Man charged for performing lipo without license

December 23, 2011 9:05:38 PM PST
A man posing as a physician's assistant is under arrest. He had no medical license and no business performing surgery, but authorities in San Francisco say that is exactly what he was doing -- operating on unsuspecting patients.

Authorities filed several charges on Friday against Carlos Guzmangarza, including identity theft and performing invasive medical procedures without a license, including liposuction.

This is a man who had a clinic in the Mission, had the equipment to perform liposuction procedures, and passed out business cards offering deals on cosmetic procedures like liposuction and Botox treatments.

Dressed in an orange jump suit, Carlos Guzman, also known as Carlos Guzmangarza was led into court and right back out again after his court appointed attorney waved his right to an appearance.

Guzman had an office in the Mission Market Building, at 2588 Mission Street, in San Francisco's Mission District. A janitor said she saw maybe five patients a week coming and going. One of them was a Daly City woman who told prosecutors about her liposuction procedure at Guzman's clinic.

"When he started the procedure she said, 'Do you have an assistant with you?' and he said, 'No, you're my assistant today,' and she was holding her own IV. He smoked a cigar during the procedure and as the district attorney said there was an incident where some of her fat fell on the floor and he bent over and picked that up," said Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron.

A few days after the surgery, Guzman showed up at the woman's house with what he said was six pounds of fat that was removed during the liposuction, and dumped it down her toilet.

The woman developed a serious infection and eventually had to have reconstructive surgery with a real doctor. The District Attorney George Gascon says Guzman got his patients by offering cut rate deals.

"First of all if the price your being quoted is significantly less than the price that your getting from other professionals around, that should be red flag. Generally there are no free rides," said Gascon.

The price that Guzman quoted for liposuction and an eye lift was reportedly $3,000, according to court documents. Guzman is being held in jail until next Tuesday, when he'll be formally charged with four counts of practicing medicine without a license, as well as grand theft, and felony assault. His bail set at $750,000.

Guzman also treated the victim's daughter for acne with a series of injections of an unknown substance in her face, prosecutors said.

Neighbors in the Mission District say Guzman introduced himself as a doctor, with a medical degree from Mexico, but was practicing here as a physician's assistant.

"We know that this is not a unique case. We know in this particular case we know there are probably many other victims," said Gascon.

The district attorney wants to find those victims. Right now, Guzman is charged with felonies stemming from just one complaint, and he's looking at 12 years if he's convicted.

The district attorney would like to hear from anyone with information about Carlos Guzman or Carlos Guzman Garza.

Anyone else who may have been treated by Guzmangarza at his clinic is encouraged to call investigator Douglas Becker of the state Medical Board at (408) 437-3680 or Lt. Carlos Sanchez with the district attorney's office at (415) 551-9500.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


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