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Johannesburg - Deformed nipples, tummy tucks gone septic and ugly lumps caused by scar tissue – this is the alleged work of a doctor whose list of botched operations keeps growing.
Since The Star ran a story about Dr Luke Gordon and the operations that had left his patients disfigured, others have approached the paper to tell their story.
One of these alleged patients was Cindy*, who approached Gordon for a breast reduction two years ago.
She told The Star how she was discharged the same day of the operation, and when she got home, she fainted after starting to bleed heavily.
Her boyfriend rushed her back to Gordon’s clinic in Benoni, but the anaesthesiologist had already gone home.
During the second operation to place a drain in the wound to halt the bleeding, Cindy woke up despite being anaesthetised.
“It was quite painful,” she recalled.
The nurse, shocked to see she was awake, put her under again.
Though she is a B cup, as she wanted, Cindy isn’t happy about the results.
She has no feeling in one breast, one areola is lower than the other, and she also has a lump in one breast, which she believes is scar tissue.
Tersia Pinard, 47, also approached The Star with her story. She went for a breast reduction five years ago and said she was still having complications from the surgery.
“My wounds would not heal, I have a bulge on the sides up to the shoulders. I have a little skin on my breast that stands up. I have love handles under my arms, and my nipples are no longer round,” she said.
A man who went for a tummy tuck in December also had a horror story to tell.
He said Gordon didn’t remove all the stitches during his follow-up check-up and that his wound became septic, emitting an unbearable smell.
“I have a scar so bad that I don’t want to take my shirt off, and still have ‘love handles’, which Dr Gordon said would go away,” he said.
But not everyone has a bad story to tell.
*John’s wife went for a breast argumentation three years ago and the procedure was successful. He said he would send her there for more cosmetic operations if she wanted any.
“I will recommend this clinic to anyone and everyone I know, regardless of what a few unhappy people have to say.
“Dr Gordon should not be judged on a few unhappy patients, but rather on a holistic view of all the thousands of people he has helped,” he said.
While these patients have come forward, others are in the process of getting the Health Professions Council of South Africa to take action against Gordon. The HPCSA, in turn, is going to contest this action.
Two weeks ago, four of his former patients filed papers at the Pretoria High Court, accusing the HPCSA of failing to take action against him, and therefore allowing Gordon to continue botching more operations.
HPCSA spokeswoman Bertha Scheepers-Peters confirmed that they were going to contest the matter, but said everything would be revealed during the court case.
Gordon has a string of botched procedures behind him, and has paid about R4.5 million to clients whose operations he allegedly botched in the past few years.
In 2000, 2007 and 2008, the HPCSA found him guilty but allowed him to continue practising.
Gordon’s attorney, Carl Wesemann, confirmed that his client had also been served with papers, and he was still perusing them.
“I will give him advice after reading them. I am not sure whether we will oppose or not,” he said.
*Not their real names