A plastic surgeon is being investigated for mutilating at least 30 people in botched nose jobs and he has claimed that it is his patients’ fault that they are disfigured.
The suspect has been named as Alan Landecker, a specialist in rhinoplasty, and he is being investigated by the police as well as by the Regional Medicine Board of the State of Sao Paulo, in Brazil.
His former patients have claimed that he disfigured them in botched operations, but the doctor has denied that he is at fault and instead has blamed his patients for failing to follow post-operative procedures, according to local media outlet G1.
Some of the former patients of the plastic surgeon have still not been discharged from hospital two years after going under the knife because they are still undergoing treatment following the allegedly botched operations, the news portal was told on Thursday (4th November).
One of his former patients, named as lawyer Marilia Frank, said: “I had the surgery in May this year and, when he took off the last dressing, he saw that the cartilage was rotten. My nose was broken, I was all crooked and he sent me home to take painkillers.”
She added: “It was my infectious disease specialist who convinced him about a second operation, but he didn’t remove all the dead tissue and the infection took over my face.
“I’m under treatment with an otolaryngologist, who performed a third surgery and foresees two more, one for reconstruction of the columella because he butchered my nose, and then yes, a full reconstruction.
“I want justice. He screwed me up for two months and the impression is that he was profiting from the infection.”
She has filed a complaint with the police and is part of an ‘Alan’s Patients’ group made up of about 30 people on WhatsApp who are unhappy with their operations.
Another patient, Veraldino de Freitas Junior, 35, said: “Post-op, the swelling on my nose did not go down. As the days went by, it started to stink, with people around me noticing the unbearable odour, until on the 15th day a wound opened.”
He added that the ordeal has so far cost a total of BRL 300,000 (GBP 40,000) and has necessitated three other surgeries, the intravenous use of antibiotics twice a day, and he said it has also taken a toll on his emotional health.
Paula Oliveira, 38, another patient, told the news portal that she had completely lost her sense of smell. She said: “I had the surgery when I was recovering from depression, ready to move to another country and with a job there.
“I consciously chose to invest BRL 50,000 (GBP 6,600) in the best specialist, who wouldn’t give me any problems later, but he returned a worse nose and it halted my life.”
She added: “I was cured of the infection after a third procedure, but I still have no sense of smell. I need to wait for a period to undergo the cosmetic repair, as I was left with a deformed nose. I spent twice as much as I had expected and I continue to use all my savings while I can’t get a new job.”
And a 39-year-old businesswoman, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the newspaper: “I just wanted an adjustment and now I have to treat a problem daily. I have a hole in the septum, but the case goes far beyond aesthetic and health issues – there is an unethical practice involved. I found out that he operates without an assistant doctor, even though we pay for one.
“The person who accompanies him is a scrub nurse. He encourages and colludes in the illegal practice of medicine. Another thing is the medical record – when access is not denied, there is forged or omitted information. In mine, for example, there is no mention of the use I made of antibiotics. This is very serious because it hinders treatment with other professionals. Nobody wants to take on my case.”
But the doctor has denied the accusations and said through a letter signed by his lawyers Daniel Bialski and Fernando Lottenberg that it is the patients who are at fault for not following post-operative guidelines.
The letter says: “Dr Alan Landecker vehemently repudiates the allegations made.
“In all phases of care, he provided the necessary assistance, including post-surgery, and he cannot be held responsible for those cases in which patients did not comply with the necessary recommended care protocol, omitting the use of medications, such as immunosuppressants; abandoning treatment or not following medical guidelines.
“Among the patients who had infection problems after surgery, the most serious cases were caused by bacteria typically found in hospitals, such as Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas, Achromobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas and Klebsiella.
“It is noteworthy that, among the few patients who had an infection, the vast majority complied with the guidelines until the end of the treatment and were left totally satisfied, both with the aesthetics and with the nasal function.
“Rhinoplasty is the most complex cosmetic surgery in the specialty. Among the more than 4,000 surgeries that our client has performed in these 20 years (mainly complex cases of corrections of past unsuccessful rhinoplasties performed by other professionals), postoperative infectious complications were rare, corresponding to only 0.5% among patients by Dr Landecker, national and international point of reference in this specialty.
“All patients are previously instructed on the necessary care and are followed up for up to three years after the procedures.
“The professional’s decency, honesty and competence will be demonstrated through examinations and documents, with undeniable proof that he did not commit any fault or error in any sphere.
“The charges and attacks on Dr Landecker’s honour, religion and reputation, on social networks, are the subject of legal representation, criminal and civil actions and their perpetrators will be duly held responsible.”
The investigation is ongoing.