Clipped From Arizona Republic
mi NORTHEAST phoenix news NORTHEAST REPUBLIC WEEKEND EDITION, JULY 14, 2007 Suspended Anthem doc's patients sought If procedures done after May 3, contact state medical board By Jennifer Price ' JENNIFER PRICE ARIZONARE PL L!C. COM The state medical board is asking anyone who had a procedure in Dr. Peter Normann's office after May 3 to contact the board. The Anthem doctor had his medical license suspended Tuesday by the Arizona Medical Board after three patients died following liposuction procedures in his office. Normann, who was licensed in Arizona in August 2004, performed cosmetic pro cedures in his Anthem office at 3624 W. Anthem Way, Suite C-108. According to Normann's Web site, his i Dr. Peter Normann practice, Normann Medical Group, offers services such as liposuction, hair removal, breast augmentation and bo-tox. But his medical certification was in internal medicine, and his specialty was listed as emergency medicine, according to state records. A Medical Board report said Normann wrote in notes that he is aided in procedures by "medical assistants," but those staffers aren't formally trained or licensed. These findings led the state to take "emergency action" and to suspend his license pending a formal hearing before an administrative judge within 60 days. On May 3, after two patients suffered cardiac arrest and died during liposuction procedures in December and April, the state ordered Normann to stop performing surgeries and administering sedation drugs. Less than two months after the order was issued, a third liposuction patient died while being monitored by Normann in his office. That patient had been treated by a homeopath. Anyone treated by Normann since May 3 should call the Medical Board at (480) 551-2700. Remember, cosmetic surgery is just that - surgery Doctor's credentials count more than cost By Jennifer Price JEN N IP E X. PR ICE& ARIZONA RE PU RLIC.COM Liposuctions typically used to be performed by plastic surgeons, but since liposuctions have become more popular in recent years, more doctors, specifically general practitioners, are doing the procedures. "We're seeing an increasing number of doctors shifting their practices to include plastic surgery procedures," said Roxanne Guy, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Calling yourself a plastic or cosmetic surgeon does not make you a qualified plastic surgeon." According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, almost 11 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2006 in the U.S. More than 300,000 of those were liposuctions. "In America, most people spend more time finding the right pair of shoes than they do finding a cosmetic plastic surgeon. You can take back your shoes, but you can't take your face or your life back," said Rod Roh-rich, past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Deborah Bash, head of the aesthetic surgery section at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, pointed out several questions a person seeking liposuction should ask a physician. B Is the physician a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? B Is the physician board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? If the physician has an operating room in his or her office, is the operating room properly licensed and accredited? B If the physician has an operating room in his or her office, does a hospital allow the physician to do the same procedure and what are the physician's emergency room procedures? BWill a board-certified anesthesiologist be present during the proce-' dure? Bash said cosmetic surgery, like any other surgery, has risks. "When a person has cosmetic surgery, there are two words. One is cosmetic and one is surgery, and liposuction is surgery. And there are always risks," Bash said. Bash said the best patients for liposuction are not overweight patients but patients who are of an average weight but have "localized areas of fat" The best results occur when the patient is in good health and has good skin tone. Younger patients have better success, she added. According to Bash, a patient can expect bruising for up to four weeks and soreness for up to six weeks, but it can take six months for the lumpiness in the skin and the deeper discomfort to go away. Insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, so the surgery is an out-of-pocket expense of $2,000 and above. Dr. Shaun Parson, chairman of surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea, said consumers should not let price be the sole driving force when choosing a doctor. Instead, they should do their homework and never assume that their doctor is well trained just because he or she is a medical doctor. "You're not buying a kitchen appliance. You are buying a cosmetic procedure that can be permanently' disfigure you or possibly kill you," Parson said. Bash, who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, suggested that people wanting liposuction go to the Web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, www.plasticsur-gery.org, to find a board-certified surgeon in their area.