The Texas Medical Board fined a North Texas doctor and restricted his license, but his former patients say he got off too easy.
Two women went to Dr. Hector Oscar Molina for cosmetic procedures in 2011. They both ended up at Baylor Hospital with serious complications. Complaints were filed with the board. Now, both women question who the Texas Medical Board is really protecting.
"I love you mom," said Monica Moreno.
It's been a rough year for Moreno and her family but she is relieved to be spending this Christmas at home.Last year, the 29-year-old spent the holidays at Baylor Hospital fighting complications from cosmetic surgery.
She paid Dr. Molina $8,000 for breast implants and an arm lift, but days after her surgery her wounds were infected. Doctors at Baylor had to remove the implants. She spent months at the hospital and in rehabilitation.
"These scars are not going away," said Moreno pointing to her arm. "This is not going to change. I have to look at it every morning. My feeling in my hand is still not there."
One year after Moreno's operation, Dr. Molina and the Texas Medical Board met and struck a deal. The patients were not invited to speak. By law, that's the way the board operates. In fact, the patients are not even named in the November 30th Agreed Order.
The agreement states, Dr. Molina admitted "the patient was not a good candidate for the surgery" and "he had no formal training in plastic surgery or liposuction." The board found, the surgery took "over 17 hours, the surgical suite was not sterile," and he "used Chinese breast implants that were not approved by the FDA." The board states that "put the patient at risk." As a result, "the patient was hospitalized for 25 days with life-threatening conditions."
Dr. Molina agreed he will not engage in surgery for one year and not prescribe controlled substances. He will complete 24 hours of continuing education, pass a Medical Jurisprudence Exam and pay a $1,000 fine.
"I was shocked. I think it was a slap on the wrist," said Moreno. "I think he, himself should have had more repercussions for his actions."
"It is like the board is telling him that what he did it was okay, that it was okay that my daughter almost died and it was okay," said Moreno's mother, Frances Sandoval.
Across town, Irma Carabajal LeCroy is learning to take life one step at a time. Just getting to the mailbox is a struggle.
Nearly two years ago, LeCroy was rushed to Baylor Hospital's emergency room after Dr. Molina performed a Brazilian butt lift, a liposuction and fat transfer procedure. Her family filed a complaint with the board and in a lawsuit, she claims she suffered a "massive infection" that required "multiple surgeries." She is now "permanently disabled and disfigured." Molina has denied the allegations in the lawsuit and did not return our calls this week.
"I am very disappointed in what they decided," said LeCroy. "I wish they could see me. I wish they could see me for a week."
But did the board even consider LeCroy or Moreno's complaints? That is where it gets confusing because complaints are all kept secret.
Last April, the board placed temporary restrictions on Molina's license saying he performed an "extensive liposuction procedure" that involved a fat transfer "without adequate training." It says the procedure lasted nine hours. But the Agreed Order involves a 17 hour operation with a patient who had Chinese breast implants.
So were either of these women's complaints investigated? When we questioned the board, a spokeswoman told us there were two patients but typically a complaint is rolled into another one.
But the Agreed Order specifically states in writing, both the temporary restriction and this order "originate from the same event" and "both orders involve the same patient."
It leaves these two women questioning what and who did the board really investigate.
"They really are not looking out for the patient or the people but for themselves and their group, the doctors," said Moreno.
When Fox 4 asked for further clarification from the board, spokeswoman Leigh Hopper said "the orders have to speak for themselves. Sorry. The conclusions of law as well as the requirements of the order are unambiguous and articulate the board's goal of protecting patients."
One of the patients emailed the board asking for an explanation. One complaint involved her but she got no response from the board.
Dr. Molina was also disciplined by the Texas Medical Board in 2004. He was ordered to pay $25,000 for prescribing controlled substances and dangerous drugs over the Internet. Fox 4 tried reaching Dr. Molina by phone and email. He did not respond.
KDFW FOX 4
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