The surgeon who performed a fat transfer procedure that proved fatal for a 50-year-old Hollywood woman last week has repeatedly had his medical license suspended.
Records show that Dr. John Nees' disciplinary troubles date back to 2002, when he was working in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington Board of Medicine ruled that he could only practice medicine in a group setting because of "unethical conduct which included sexual relationships with a patient and altering records for two patients," according to a complaint later filed by the Florida Department of Health.
In 2003, Florida suspended Nees' license for reasons not specified in the public record. Yet he continued performing at least 16 surgeries. The following year, he was slapped with a $10,000 fine and had his license suspended again because of the violation. The Florida Board of Medicine ordered his license to remain suspended until Nees' "personality disorder is under control and...he is capable of practicing medicine with appropriate skill and safety."
While subject to this suspension in 2005, Nees called in a prescription in Washington state for himself and a family member. The Washington Board of Medicine suspended his license for 120 days and Florida fined him $2,000.
In 2007, Nees was doing a facelift on a patient at the Strax Rejuvenation and Aesthetics Institute when he allegedly cut off a piece of her left ear. The Florida Department of Health filed an administrative complaint against Nees for this incident in December 2011.No ruling on the complaint has been publicly filed.
Nees was in surgery today and unavailable for comment when the Pulp contacted Strax.
Last year, Strax co-owner Phil Feanny told New Times that Nees' disciplinary record "doesn't have anything to do with his surgical acumen."
On March 22, Nees was performing a liposuction and fat transfer procedure on 50-year-old Idell Frazer when she went into cardiac arrest. Frazer was transferred to Florida Medical Center, where she died.
Strax' attorney, Peter Mineo Jr., says Frazer died of a fat embolism, a rare and untreatable complication from the surgery. "Strax has been informed that the Medical Examiner has ruled the patient's cause of death was an adipose tissue embolism and that there was no fault on the part of the patient's surgeon or Strax," Mineo said in a written statement.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
James Haliczer, an attorney for Frazer's family, says he has not yet seen the medical examiner's report on her death.