Plastic surgeon who was suspended twice, including for botched boob job, is finally struck off after carrying out illicit cosmetic surgery during the coronavirus lockdown
A plastic surgeon who was suspended twice in seven years following complaints about his treatment of patients has finally been struck off after he was caught carrying out illicit cosmetic surgery during the Covid lockdown.
Dr Ashish ‘Ash’ Dutta was found guilty of serious professional misconduct after he performed three private operations for cash, despite assuring regulators no such procedures would be carried out during the pandemic to avoid spreading the virus.
The operations included the removal of a cyst from one person, two lesions from another and a mole from a third between June 23 and July 15, 2020. Dutta admitted carrying out the procedures but claimed he did not believe they were ‘surgical’.
Dutta, 60 – once famed for offering ‘lunchtime lipo suctions’ – had previously been suspended for 12 months in 2012 over a botched boob job on a businesswoman, which left her needing four operations to fix the damage.
And in 2019 he was suspended again for nine months over claims he offered a £600 discount to a patient in a bid to ‘pressurise’ her into undergoing breast augmentation surgery the following week – but he was cleared on appeal.
Dr Ashish ‘Ash’ Dutta was found guilty of serious professional misconduct after he performed three illicit private operations during the Covid lockdown
Dutta, 60 – who once became famed for offering ‘lunchtime lipo suctions’ – had previously been suspended for 12 months in 2012 over a botched boob job
The latest illicit procedures were discovered during a separate investigation into other cosmetic procedures carried out by Dutta before the pandemic which left patients suffering medical episodes – as it emerged he had also carried out work despite regulatory restrictions on his practise.
A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was told he had also lied about the condition of one patient who was left needing CPR after suffering a cardiac arrest on the operating table.
Dutta, who runs his Aesthetic Beauty Centre clinics from Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne with his wife Wendy, has been ordered to have his name erased from the medical register after being found guilty of serious professional misconduct.
Inquiries by the Care Quality Commission found he was operating outside the terms of a Dormancy Notice banning him for carrying out procedures and lied about carrying out ‘Brazilian butt lifts’ while subject to other conditions on his practise.
MPTS chairman Mr Gerry Wareham told the Manchester hearing: ‘Dr Dutta appears to have a deep seated attitudinal problem and has demonstrated a repeated willingness to step outside regulation. On repeated occasions he has demonstrated a tendency to seek to find a way around restrictions rather than adhering to them.
‘His misconduct put his own interests ahead of the interests of patients and the wider public and he thereby put patients at risk of harm. He has demonstrated a persistent disregard for regulation and restrictions which had been imposed to promote patient safety and the intent of his actions was to avoid complying with regulations and therefore undermine safeguards. ‘
He added: ‘Dr Dutta purposefully gave misleading information in an attempt to circumvent the frameworks put in place for patient safety. Based on the evidence received, the Tribunal could only conclude it was done for personal interests and financial gain. If permitted to practise, he would present a risk to patient safety.’
Dr Dutta qualified in Calcutta in 1988 and, after moving to the UK, he worked in hospitals for 10 years in a variety of specialisms before becoming a full-time GP in 1996. He opened two private cosmetic surgery clinics in Sunderland and Newcastle in 2000 and 2004.
In 2019 Dutta was suspended again for nine months over claims he offered a £600 discount to a patient in a bid to ‘pressurise’ her into undergoing breast augmentation surgery
The investigation began in 2019 after Dutta himself contacted the General Medical Council and tried to minimise the condition of a patient who developed heart problems whist undergoing surgery.
During the call he claimed the patient’s heart rate had ‘slowed down’ and did not stop – but NHS staff who subsequently treated him said the incident was ‘an extremely serious adverse event of a minor procedure’.
The CQC were alerted and later carried out an inspection at the ABC Newcastle clinic in 2020 – but Dutta lied to investigators claiming the patient did not have a cardiac arrest at ABC.
He also lied about undertaking other procedures despite written assurances in March of that year that no face-to-face consultations or surgical procedures would be carried out at the ABC clinics in Newcastle and Sunderland due to Covid.
Inquiries revealed on June 23 2020 Dutta carried out the removal of a cyst on Patient D then on June 30 2020 removed two lesions from Patient E and on July 15 removed a mole from Patient F. The illicit procedures also put him in breach of interim GMC conditions imposed the previous May which placed restrictions on his work whilst unsupervised.
Dutta admitted carrying out the procedures but claimed he did not appreciate the treatment was ‘surgical’.
His lawyer Mr Andrew Colman produced a recent patient satisfaction survey in which Dutta was described in ‘glowing terms.’ He said during the pandemic his client had immediately ‘put himself on the front line of the response,’ treated Covid positive patients and carried out house calls in full PPE at ‘considerable risk to his own health’.
He added: ‘The CQC has been in a protracted confrontation with Dr Dutta, to the extent it had made unwarranted claims that he was not qualified as a cosmetic surgeon or as any kind of surgeon at all. This was a ludicrous allegation from the CQC considering Dr Dutta’s roles as a trainer, an international examiner in cosmetic surgery and his training and development record.
‘Against this background Dr Dutta is at a loss to understand how he is now facing erasure and the termination of his long and valued career.’
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