Health Care

Florida revokes license of Miami ‘butt lift’ surgeon accused of injuring patients

Miami physician Osakatukei “Osak” Omulepu, who is accused of seriously injuring four patients during liposuction surgeries in South Florida office clinics in May 2015, lost his medical privileges on Tuesday after the Florida Board of Medicine issued a final order to revoke his license for malpractice and failing to keep appropriate records. Omulepu has 30 days to appeal the order in state court.
Miami physician Osakatukei “Osak” Omulepu, who is accused of seriously injuring four patients during liposuction surgeries in South Florida office clinics in May 2015, lost his medical privileges on Tuesday after the Florida Board of Medicine issued a final order to revoke his license for malpractice and failing to keep appropriate records. Omulepu has 30 days to appeal the order in state court.

Florida health officials on Tuesday filed a final order revoking the medical license of a Miami doctor who seriously injured four patients in 2015 during so-called Brazilian butt lift and liposuction surgeries performed at office clinics, according to state records.

The doctor, Osakatukei “Osak” Omulepu, could not be reached for comment. But his attorney, Monica Felder-Rodriguez, said she filed an appeal in state court on Tuesday challenging the Florida Board of Medicine’s order and requesting a delay in the revocation.

The medical board’s decision initially was announced on April 7 — more than two years after the state first deemed Omulepu an “immediate serious danger” to the public and moved to prevent him from performing liposuctions and fat transfers to the buttocks, a procedure known as a Brazilian butt lift.

Omulepu fought the state’s restriction and retained the privilege to continue performing the surgical procedures up until Tuesday, Rodriguez said.

The doctor, who is not board-certified in plastic surgery, had been working for a network of office surgery clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward counties where physicians, according to state records and interviews, have maimed patients repeatedly and discharged them to recover in hotels and even a horse stable, with no medical attention.

The clinics lure out-of-town patients, mostly women, with the promise of cheap plastic surgery. But the results have been gruesome, with at least four deaths in the past year and other patients rushed to local hospitals with debilitating injuries and infections.

In revoking Omulepu’s license, the state medical board rejected a lighter discipline recommended by an administrative law judge in January, which included a $14,000 fine, a reprimand and two years of probation.

The board’s order said the harsher punishment was justified because Omulepu injured two different patients in a similar manner on the same day in May 2015, and because of the severe nature of the injuries to one patient, whose liver was repeatedly punctured. The other patient suffered a punctured bowel and severe infection related to the surgeries, according to state records.

During liposuction, doctors use a metal rod called a cannula to remove fat through a surgical incision, plunging the instrument in and out of the patient’s body. According to evidence presented during an administrative hearing, Omulepu alleged perforated patients’ organs with the cannula.

At the time of the medical board’s meeting on April 7, Omulepu’s attorney argued that the doctor was denied his due process because the Florida Department of Health had considered evidence that wasn’t included in the state’s complaint.

Daniel Chang: 305-376-2012, @dchangmiami

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