Pair of unlicensed cosmetic surgeons arrested in Revere, Massachusetts
September 23, 2010
Victor H. Hernandez and Maria Jose do Nascimento were recently arrested by undercover police officers who entered their Revere, Massachusetts clinic in August and discovered that they were performing liposuction and tummy tuck procedures (among others), without a license, according to The Boston Globe.
The couple was also accused of offering prescription painkillers to patients.
"Their activities could have easily led to the death or serious injuries of any of their patients," assistant district attorney Kathryn Hinman said during the arraignment, according to the news provider.
One woman who went to the clinic for regular spa treatments told the news source that she hadn't known that the two were unlicensed doctors and that, usually, the building was full of patients waiting to undergo procedures.
In court, Hernandez and Nascimento pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included unauthorized practice of medicine and distributing Class E substances. Hernandez was also charged with stealing Lidocaine, a local anesthetic.
Hernandez became an American citizen 18 months ago, but served in the Navy until 1994, according to the news source. He also claims to have attended a medical school in Mexico, but wouldn't give additional details.
Nascimento hails from Brazil and has lived in the United States for eight years. Her attorney told the news outlet that she was mostly responsible for administrative work for the clinic and was unaware that Hernandez did not have a license.
However, Hinman informed the news source that Nascimento had already been an employee of another unlicensed physician who was arrested for charges similar to those that Hernandez faces.
It appears that Boston authorities are taking this case very seriously, in part because it is so similar to a 2006 incident in Framingham, Massachusetts. Fabiola B. DePaula, a 24-year-old woman, died as a result of a liposuction surgery conducted in a basement.
"We've already seen what can happen when surgical procedures are performed by people without legitimate training and licensure," Suffolk district attorney Daniel Conley told the news provider. "Local, state, and federal authorities are trying to keep it from happening again.
Those who are considering undergoing liposuction in the United States or Canada should make certain that the physician performing the procedure is a plastic surgeon board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and/or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
To find an ABPS board-certified ASAPS-Member in your area visit www.surgery.org/consumers/find-a-plastic-surgeon
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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