NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn doctor has been arrested after a woman died as a result of a liposuction procedure, prosecutors said.
Oleg Davie was charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the death of 51-year-old Isel Pineda.
Prosecutors said the procedure should never have been performed because Pineda had a heart transplant in 2004 and was on required medications that suppressed the immune system, putting her at risk for infection, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, prosecutors said Pineda informed the Ukraine-educated doctor of her medical issues prior to the procedure.
According to prosecutors, the doctor’s decision to go forward with an elective surgery was reckless and negligent.
Pineda went into cardiac arrest and died in the doctor’s Manhattan Beach office after a liposuction procedure on her thighs last May, Papa reported.
“Without ever contacting Ms. Pineda’s cardiologist,” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said at a news conference. “Ms. Pineda collapsed in Dr. Davie’s office.”
“But for the procedure, she should have lived,” Hynes added.
Following Pineda’s death, prosecutors allege that Dr. Davie tried to cover up the incident.
“Submitted an altered version of Ms. Pineda’s medical history,” Hynes told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
In Davie’s amended reports, authorities said all references to Pineda’s transplant and anti-rejection medications were removed.
“The documents, I suppose you could describe appropriately, as the smoking gun,” said Hynes.
“It is shameful that a medical professional would disregard his patient’s safety, putting her in serious danger. He will be held accountable for his actions,” Hynes said in a news release.
Pineda’s family was at Thursday’s news conference, reflecting on their loss.
“She enjoyed life even before the heart transplant,” said Pineda’s brother, Marni. “When I learned of my sister’s death, I was in shock. I was blown away.”
“She’d walk in a room and the music would stop,” Pineda’s ex-husband said.
The attorney for the physician said the so-called SmartLipo procedure is minimally invasive, with the patient awake.
“The autopsy has revealed that her transplanted heart was 97 percent occluded. That was the cause of her death,” defense attorney James DiPietro told CBS 2’s Slattery.
The DA quoted the patient’s cardiologist as saying she was tall and slender with no discernible body fat.
Davie had his medical practice restricted by the state in August 2011 due to past negligence, the DA’s office announced. He was fined and put on probation for that offense. In October of last year, Davie’s practice was suspended and he consequently surrendered his medical license.
The doctor surrendered his passport and was ordered held on $175,000 bond.
Davie could face up to 34 years in prison if convicted.
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