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Penalty pending in liposuction case

Article-Penalty pending in liposuction case

Toronto — A Toronto doctor awaits her professional fate after a medical panel found her guilty of incompetence and unprofessional conduct in a case involving the 2007 death of a liposuction patient, the Vancouver Sun reports.

Behnaz Yazdanfar, M.D., will have to wait a few weeks to learn if she can keep her medical license after a five-member Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons panel heard arguments on whether she should lose it and, in addition, pay a heavy fine and $219,000 in costs for her disciplinary hearing.

Revoking a medical license is the harshest sentence available to the medical regulatory body. The panel has reserved its decision.

Four years ago, one of Dr. Yazdanfar’s patients, 32-year-old Krista Stryland, died following a botched liposuction procedure. According to media reports, Ms. Stryland lay bleeding in a recovery room for at least 30 minutes before anyone called emergency services to take her to a hospital, according to the Sun. Doctors there pronounced her dead after two-and-a-half hours of attempts to resuscitate her failed.

In May, a disciplinary committee with the college found that Dr. Yazdanfar failed to maintain professional standards of practice in relation to five patients (including Ms. Stryland); that she failed to obtain informed consent from several patients; and that she failed to carry out adequate pre- and postoperative procedures.

As a result of this case, in April 2010 the college was granted the power to inspect independent cosmetic surgery clinics such as the one out of which Dr. Yazdanfar operated. Physicians who practice cosmetic surgery outside a hospital setting also now must undergo a one-time assessment to work in these clinics and a review every subsequent three years.

Dr. Yazdanfar was a former family practice physician who underwent training to enlarge her scope of practice, according to media reports.

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