Lipo clinic charged with woman’s death
Businesswoman Nory Bobadilla flew to Manila all the way from her hometown in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental province, to undergo a breakthrough, less invasive liposuction procedure.
The 43-year-old mother wanted to surprise her partner and five children with a slimmer figure.
But on July 4, her daughter Sara (not her real name) was informed by a caller that her mother was comatose at the intensive care unit of Parañaque Doctors Hospital, after undergoing surgery at Contours Advanced Face and Body Sculpting Institute on Paseo de Magallanes in Makati City.
Bobadilla never regained consciousness and died around 6 p.m. on July 8.
“I believe there’s negligence on the part of the doctors who did the liposuction procedure on my mother,” Sara said in her sworn affidavit. “She was very healthy before the surgery.”
On Thursday, the Makati police filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Claudine Roura and anesthesiologist Dr. Katrina Bulseco in the city prosecutor’s office.
According to Police Maj. Gideon Ines, Makati police investigation section chief, Bobadilla first went to the clinic on June 26.
She paid P410,000 in cash for two procedures: Vaser liposuction to trim the fat in her abdomen, arms and back, as well as a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty or surgery for the removal of excess skin and fat in the abdomen).
Traditional liposuction involves the repeated insertion of a cannula (a thin, hollow stainless steel tube) through small incisions to break up fat cells in the body.
On the other hand, Vaser (Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy and Resonance) uses ultrasound to break up the fat in a gentler manner, without the use of a cannula.
Before the procedure, Bobadilla underwent several tests, including an electrocardiogram, and the results were all normal.
However, the operation initially scheduled that same day was called off when she “felt discomfort and was unable to move her body” after being given spinal anesthesia.
Without the knowledge of her relatives, the victim returned to the clinic on July 3.
Medical records obtained by the Inquirer showed that Bobadilla was admitted for the tummy tuck procedure at 1 p.m. after the results of another round of tests were all normal.
At 3 p.m., the spinal anesthesia was administered to the victim by Bulseco. Some 45 minutes later, Bobadilla was already intubated when she suffered “hypoxia (deficiency in the level of oxygen reaching tissues), bradycardia (slow heart rate at less than 60 beats per minute), and hypotension (low blood pressure).”
When her pulse rate dropped to zero, she had to be revived through cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The clinic called for an ambulance which took her to Parañaque Doctors Hospital, some 8 kilometers away.
Sara noted that there were many hospitals that were closer, adding: “If [my mom] had only been transferred to a hospital much faster, she would still be alive today.”
Autopsy results pending
As of Thursday, the police were still awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the victim’s cause of death.
The clinic’s counsel, Pulido & Tiamson Law Offices, declined to comment on the issue. But in a letter to the Makati police, their lawyers questioned the “warrantless arrest” of Roura and Bulseco on July 5 at a fastfood restaurant in Magallanes.
Ines, however, said the doctors were just “invited” to the police station for questioning and later released.
On Thursday, the Makati business permit and licensing office ordered the clinic shut after it was found to have been delinquent in the payment of business taxes since 2012. —WITH A REPORT FROM AIZAM UMAL
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