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Top Plastic Surgeon Being Sued For Chopping Off Patient's Entire Nose During Surgery


Jun. 7 2013, Published 7:16 a.m. ET

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Plastic isn't always fantastic. In just the latest example of surgery gone too far, New Yorker Vishal Thakkar is suing Tulsa surgeon Dr. Angelo Cuzalina for chopping off his nose during surgery.

Cuzalina, a member of the Oklahoma Medical Board and president of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, completed eight surgeries on Thakkar between 2006 and 2007 before allegedly making the cruelest cut, his lawsuit alleges.

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During one surgery, Thakkar claims, Cuzalina took cartilage from his ear to rebuild his nose without his consent.

Thakkar told Fox23 News Tulsa, "I woke up with pain behind my ear and I said to the nurses, what part of 'Under no circumstances, do not touch my ears do you not understand?"

Thakkar says Cuzalina later emailed him an apology, but then, in another surgery the doctor took cartilage from his rib.

Despite these warning signs -- and several infections -- Thakkar continued to go under the knife and eventually woke up from one procedure with a gaping hole in the middle of his face, his lawsuit alleges. "Dr. Cuzalina told me that there was an infection in there and since I was on the operating table and unconscious he had to make the decision," Thakkar said.

Now, "By the time I am able to breathe without pain and have a human-looking nose," Thakkar claimed, "I will have had 30 surgeries on my face thanks to Angelo Cuzalina."

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"There is no way I am going to live like this," he continued. "It is worse than being dead. Other surgeons told me that, 'Vishal, your case is so bad it is unheard of. You must be treated by someone at the top of this field.'"

In addition to his disfigurement, Thakkar's suit claims he was emotionally harassed and over-prescribed medication by Dr. Cuzalina. Documents filed by his attorney, Paul Boudreaux state, "… Cuzalina hired private investigators and attorneys, and secured hidden audio and video recordings of Thakkar without Thakkar's permission or knowledge…"

Cuzalina also "prescribed an excessive amount of medication, enough to kill the patient, if taken, including but not limited to Loratab, Ambien, Valium and Oxycodone."

For his part, Cuzalina sent Thakkar a form stating, " … you are considered mentally unstable. Because of your ongoing threats and harassment against my staff, my practice and me personally …" He declined to issue a further statement, citing patient confidentiality.



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