Lifestyle Lift Responds to Disfigurement Claim

The Pulp recently reported on a Broward woman who says that a cosmetic procedure ravaged her face and neck with keloids and that she never would have had the surgery if her doctor had mentioned the scarring risks.

Lifestyle Lift, the medical center where Enid Perrins-Whittaker had the procedure, has just responded to her claim. The nationally franchised practice, which also has a Palm Beach office, says that the company and its physicians always tell patients about possible adverse effects.

Perrins-Whittaker says she told her surgeon, Dr. Juan Felipe Garcia, that she had a tendency to develop keloid scars, according to a lawsuit recently filed in the Broward County Civil Court.

Keloid scars are raised, puffy, purplish lumps that remain painful, itchy, and swollen indefinitely. They erupt when skin is irritated or broken. Anything from a large blemish to a planned-out, medical incision can trigger them.

When she went for a surgical consultation in July 2009, Perrins-Whittaker even went so far as to show Garcia a keloid on her back.

Still, Perrins-Whittaker was told not to worry, the court filing claims. Garcia promised she would be just fine.

Perrins-Whittaker claims that she was not just fine by any means: She says that her face erupted into a bed of keloid scars less than a week after her August 6, 2009, surgery.

Perrins-Whittaker says that keloids now cover her face and neck, so she's suing Garcia and Lifestyle Lift for damages. 

Lifestyle Lift disagrees with this accounting of events.

Rebecca Shaw, a spokeswoman for the company, says that it's not familiar with the lawsuit but that she could speak generally about surgical risks.

"Dr. Juan Garcia was a Lifestyle Lift physician for a time in our Fort Lauderdale Center, but left our organization to resume a private practice in Jacksonville," she says in an email to the Pulp.  "He's a talented surgeon, and we have complete confidence in his experience and skills."

"Our doctors review these risks in detail so that patients are fully informed before signing the consent form."

Also, she says, scars that result from the surgery are typically concealed around and behind the fold of the ear and within the hairline.

The Pulp is waiting for comment from Garcia.

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Victoria Bekiempis