The Irish Times reported that a plastic surgeon was found guilty of misconduct in the treatment of a 33-year-old Dublin woman. Twelve allegations were made against him and a three person inquiry team found him guilty of six of them.
Ms. Catherine McCormack underwent a breast augmentation at an Advanced Cosmetic Surgery (ACS) clinic in Dublin, with Dr. Marco Loiacono as her surgeon. A few days after the procedure her left breast became infected and Dr. Loiacono failed to arrange for adequate post-operative treatment. He did not remove the implant in a timely manner, kept inaccurate records, and failed to treat the infection properly. The inquiry team also found that he did not apply adequate standards of clinical competence or judgment.
Ms. McCormack had undergone the procedure to move from a B cup to a D/DD cup, and was initially happy with the results. When the left breast became infected Dr. Loiacono stitched up the wound and gave her an antibiotic. He did not remove the implant and thus the antibiotic was ineffective. Instead of ending up with enhanced breast, Ms. McCormick ended up deformed.
Dr. Peter Meagher, a reconstructive breast surgeon at Dublin’s St. James’s Hospital, gave evidence to the enquiry team. He said that Dr. Loicono’s handling of Ms. McCormack’s case was “fundamentally flawed” and “suboptimal”. His refusal to hospitalize her was negligent and inevitably harmful. He also attacked Dr. Liocono’s choice of operation facility. The ACS clinic did not have the proper post-operative facilities. The clinic has actually gone into liquidation.
Criticism was also lodged because Ms. McCormack was not seen for the first time until 20 days after her surgery. This follow up was not even effective because at that time the infection was observed but not treated correctly. Also she was not seen until eight days after that follow up .
Dr. Loiacono represented himself and said that given the chance he would not have done anything differently. He claimed that he was available to Ms. McCormack within 24 hours after her procedure. He claimed that when he saw her for the follow up appointment, she only had a mild infection and he put her on antibiotics. He said that he would have had her admitted to the ACS clinic if he had found it necessary.
The inquiry team recommended that Dr. Loicona keep his license to practice provided that he meet certain conditions. He must undertake an appropriate professional development program, however the decision must be ratified by the full council.