BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield doctor has been placed on probation for seven years by the state Medical Board after a patient who received liposuction and a tummy tuck in 2016 died the next day.
During her probation, Dr. Sarwa Aldoori is barred from participating in any surgical procedures, including cosmetic surgeries, and can’t conduct solo practice, according to a settlement that took effect last month. Aldoori also must complete education, record-keeping and ethics courses.
An accusation brought by the board last year alleged Aldoori had insufficient training to perform the procedures, kept inadequate medical records and failed to document her discharge recommendations and the patient’s refusal of home nursing care.
The coroner’s office ruled the patient, a 43-year-old woman whose name was not included in the accusation, died from a fat embolism — when fat globules enter the bloodstream — due to abdominal surgical procedure and liposuction, with adult respiratory distress contributing, according to the accusation.
On March 23, 2016, the patient sought consultation for a tummy tuck, liposuction and fat transfer to the buttocks.
The liposuction and tummy tuck were performed the following month. According to the accusation, those procedures took long enough that the buttock augmentation procedure was not performed.
The patient was monitored after surgery, but the accusation says only four sets of vital signs were taken during three hours and 45 minutes of monitoring, and fluid input and output was not closely assessed.
Aldoori recommended a nurse accompany the patient home, but the patient’s family allegedly refused, according to the accusation.
“The conversations regarding the recommendation and refusal of the nurse were not documented in Patient 1’s medical record,” the accusation says.
At about 4:36 a.m. the next day the patient’s family called 911. When paramedics arrived, the patient was unconscious and had no pulse, according to the accusation.
She was taken to Mercy Hospital and pronounced dead April 15, 2016.
“Patient 1 underwent surgical procedures … at Advanced Healthcare, an outpatient office, which was not credentialed as an outpatient surgery center,” according to the accusation. “This is an extreme departure from the standard of care.”
The accusation notes the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education says successfully completing a residency in plastic surgery includes 36 months of education in clinical plastic surgery experience.
“(Aldoori) only completed a residency in family medicine as well as a seven-day plastic surgery course and a one-month liposuction and fat grafting source,” the accusation says.
Performing the surgical procedures without adequate training was an extreme departure from the standard of care, the accusation says, as was failing to document the patient’s informed consent and the discussions regarding her recommendation against going home without a nurse accompanying her.