Dodgy plastic surgeon quits before inquiry

Johannesburg - The Benoni plastic surgeon who allegedly botched many of his clients’ operations does not want to practise as a doctor anymore.

Dr Luke Gordon made this known four days before the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) hauled him in for a hearing today into the quality of his work. He also indicated he did not intend to attend the hearing.

Dr Luke Gordon says he does not want to practice medicine anymore. Picture: Handout/Supplied. Credit: SUPPLIED

“I do not intend to appear and hereby request the registrar of the Health Professional (sic) Council of South Africa to remove me as a medical practitioner. I have no intention to continue to practise as medical practitioner,” he said in his affidavit to the HPCSA.

His sudden decision to stop practising and not attend the proceedings was a slap in the face for one of his ex-patients.

Myrna Bothma, who was left grossly disfigured after elective breast and abdominal surgery in January 2011, had hoped to face Gordon at the hearing.

Last year, she and three of his former patients applied to the high court in a bid to have the courts force the HPCSA to stop him from practising.

“He is a coward. Basically, all he is saying is ‘I don’t want to face you, deal with it’. It’s easy for him to walk away. I don’t know why he now does not want to be a doctor anymore, and not at the time we were complaining,” said Bothma.

In the past few years, Gordon has reportedly paid about R4.5 million to patients whose operations he had botched.

The HPCSA also found him guilty in 2000, 2007 and 2008 following complaints.

However, more people kept approaching the HPCSA afterwards, claiming Gordon had botched their operations.

In September last year, some of his former patients made an application to the Pretoria High Court to force the HPCSA to take stringent action against Gordon.

That, they said, was because the council had failed to take action against him and had allowed him to continue practising despite his history.

Gary Austin, a personal-injury lawyer representing the group, said nothing came out of that application.

However, when a woman approached him in February, telling him how Gordon had botched her breast augmentation - to lift and enlarge her saggy breasts - in December, Austin made a second application to the high court.

In her affidavit, the 49-year-old woman claims she took out a R40 000 loan as she wanted the surgery for her “marriage and a better life, but was left with uneven, ugly, scarred, smaller breasts and the loan to repay”.

Austin said while the HPCSA had failed to act on Gordon before, it had started with proceedings against him after the second application.

Not only does Austin want the HPCSA to act against Gordon, he also wants it to pay the woman damages, as he believes Gordon would not have operated on her if the council had taken action against him in September.

“If they had acted, she would not have been injured. Since September, I have had seven more people coming forward with complaints,” Austin said.

The Star contacted Gordon, but said he had no comment.

Some of Dr Luke Gordon’s alleged victims, and three patients who were awarded damages: