I also play one on TV.
A plastic surgeon, Yannis Alexandrides, who has appeared on the
television program C4's Embarrassing Bodies, is now under investigation
after he botched a liposuction procedure and left his patient with
internal bleeding. He has been accused of providing insufficient care
after slicing open the small intestine of a patient.
The liposuction procedure to remove three litres of fat took two hours,
and Alexandrides did not notice when he nicked the woman's small
intestine. The woman, known as Patient A, was discharged the day of her
procedure, but had to be rushed to the hospital 36 hours later to
undergo emergency surgery to repair her intestine.
This complication is "extremely rare" in liposuction, affecting 0.0021
percent of cases. Alexandrides has been accused of taking "insufficient
care" in the procedure, as well as failing to fully explain the risks
associated with liposuction to Patient A before she underwent surgery. A
panel listening to the case heard arguments that Alexandrides should
have taken precautions because of Patient A's risk factors.
Alexandrides admitted to perforating Patient A's ileum during the
liposuction operation and failing to notice his error. He denies,
though, the accusation that he failed to obtain informed consent from
the patient by insufficiently explaining the risks of the procedure,
that he operated with insufficient care, that his notes of the surgery
were inadequate and that he failed to make himself available for
Patient A's husband reported that a pre-op consultation he and his wife
attended lasted five to ten minutes and potential complications were
hardly discussed. Alexandres likened liposuction to "crossing a road,
you might get run over and you might not." The panel was told that it
would take 15 to 20 minutes to adequately describe the risks associated
with the procedure. However, Alexandrides' own clinical notes recorded
that "all goals, risks and potential complications were explained to the
patient" during the appointment.
Patient A was then 60 years old and had undergone previous abdominal
surgery and three caesarean sections, which increases the danger to the
bowel as it had likely moved closer to her skin, according to Dr.
Richard Matthews. "There would have been scars visible on the abdominal
wall at the time of the original examination, and I would have expected
those to have been picked up and noted," Matthews told the hearing.
"That would have definitely made one think twice about going ahead in
the first place and secondly, had it been decided to go ahead, to do so
with the utmost caution." He concluded that the perforation to Patient
A's intestine "should not have occurred."
Patient A has said that she has suffered from nightmares since the
operation, which took place in mid-2008. She is not attending the
seven-day hearing in central London.
Dr. Alexandrides appeared on Embarrassing Bodies performing a breast
enlargement on one patient and correcting another patient's inverted
nipples. According to his website, he is frequently interviewed as an
expert by the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, and Sky. He has not yet
called his own expert witness to dispute complainant testimony.