Doctors told Local 10 News when it comes to going under the knife, some doctors are not always what they seem.
Courtney Richel-Howie told Local 10’s Amy Viteri she got her first breast augmentation in 2005 at Strax Rejuvenation Center in Lauderhill.
She said she chose the clinic in part for their affordable rates, but two procedures left her with implants so large her breasts were disfigured, with stitches that weren’t holding.
“The tissue under the first layer of skin is coming out of my breasts,” she said.
She said Dr. Roger Gordon offered to stitch her back up but nothing further. For years she said she dealt with back pain and was unable to wear certain clothing because of visible marks from her surgery.
“It was horrible,” she said. “They looked horrible.”
Though Richel-Howie didn’t know at the time, Gordon had already been disciplined by the state and sued over patient deaths while he worked at a previous clinic.
At Strax, records show the discipline and lawsuits continued over patients who suffered complications or died.
The CEO of Strax Rejuvenation Jeff Davis spoke with Local 10 News by phone. He said the center terminated its relationship with Gordon around 2010 following the death of another patient.
Since then Davis said the center has had fewer incidents of issues involving patients and works with doctors with the best qualifications.
In June of this year, Richel-Howie, now a mother of two, finally had her breasts repaired after several more botched surgeries.
She saw board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Rubinstein, who warns when it comes to a doctor’s qualifications, looks can be deceiving.
“Most of the time what’s being presented to you is at best misleading and sometimes just a bold-faced lie,” Rubinstein said.
The doctor has often posted on social media, answering patient questions and calling out doctors he says misrepresent themselves and their backgrounds.
The question he says patients should ask: Is the doctor board certified in plastic surgery? Here’s why: Florida law allows any doctor to do any procedure as long as they have a patient’s permission.