On September 17, 2007 Krista Stryland, a healthy 32-year-old Toronto real-estate agent decided to cancel her future appointment for a tummy tuck with a renowned plastic surgeon. Instead, she told her friend in an e-mail that she was going to the Toronto Cosmetic Clinic (TCC) for a laser liposuction procedure. The device as it turns out was just approved by Health Canada a few months before.
It was hyped on American TV health and news shows earlier in the year with absolutely no negative statements or warnings. It was touted as the "lunch-time" tummy tuck with no down-time. One woman made a comment on News 8 Austin, Texas that it was like watching her cheeseburger go down the drain as she had her tummy worked over by a plastic surgeon.
The problem with the laser liposuction procedure was that the device that may have been used at the TCC was in the hands of a medical doctor who never earned certification as a specialist in dermatology, plastic surgery, or for that matter any surgical specialty. In fact, she had two years of family medicine training after medical school, and never earned certification by the Canadian College of Family Practice (CCFP).
For whatever reason, after a few years as a general practitioner, she elected to move into a lucrative new field called "cosmetic surgery". The trouble was then, as it is now, that there is actually no recognized specialty called "cosmetic surgery" in Canada.
To become a "cosmetic surgeon" was actually quite simple. All she needed to do was to place a fancy sign in the office, make a few changes to business cards, and then convince the Yellow Pages that you have that designation (as if they really care anyway).
There were then, as there is now simply no regulations in Canada that prevent anyone from making those claims. In order to pump up her status as a "cosmetic surgeon" Yazdanfar's name was added to a prestigious web site called LocateADoc.com (see column on right of this page).
You can search for specialist physicians across North America. Almost all of them have their specialty in dermatology, ENT, or plastic surgery. The training for these recognized specialties can take up to five years or more of hospital-based training followed by rigorous examinations. Yazdanfar had none of that training and yet she calls herself a "cosmetic surgeon".
But, somehow, Yazdanfar made it on this list.
In fact, anyone with an MD, or DO can get a FREE LISTING on LocateADoc.com. I don't know if LocateADoc.com has any method of screening out those who don't have actual specialties.
Cosmetic Surgeons In North York, Ontario Canada with Basic Listings:
Procedures available may include: Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants), Liposuction Surgery (Lipoplasty), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), BOTOX® Injections Treatment, Breast Reduction Surgery, Laser Hair Removal, Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery), Breast Lift Surgery, Hair Transplants / Restoration, Cellulite Treatment, and more.Her web site and advertisements in magazines and billboards around Toronto brought patients to her Yonge Street clinic from far and wide. There didn't seem to be anything in her advertising that would distinguish her from those who really had certification in a recognized specialty. In fact, the words "plastic surgery" was actually used for a long time on one of her web pages.
Over the last few years, reports surfaced that complaints were filed from doctors and even a lawyer with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). But, to no avail, this regulatory body allowed her to practice whatever she did, without apparently inspecting her private clinic, even after complaints were filed.
The CPSO's Policies on Advertising were ignored. Even though there were restrictions on who could use the words "plastic surgeon", it didn't keep Yazdanfar from using that term.
On November 20, 2006 her web site actually said this:
Krista Stryland had no idea that her doctor with the fancy web site, and slick ads in the plastic surgery magazine, was NOT a plastic surgeon, despite the fact that the diplomas, certificates and pictures on the walls of her office would have the average potential patient believe otherwise.
The bottom line is that this beautiful young woman placed her life into the hands of a doctor without a recognized specialty, who apparently just started using a new laser liposuction machine in her practice. According to news reports, her life ended shortly after the liposuction was terminated because she had a cardiac arrest.
Any sudden and unexpected death in Ontario demands an examination by a medical examiner, and whether or not the case will be deserving of a full inquest may take a few more weeks. An actual inquest itself might take years to actually start.
Meanwhile recognized specialty groups have paraded out their big guns on TV, radio and in every major news media organization in Canada. With eyebrows raised, and thumbs down, their spokespersons have openly criticized not only the doctor who did the procedure, but they threw slings and arrows at the CPSO, too.
LipoWatch will summarize the significant articles and media coverage and provide links to the associations, professional regulatory colleges, and others who have something to say about this case.
Feel free to leave your thoughts here. They will be monitored. If you have a story to tell, just leave it here and we will review them.
BOOKS FROM BARNES & NOBLE
Dr. Perry's empowering book guides you through the seductive and somewhat slick world of cosmetic surgery. He offers criteria for selecting good doctors and facilities. In short, he has written an essential book for anyone who is contemplating cosmetic surgery or other skin-care procedures.
This issue presents many of the most influential techniques and concepts introduced in the field of lipoplasty by surgeons who created or modified the techniques and who represent different facets in this burgeoning field. In addition to an overview of liposuction techniques and guidelines, other variations are discussed including VASER, Power-Assisted Liposuction, Subdermal Liposuction, Liposuction and Tumescent Surgery, Serial Suction, Fat Injection, Abdominoplasty Combined with Lipoplasty without Panniculus Undermining, Low-level Laser-Assisted Liposuction, Liposuction Anesthesia Techniques. Dr. Illouz, one of the founders of liposuction, presents a discussion of Complications. The Guest Editor, Dr. Toledo, offers a discussion of Complications of Body Sculpture: Prevention and Treatment.