Man without a nose files lawsuit against Tulsa plastic surgeon
A New York man living in Tulsa went to get a nose job with a well-established Tulsa plastic surgeon and five years later does not have a nose.
Vishal Thakkar got a divorce and in 2006i he admittedly made a vain decision.
"I decided to do something selfish," said Thakkar, sitting in his attorney's office in South Tulsa.
Dr. Angelo Cuzalina is known across Green County for his plastic surgery. The Oklahoma Medical Board does not show any complaints in his history. He is listed as president of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
"I had the first surgery and suffered some breathing problems, nothing too bad, but it made it hard to exercise and sleep," said Thakkar.
He went back, again and again. Between 2006 and 2007 he had eight surgeries. He then left Tulsa until 2011 and came back for more surgeries. He had several infections. Finally, during a surgery, Thakkar says Cuzalina cut off his nose.
"He told me that there was an infection in there and since I was on the operating table and unconscious he had to make the decision," said Thakkar.
Before another surgery, Thakkar told FOX23 News he told Cuzalina a nurse and the doctor's office manager, to not take anything from his ears, like cartilage for the surgery he was about to have.
"I woke up with pain behind my ear and I said to the nurses, what part of 'Under no circumstances do not touch my ears, do you not understand?'" said Thakkar.
Later, Thakkar said, Cuzalina emailed him.
"In the email he apologized,” he said.
During another surgery, Thakkar said the doctor ran out of ear cartilage.
"So he cut into my rib cage for cartilage, I didn't know it then, but I do not believe he is licensed for that kind of surgery!"
"By the time I am able to breathe without pain and have a human-looking nose, I will have had 30 surgeries on my face thanks to Angelo Cuzalina."
He has spoken to other plastic surgeons.
"There is no way I am going to live like this. It is worse than being dead. Other surgeons told me that, Vishal, your case is so bad it is unheard of, you must be treated by someone at the top of this field,” said Thakkar.
On August 31st, 2012 Cuzalina sent Thakkar a form stating he will no longer work on him, "… you are considered medically unstable. Because of your ongoing threats and harassment against my staff, my practice, and me personally…” the statement read.
It was around this time Thakkar told FOX23 News, he learned Cuzalina was recording their audio and video without letting Thakkar know that was happening during his visits to the office.
The lawsuit filed by Thakkar's attorney, Paul Boudreaux states:
"During this period, and in violation of plaintiff’s medical confidentiality and privileges, Cuzalina hired private investigators and attorneys, and secured hidden audio and video recordings of Plaintiff without Plaintiff's permission or knowledge, in violation of the law and Plaintiff's reasonable expectations of privacy."
“In December of 2011, in the medical record he (Dr. Cuzalina) wrote I am suicidal, but at the same time the medication he is giving me it could easily kill a couple human beings," said Thakkar.
The lawsuit details those drugs:
".. prescribed an excessive amount of medication, enough to kill the patient, if taken, including but not limited to Loratab, Ambien, Valilum, and Oxycodone."
"I have more than 3,000 injections, pain pills and stuff so my liver is pretty much fried," said Thakkar.
FOX23 News learned of Thakkar's story on Friday and called to interview with Cuzalina's attorney, Tim Best. After a few conversations, Best said they are not comfortable doing an interview because they need a signed medical release to speak about Thakkar's medical history