Announced yesterday, the Supreme Court has given the green light for up to 1000 women to take class against The Cosmetic Institute, (TCI) a clinic that has been making headlines as a ‘boob factory’ since last year. The ruling comes as a result of a NSW parliamentary inquiry beginning in August this year after several botched implant procedures.
The case was led by a group of women who received breast augmentations at various TCI locations across Sydney and Brisbane, who all suffered serious complications during-and-post procedure. This included one of the patients suffering a heart attack during her procedure after the administration of a high dosage of local anaesthetic, requiring immediate resuscitation. Another patient now suffers from seizures.
Justice Peter Garling ruled in court that the group of women can now continue their lawsuit against TCI and ex-Surgical Director, Dr Eddy Dona. This will also open the door for hundreds of additional women to lodge complaints against TCI. The lawyer heading the suit, Sally Gleeson, claimed that hundreds of women have already come forward with complaints.
“We’ll allege the cosmetic industry and Dr Eddy Dona breached their duty of care,” said Gleeson. “They essentially created a one-size-fits-all approach akin to the McDonald’s of the fast-food chain or a cookie-cutter approach to surgery, irrespective of the different anatomies or needs of the individual.”
“We’ll allege the whole approach to surgery didn’t comply with reasonable medical practice and those deficiencies led to horrific outcomes ranging from clients who suffered cardiac arrest, seizures, lung punctures and very poor aesthetic outcomes including deformities and ongoing … psychological consequences.”
The court heard that Dr Dona fashioned the ‘cookie-cutter’ procedure himself, and trained doctors to carry it out using the same implants every time, regardless of individual patient needs and breast shapes. The court also heard that two of TCI’s Sydney clinics were not adequately prepared to access medical assistance in the event of an emergency.
The case will resume in court next Friday December 14th.
Dr Naveen Somia, President of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), says it’s a landmark day for patient safety, as consumers continue to experience so much confusion around plastic surgeon qualifications and unrestricted industry titles.
“ASAPS says ‘Cosmetic Sweatshop’ style set-ups that turn an invasive surgical procedure into a commodity have no place in cosmetic surgery as they risk patient safety. As doctors, patients come first and patient safety must be adhered to at every stage of the patient journey and at all costs.”
“Compounding this issue is the loophole that allows doctors who are not registered by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as ‘Surgeons’ to overstate their qualifications and perform invasive cosmetic surgery on unsuspecting patients.”