Non-certified overseas doctor fined and banned from US
April 26, 2012
A Dominican man was sent back to his native country and forbidden from coming into the US for three years following a string of botched plastic surgery procedures.
The man, Hector Cabral, is licensed as a plastic surgeon in the Dominican Republic, but not in the United States. According to the New York Post, he frequented New York City salons and spas to recruit patients for his practice, luring them with low prices and promises of transformed bodies. Authorities say he even used a black marker to mark spots on the women's bodies that he would fix. The women then flew to the Dominican Republic to undergo liposuction surgery.
"He promised me that he was going to transform me, make me more beautiful, more confident," the newspaper reports one victim, 36-year-old Lissette Mejjia, said in court during Cabral's sentencing.
However, at least seven of his patients suffered serious complications following their procedures. For some, these included a large area of their skin turning black followed by a serious infection that left them hospitalized for weeks. They also encountered extreme pain and unsightly scars.
"I cannot even show myself, my body" victim Francisca Fernandez, 48, told the news source. "I am scared to even see myself in the mirror. When I see my scar, I see his face."
Authorities say that the first victim to come forward had liposuction performed by Cabral in 1999. They say they are surprised that more victims have not come forward, given the amount of time he's been practicing.
In all, he was charged in seven cases. He pleaded guilty to charges of running an unauthorized medical practice but could not be prosecuted further since the actual surgical procedures were performed in the Dominican Republic, according to the New York Post. In addition to being banned from the U.S., Cabral had to pay $23,000 in restitution to his victims and perform 250 hours of community service in the Dominican Republic.
While there are qualified plastic surgeons practicing outside the US, this doctor’s actions were illegal and unethical. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) warns against individuals who rely on these methods to find potential patients and advises patients to choose safety and quality over cost.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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