Another Patient Comes Forward After Plastic Surgery Nightmare – Los Angeles

Tracy Carter believes her plastic surgery was a disaster. But she quickly learned that she wasn’t the only one. The NBC 4 I-Team learned that her plastic surgeon continues to practice despite numerous complaints.

“If something like this could happen to me it, could happen to anybody,”Carter is a registered nurse.

She researched everything she could find online before she made the decision to get a tummy tuck.

“I looked at the medical board, I read the reviews online,”She explained. “I looked him up, I didn’t see anything.”However, she claims that the Pasadena surgeon Dr. Max Lehfeldt has forever changed her lives.

“Day one I got home and bled through all my dressings, and it really went downhill from there,”Carter said. “Over the course of 8 weeks I became very sick.”

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21191718-medical-board-ca-third-amended-accusation

Although she was an obstetrician, she knew what to expect from surgery. But she believes that her downward spiral began when she continued to use the same antibiotics during her recovery. After developing a severe infection, she was admitted to hospital for 9 days. Ryan, her son was stunned by the events.

“Every single doctor and nurse that came into the room had their mouth hit the floor when they saw what she looked like,” said Ryan Stewart. Ryan Stewart was shocked at the things his mother had to endure.

“I’d never head of another story where a person’s belly button falls out, or where a person would have to be at home with tweezers digging inside of their insides,”Stewart.

“It was like a bomb went off in me. I have pain every day,”Carter. “I don’t think I’ll be the same inside; it always hurts.”After seeing this NBC-4 I-Team report about Wendy Knecht, a fellow patient of Dr. Lehfeldt, she realized that she was not the only one. Knecht brought a lawsuit against Lehfeldt for malpractice and fraud following complications from her breast reconstruction after her double mastectomy. Lehfeldt agreed to a settlement of $1,000,000.

Knecht became “Patient A” in an accusation by the director of the Medical Board {see attachment} against Lehfedlt. This stems from a 2016 complaint that she made, which was initially dismissed by the board.

Knecht’s persistent persistence led to its opening. Later, three more patients were added to it, including Carter. “Patient D.”

Lehfeldt’s inability to obtain a culture from Carter’s wound, repeated antibiotic use, and failure of patient consent documentation are all examples of the accusations. “a departure from the standard of care.”Also, the accusation includes “repeated negligent acts in the care and treatment of Patient A, Patient B, Patient C and Patient D”Lehfedlt’s licence “subject to discipline.”

Carter stated that knowing Lehfeldt still practices is the most difficult part of the ordeal.

In fact, he was to have attended a January hearing to address the accusation before full board. But he requested an extension. The Medical Board granted it until June 2022.

We asked Dr. Lehfeldt to interview us about Carter’s allegations. The Medical Board director also made the accusation, but he didn’t respond to our email or phone message.

While the Medical Board is not allowed to comment on ongoing investigations in progress, its published reports show that only 10 percent of complaints are being investigated. These investigations typically take 3 years.

Carter said that her experience was so frightening, she feared for the safety of her life. Carter says that she is now a completely different person. She says that what was supposed to take 5 weeks has turned into 7 months. Persistent pain keeps her from going back to the operating room. She believes the trauma from her 3 additional surgeries and the chronic pain she now experiences has changed her life forever.

“My mama is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met, and this broke her,”Stewart.

Carter’s story is not uncommon, say patient advocates. Patients have complained that Medical Board investigations favour doctors and take too long, potentially putting others at risk. Although the board insists that it must prove its case when penalizing doctors or revoking licenses of licensed professionals, it asked for state legislators to modify those requirements earlier in the month.

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