and my thoughts and condolences go out to their families and loved ones.
Unfortunately, this tragedy and others like it are avoidable. If you or someone you love is considering having any type of plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure, please take the time to ensure that your physician is board certified and operating in a licensed health care facility.
You should also feel confident about speaking to your surgeon or health care provider about their professional training and experience. I provide my board certification and plastic surgeon credentials on my website and always welcome new patients to speak with me about my experience and patient philosophy.
Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.