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Patient Sues Doctor over Botched Weight Loss Procedure

Lauren Lopez3 years ago

In December 2011, three months after having a child, a Bronx mother underwent a laser lipo procedure that resulted in third degree burns and a lawsuit.

Patient Files Lawsuit Against Doctor

The 26-year-old mother went to Dr. Muruga Raj, an upper Manhattan OB/GYN, to undergo the weight loss procedure laser liposuction. The procedure is advertised as being minimally invasive but involves a long prong being inserted under the skin to burn fat cells with a laser tool.

After the $8,000 hour procedure, the woman was sent home with medication, but returned the next day complaining of excruciating pain and swelling to the stomach and lower back areas.

The doctor assured her that she did not need emergency care and sent her home again with burn ointment to apply twice daily. The pain however continued, and reached such heights that the mother passed out.

Hospitalization and Legal Action

With growing concern, the patient sought a second opinion from another doctor, who immediately rushed her to a local hospital to treat the third degree burns and undergo skin grafting surgery.

The patient, while still in the hospital, was approached by Raj’s wife and son, who attempted to dissuade the woman from taking legal action, claiming that a lawsuit would jeopardize their two daughter’s college education.

The patient chose to take action and Dr. Raj was found to be negligent. She is now waiting for the court to award an amount of damages.

This is not the first incident on the doctor’s record. In 2009, he settled a suit with a woman who took legal action for injuries she sustained for the same procedure. State officials are deliberating on revoking the doctor’s license to practice.

About Laser Liposuction
  • The equipment to perform the procedure runs around $150,000 and can be sold to any type of doctor, including dentists.
  • The only requirement for operating the machine is a one-time training course.
  • The procedure is intended to liquefy fat, result in weight loss, but allow skin to tighten and avoid skin that hangs loosely; however, serious burns can and do occur.
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