(CN) – A surgeon who botched a nose job so badly it required 21 more surgeries that left a man “breathing from a straw in the middle of his face” then filed bogus criminal charges against the patient to try to fend off a lawsuit, the now noseless man claims in court.
Vishal Thakkar sued Dr. Lawrence Angelo Cuzalina, Tulsa Surgical Arts, and the Oklahoma Cosmetic Surgery Center, in Tulsa County Court.
Thakkar claims Cuzalina “sold and induced” him to undergo rhinoplasty in April 2006.
“In June of 2006, plaintiff, for cosmetic purposes only, underwent what was described by defendants as a simple rhinoplasty surgery,” the complaint states. “Thereafter, plaintiff underwent several more surgeries for a total of eight surgeries from June 5, 2006 through November 15, 2007. Plaintiff then left the country from December of 2007 through January of 2010.”
When he returned, Thakkar says, Cuzalina did 13 more nose jobs on him, from August 2011 to July 2012.
In May 2013, Thakkar says, “he received a written opinion from an expert in the field,” which confirmed that Cuzalina erred in using a skin graft from his ear to cover metal plates and screws inserted in his nose.
“Reconstruction of the nasal tip support structures should have been accomplished using cartilage or bone,” Thakkar says, citing the expert’s report. “As a result, infection was guaranteed because the nose is a contaminated area. Had infection been avoided, which it was not, the metal would have gradually eroded through the skin.”
Thakkar claims Cuzalina contaminated his nose even more by putting Medpore implants in it.
“On July 12, 2012, defendants’ twenty-first surgery upon plaintiff, the existing hardware, which had been exposed and contaminated for months, was removed by defendants along with the Medpore [Medpor] implants,” the complaint states.
“New metal hardware was then placed into this contaminated wound. Again, in exacerbation of the defendants’ gross negligence and incompetence, a silicon dorsal nasal implant was placed on top of the titanium plate, a ridiculous surgical plan that had no possibility of success.
“By the time that the defendants were through mutilating the plaintiff under the guise of twenty-two plastic surgeries, Mr. Thakkar was left grossly deformed, with his nose amputated, and breathing from a straw in the middle of his face, where his nose once was. Plaintiff has now undergone and will suffer through many more future reconstructive surgeries for the purpose of nasal reconstruction, and has suffered indescribable, intolerable physical pain and suffering. …
“During the pendency of plaintiff’s long-term medical treatment by defendants, Cuzalina obviously became aware of his gross and continuing negligence and malpractice, and of the fact that his lack of appropriate training and medical treatment exhibited a willful and wanton disregard for his patient. Therefore, he began and orchestrated a conspiracy to intimidate, blackmail, libel and slander plaintiff, through malicious prosecution and abuse of process, by filing reports and complaints in the summer of 2012, wherein he falsely accused plaintiff of crimes and other misconduct.
“During this period, and in violation of plaintiff’s medical confidentiality and privileges, Cuzalina hired private investigators and attorneys, and secured hidden audio and video recordings of plaintiff, without plaintiff’s permission or knowledge, in violation of law, and plaintiff’s reasonable expectations of privacy.”
Thakkar claims Cuzalina then filed a protective order against him in Tulsa County Court, to intimidate him.
“Cuzalina’s frivolous request for a protective order and other false reports were denied and dismissed through the legal process, but have permanently smeared plaintiff’s record,” Thakkar says.
He seeks punitive damages for medical malpractice, malicious prosecution, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy and fraud.
He is represented by Paul Boudreaux with Richardson Richardson Boudreaux Keesling, of Tulsa.
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