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Doc Accused of Improper Office Surgery Has License Suspended

Connecticut regulators say physician lacked appropriate license and setup to perform plastic surgery.

Published: June 2, 2009

The Connecticut Medical Board voted unanimously to suspend the license of Efraim Gomez-Zapata, MD, as the family practice doctor faces charges that he lacked the proper licensing and qualifications to administer anesthesia and perform plastic surgery in his office.

Hearings began in early May on state charges that Dr. Gomez-Zapata performed plastic surgery without the appropriate licensing, staff, equipment, setup and hospital privileges needed in the event of an emergency during surgery. Two of four patients on whom he performed plastic surgery had to be rushed to the hospital with complications, the state alleges. Since the original charges were filed and hearing began, the state Department of Public Health has raised additional allegations that Dr. Gomez-Zapata tried to sidestep a cease and desist order barring him from performing surgeries under moderate or deep sedation by advertising and performing liposuction under local anesthesia only, a move regulators say violates standards.

The physician’s attorney, John J. Evans, says Dr. Gomez-Zapata did not violate any laws by performing those procedures. "I informed my client that he can continue to do procedures in his office legally without an outpatient facility license as long as he does not use moderate or deep sedation. That’s the law."

With his medical license now suspended, Dr. Gomez-Zapata faces further hearings on the case scheduled for this month.

Irene Tsikitas

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