17 Investigation Follow-up: Local doctor offers to help plastic surgery patient
Last week on 17News we told you about a local woman who says a Bakersfield plastic surgeon butchered her body. For more than a year, Louise Lopez has lived the scars and the pain. But a local doctor has come forward, and offered to help her... for free.
After watching a story about Lopez on 17 News, the doctor says he knew he had to help. So we told her to meet us at his office and let the doctor deliver the news.
“I saw your situation on TV and I thought this is something I could help you with. So I am going to put you in our ‘Beautologie Helps Program’ and have you be our case for this month… We are going to take care of all your surgeon fees, your surgery cost to do this, okay?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, thank you so much,” Lopez replied as she wiped away tears.
For the Bakersfield woman, tears of pain and suffering, turned into tears of joy.
“I don't need money, I’m okay. I just want to be fixed. For this doctor to step up, I feel like I have this relief that has been lifted off of me,” Lopez said.
17 News reported on Lopez last week when she told us local plastic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Birnbaum left her physically and emotionally scarred after a tummy tuck and breast augmentation.
Lopez says she developed a capsule in her left breast, her left arm went numb, and Birnbaum refused to help.
But Dr. Darshan Shah offered his services... free of charge.
“As soon as I saw her, I said, well I could definitely help her,” Dr. Shah said.
And since our story aired, more people have contacted 17 News to say Dr. Birnbaum butchered their bodies.
Deidre Atkinson, 47, says she went under the doctor's knife six years ago for a tummy tuck. She says the scars never healed and her belly button is still disfigured.
“He told me… it's because I’m African-American and that's the way our skin stretches. And I thought wow; other people who have had the surgery didn't look like that.” Atkinson said.
Anyone can obtain information from the Medical Board about whether a physician is currently licensed in California and whether any action has been taken against his or her license. You can call them at 1-800-633-2322 or look-up a doctor at http://www.medbd.ca.gov/lookup.html.