A Florida administrative law judge has concluded that Dr. Osak Omulepu committed medical malpractice for what went wrong in 2015 while he performed Brazilian Butt Lifts on two women in Miami.
The recommended order comes more than two months after a medical malpractice hearing on complaints from four women who say they were injured during plastic surgery procedures performed by Omulepu in spring 2015. Administrative Law Judge Mary Creasy issued a decision Friday that said the state proved six of the nine counts Omulepu faced alleging violations of standard of care and not documenting medical records properly. She recommended Omulepu face a fine and probation.
But for Nyosha Fowler, who spent 28 days in a coma, the news of the recommended order was received with mixed emotions.
“I guess some justice feels better than not justice at all,” said Fowler, 37.
Fowler and Donna McRae are two of the women who testified during the hearing. They say their organs were punctured during cosmetic procedures on the same day in May 2015.
Searching for a bigger backside, Fowler, the mother of two boys, traveled from Michigan to Miami to have the popular BBL procedure done.
“I was at the hospital for four months for an experience that was supposed to be an in-and-out procedure,” Fowler told NBC 6 Investigators in October.
Her mother, Rosaland Durham, testified she confronted Omulepu at the hospital where her daughter was taken after surgery. According to Creasy’s decision, Durham said he “admitted that he messed up and suggested that his instrument cuts through muscle and fat like butter and may have contributed to the perforation.”
The order also says that Omulepu “pushed the cannula at an inappropriate angle through a thick layer of muscle called the abdominal wall. A surgeon is required to operate with a level of skill and care to be able to discern between subcutaneous fat and muscle tissue while passing the cannula through the patient.”
A cannula is a thin-long metal rod attached to a suctioning device, used to remove fat from a patient.
In a Brazilian Butt Lift, fat is taken from the stomach or back in a liposuction procedure and is then injected into the patient’s backside, leaving the appearance of a larger, firmer behind.
Fowler was admitted at a local hospital and doctors found she had a hole in her colon, which was leaking fluid into her abdominal cavity, records said.
After Donna McRae underwent the BBL procedure on May 15, 2015, she says she experienced extreme pain that wouldn’t go away. McRae was admitted to Westchester Hospital. During exploratory surgery, surgeons found she had several punctures in her liver as well as damage to her chest and abdominal wall, documents show.
“I’m still dealing with the effects of the surgery, emotionally and physically,” McRae’s said during an interview in October.
The judge found the evidence presented at the hearing proved allegations that Omulepu damaged McRae’s and Fowler’s organs during the surgeries.
“Petitioner demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the puncture of the patients’ internal organs was the result of the respondent’s violation of the standard of care and improper angling of the cannula during the procedures,” the recommended order said.
Creasy recommended two years probation, a reprimand for medical record violations and a fine of $14,000 plus costs.
Attorney Monica Felder Rodriguez, who represents Omulepu, said in an email, she was pleased that not all the allegations were proven and that the recommended penalty allows Omulepu to continue to practice medicine.
“However, we believe that the judge improperly allowed evidence in this case and made findings regarding facts that were not in the complaint, as well as making other procedural errors which affected Dr. Omulepu’s right to due process, and we will be filing exceptions to the findings with the Board of Medicine, who will be issuing a Final Order in this case (as the judge’s opinion is only a recommended order),” she wrote.
Both sides have 15 days to submit their objections before the order goes in front of the Florida Board of Medicine.
The board of medicine will take those into consideration before taking a vote to accept the order or make any changes.
Both Fowler and McRae hoped Omulepu would lose his medical license.
Even so, Fowler is determined to follow her case until the end. She’s planning to travel to Florida when the state board of medicine votes in her case.
“I’ll be there,” Fowler said.