A class action lawsuit by nearly 1000 patients will begin soon in the Australian state of Victoria. The defendants are retired celebrity cosmetic surgeon Daniel Lanzer and six associates.
Only a couple of years ago, in 2021, Dr Lanzer and one of the other defendants, Dr Daniel Aronov, were social media sensations. Dr Lanzer had his own TV show and 5.5 million followers on TikTok; Dr Aronov had 13 million. According to ABC News, one of his grotesque posts was “holding up a hunk of a female patient’s flesh cut from her belly and showing it to her while she is still on the operating table awake.”
An expose by ABC Four Corners and Nine newspapers found that there had been serious lapses of health and safety in Dr Lanzer’s chain of clinics. A number of patients had suffered extreme pain after their procedures. Amongst the alleged injuries were “deformities, nerve damage, psychological trauma, loss of movement and function of limbs”. The defendants have denied any wrongdoing.
According to the ABC, the exposé
“sparked a series of reviews into the doctors and the broader sector given failed regulations and laws that allowed questionable facilities for operations and doctors with a basic medical degree or limited surgical training to call themselves cosmetic surgeons — even though they aren’t registered specialist surgeons, like plastic surgeons, who receive eight to 12 years of postgraduate surgical training.”
However, despite some minor amendments to regulations governing cosmetic surgery, shady operators are still working in the A$1.4 billion industry, the ABC claims. Some of them now describe themselves as “aesthetic proceduralists” instead of “cosmetic surgeons”.