Dr Lanzer Speaks Out After Being Dubbed A ‘Cosmetic Cowboy’

Dermatologist and social media star, Dr Daniel Lanzer, has come under fire with an episode of ABC’s Four Corners that aired Monday night revealing a joint investigation with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age into his practices that labelled him a ‘cosmetic cowboy’.

Dr Lanzer has long been considered one of Australia’s most well-known cosmetic surgeons with multiple day surgeries and clinics across the country, his own TV show and a combined 20 million social media followers.

The Four Corners episode exposed a number of alleged wrongdoings as told by former staff members and unhappy patients. A number of plastic surgeons were also involved in the exposé that detailed issues around safety and hygiene in Dr Lanzer’s clinics, unethical video content, botched procedures and cases where patients have been left in serious ongoing pain.

Video footage alleges ‘dangerous’ practices

Images and video from inside one of his surgeries paint a picture of hygiene protocol breaches that former head of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Professor Mark Ashton, described as “frankly dangerous.” He told Four Corners, “There is no sterility, there is no concept of sterility, and how this is allowed to occur, is … is bewildering.” Syringes and bags of fat were shown in a fridge alongside drinking water and surgical equipment being stored amongst employee belongings.

Two Registered Nurses and former employees of Dr Lanzer detailed unethical practices with Justin Nixon telling Four Corners that Dr Lanzer’s Melbourne clinic was “absolute chaos”.

“Multiple surgeries running throughout the day, doctors going from room to room,” he says. “It’s just bloody, messy, gruesome, chaotic. It was guilt that weighed on me, having sold people these shitty outcomes.”

The ‘turf war’ continues

Much of the controversy surrounding Dr Lanzer is about the ongoing debate over the title of Cosmetic Surgeon, one that’s not recognised as a professional medical qualification in Australia.

Talking about the investigation, Dr Lanzer insisted in a video posted to his Instagram that the allegations have been brought on by a “turf war” and “jealousy” from select plastic surgeons who are unhappy with the success he has achieved without undergoing the specific training required to become qualified as a plastic surgeon himself.

The video also promised to expose the “truth” behind the investigation with another video set to be shared via YouTube.

Dr Lanzer shared a press release in response to the investigation

Dr Daniel Lanzer

In a press release, Dr Lanzer said “It is a shame that the media outlets have aired selective claims by a few disgruntled competitors, ex-employees and patients without proper investigation or scrutiny of their veracity.

“Our six clinics around Australia have the highest standards of hygiene and safety, and our two-day hospitals comply with the highest National Safety and Quality in Health Service requirements, and we place this area as one of our major priorities.

“I have performed more than 30,000 liposuctions and other procedures for many thousands of patients over the last 30 years and have never received a single ruling or recommendation against me regarding my methods of surgery or my patients’ care.

“I am a pioneer in large volume liposuction (called mega liposuction) and have performed this operation for thousands on an outpatient basis without a single serious complication. The fat shown in the Four Corners’ report was never used for future procedures but part of a fat bank study and was safely disposed of.

“It is a shame that the few people in the story with an axe to grind against me have been given an airing on the national broadcaster. Both ex-employees had made demands for money before going to the media with their false accusations and staged photos. 

“The basis of the story, including the unhappy patients, have all originated out of the shameful, one-sided turf war between plastic surgeons and other surgeons. The three plastic surgeons who defamed me in the story are jealous about the fact that I perform many more surgeries than them, with magnificent results and an extremely low complication rate.

“Indeed, several of the surgeons’ patients have come to me for corrective surgery after they failed in their procedures.

“It is a shame that Four Corners selected three patients from the thousands I have treated without complications over three decades. The Medical Board dismissed the complaint of Donna Patterson, who appeared as the main case study in the Four Corners’ program”, he concluded. 

We will be updating this story as new information emerges.

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9 thoughts on “Dr Lanzer Speaks Out After Being Dubbed A ‘Cosmetic Cowboy’

  1. I saw the episode and was absolutely appalled. Even if you accept Dr. Lanzer’s claims that it’s an attack by competitors and disgruntled employees, it’s his own words (recordings of messages to staff) and videos that did the most to discredit him. I could not believe that he’s talking to video for social media while lipo-suctioning and not paying any attention to what he’s doing. As for the surgeons ‘dancing’ and messing around while operating on another patient…gobsmacked. The guy should be struck off, immediately.

    1. I don’t believe the 4 Corners episode was as balanced as it could have/should have been, and that GPs are not an ideal first port of call for emergency management of cosmetic surgery cases (because they’re not familiar with it), however his attitude and much of the footage nevertheless speaks for itself — he should be deregistered. I do agree that he is “the tip of the iceberg” and that iceberg is made up of cosmetic and plastic surgeons and frankly, no shortage of dermatologists.

  2. Anyone not trained in Surgery should not call themselves a surgeon.

    Anyone who tells staff to per encourage sick patients (victims) NOT to seek properly qualified medical attention must be a Shonk.

    If you want cosmetic surgery, find a surgeon by researching them properly. Social media is no place to find someone who is going to stick knives and instruments into your body.

  3. Forget about being struckoff this guy should be in prison. I would like to know WHY this rogue creature has been able to practise in our country Australia. I hope all his patients sue him to kingdom come. THIS IS SHOCKING AND SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN AUSTRALIA.

    1. The sad reality is it’s commonplace, and not just in cosmetic fields. It takes a mass of complaints and work done by the public (not the regulator or doctors) and the passage of years, even decades, before anyone pays serious attention, if ever. The more recent cases of psychiatrist Dr. W. H. (Bill) Orchard (who prescribed virtually every patient amphetamines) and Dr. Rabbani Mihrshahi (a GP who was performing skin cancer treatment with black salve and selling supplements out of her clinic), are two prime examples among countless others.

  4. I went to Dr Lanzer years ago for Botox.
    I watched Dr Lanzer fill syringes with Saline whilst he danced to music. I asked what he was doing and he said “ prepping for the next patient”
    I was extremely uncomfortable the whole time and kept asking “ Sorry what is going on “
    He seemed to be on drugs in my opinion.
    The Botox didn’t work. I rang and complained and cancelled all further appointments. They could care less about me.
    He charged $1000 for Botox injection that usually cost $500.
    Shocking. I’m an idiot!

  5. This is so common , I have worked with another dermatologist who was never there / spa business manager as a cosmetic nurse injector
    Who had illegal practices, I left and
    Am also wondering why has Australia allowed such practices to exists in Australia
    Really a doctor needs to be onsite
    At all times , not signing scripts off site and not supervising nurse or physically seeing patients
    BE CAREFUL please check if doctor is on site and has a plastic surgeon degree . !!!!!
    And nurses do not get into this illegal practice of being told doctor signs
    It later BOTOX IS A SCHEDULE 4 drug

    1. Let’s not forget Dr. Cynthia Weinstein… no amount of de-registration and legal action can stop her from treating by workarounds.

  6. I saw Dr Lanzer ( I use the term loosely) years ago for a procedure . During the procedure I could physically see him cutting out muscle tissue from my chest area and discarding it while I was supposed to be under anaesthetic .. This image has stayed with me long after the surgery . Then there are the physical abnormalities I have with the end result . The guy is a SHONK..

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