Liposuction is a totally useless procedure in terms of preventing or treating any disease and has risks as this article shows. A size 6 women who was obsessed by small collections of subcutaneous fat should never have had this procedure. Indeed, no doctor should ever perform liposuction on anyone and, in general, any out-of-hospital cosmetic surgery requiring general anesthetic should be banned.
Beautiful inside and out
BY MELISSA LEONG
24 Jul 2008
Thirty-two-year-old Krista Stryland, a mother and successful Toronto real estate agent, went to a private clinic for liposuction, apparently to remove fat following the birth of her three-year-old son.
Hours later, court documents allege, she lay in a recovery room for 30 minutes without vital signs after a procedure that drained fat from 23 incisions in six different parts of her body.
She was pronounced dead in hospital on Sept. 20, 2007.
Her sister says she was a size 6. She says the doctor should have told her that she did not need liposuction.
After Ms. Stryland’s death, Ontario’s medical watchdog introduced stricter regulations governing family doctors who perform cosmetic surgery.
It launched an investigation of Dr. Behnaz Yazdanfar, the physician who performed Ms. Stryland’s operation. But the doctor is fighting the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in court, claiming its investigators cannot force her to give them an interview or observe her procedures.
This week, a Superior Court judge deferred the case but acknowledged the hardship that these kinds of delays can cause loved ones.
Ms. Stryland’s family has raised several concerns with the college, including Dr. Yazdanfar’s alleged failure to warn of risks, leaving Ms. Stryland “with the impression that this was a routine benign procedure.”
“She was a size 6. Someone who is a size 6 doesn’t need liposuction,” Ms. Stryland’s sister, Melissa Cavelti, said. “The doctor should have just told her, in the first place, that she didn’t need it.”
Her close family members have declined requests for interviews. They feel heartache every time they see a photo of her in the media or read the details from her medical records.
“We want the focus to be on the problems in the health care system and not on Krista,” Ms. Cavelti said. “Hopefully, they can work to improve [it] and something good can come out of this.”
The family wrote to the college about Dr. Yazdanfar’s Web site. Dr. James Edwards at the Office of the Coroner had similar concerns. “Any reasonable member of the public would think that Dr. Yazdanfar was a certified surgeon on her Web site. This is disingenuous,” he told a college investigator.
According to court documents released this week, investigators with the college first began looking at Dr. Yazdanfar’s practice in 2002 after another physician told them she was performing surgical cosmetic procedures in her office. All doctors who are registered with the college “may practice only in the areas of medicine in which [he or she] is educated and experienced.”
On Oct. 21, 2002, Dr. Yazdanfar told investigators she had taken a course in liposuction in Colorado in the spring and had performed 30 procedures since. She said she removed only one to two litres of fat at a time.
The following year, an expert hired by the college deemed her training to be adequate. She later informed the college she wanted to begin performing breast-implant surgery after training in Indiana.
On Sept. 20, 2007, Ms. Stryland’s former husband and the father of their young son dropped her off at the Toronto Cosmetic Clinic.
After the procedure, she was sitting up in the recovery room and being offered cookies by the nurses, Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd, the lawyer representing Dr. Yazdanfar, said. They suddenly noticed that she seemed less alert and an anesthesiologist began treating her, Ms. TremayneLloyd added, citing medical notes.
Ms. Stryland’s former husband called the clinic twice wanting to know when he could come to pick her up, according to a written complaint to the college from the family.
The first time, he was told the surgery went fine and that Ms. Stryland was in recovery and feeling “groggy.” The second time, a staff member promised to call him back.
He arrived at the north Toronto clinic and found paramedics attending to Ms. Stryland. He was told that she had “lost a little more blood than they had hoped.”
She was transported to a hospital, which contacted Dr. Sean Rice, a plastic surgeon. He was asked to examine a patient who was in cardiac arrest.
It was his understanding, he later told college investigators, that she had been at the clinic without vital signs for 30 minutes before an ambulance was called.
Ms. Tremayne-Lloyd said that is “complete and utter nonsense.”
When paramedics arrived, “she had a blood pressure, she had a pulse, her respiratory rates were being recorded — this patient was not lying in recovery for 30 minutes without vital signs. We can find no reference to it in any of the charts,” she said.
Court documents allege that 2.7 litres of fat were drawn from 23 incision sites.
“ There were puncture wounds where no physician would put one,” Dr. Rice told the investigator.
While hospital workers tried to resuscitate Ms. Stryland, Dr. Rice called Dr. Yazdanfar and asked what happened.
“I am a very good surgeon. I do this all the time,” she said, according to Dr. Rice’s report to the college.
“Could you have punctured an organ?” he asked. “I’m an excellent surgeon.” Dr. Yazdanfar then asked how Ms. Stryland was doing.
“I stated that it appeared that Mrs. Stryland was not going to survive,” he said.
Dr. James Edwards at the coroner’s office told the investigator that Ms. Stryland had liposuction on both legs, buttocks, back, abdomen and chest wall. He thought that the number of locations for fat removal may have contributed to her death.
Dr. Yazdanfar has not been charged in connection with the death and the allegations have not been proven in court.
Ms. Stryland, by all accounts, was a rising star at her real estate company and a devoted mother. She attended Havergal College, one of Toronto’s oldest and most prestigious girls’ schools, and later studied at Concordia University in Montreal.
Friends, former clients and classmates continue to write on a Facebook page dedicated to her; someone posted a message as recently as Tuesday.
“Her smile was contagious,” one person wrote.