Del Mar plastic surgeon facing serious allegations from state medical board

Paul Chasan in middle of administration hearing

SAN DIEGO - A prominent Del Mar plastic surgeon faces serious allegations from the California state medical board.

Team 10 interviewed Dr. Paul Chasan in 2006 for a story about women replacing saline breast implants with silicone ones.

"There really hasn't been a device on earth studied more than saline breast implants," said Chasan during a 2006 interview.

Six years later, he was not as willing to talk.

"I just feel like it's not a good thing right now," he told Team 10 Troubleshooter Cristin Severance.

Chasan is in the middle of an administrative hearing after the medical board filed a complaint against him.

The complaint alleges he allowed his son and mother of his son inside the operating room during surgical procedures, re-used sutures from patient to patient, told patients about procedures he had done on other patients using their first and last names and possessed and smoked marijuana between July 2005 and May 2006.

At a hearing Tuesday, a patient who said Chasan told her about an intimate surgery done on another patient testified. Chasan's attorney, Robert Frank, called her memory of the events into question.

The medical board also called an expert to the stand to talk about the allegations on the medical procedures. Frank questioned the expert's credentials.

Though Chasan would not talk, his attorney released the following statement to Team 10:

"Dr. Chasan is a well-respected leader in the plastic surgery community whose articles have been accepted by the most prestigious journals in the field of plastic surgery on subjects such as breast revision surgery, lip enhancement procedures and he has with exceptional success performed these procedures on many patients, perhaps more than any other plastic surgeon in San Diego.  There is no evidence in this Medical Board case that any patients suffered infections as a result from any unsanitary, unsterilized procedures performed on patients and Dr. Chasan's rate of infection complications for procedures done at his certified, government agency inspected and approved surgery center is one of the lowest in the community among plastic surgeons. The one patient whose care is at issue in this matter suffered a well-known and unfortunately unpreventable capsular contracture complication after breast augmentation with average size silicone implants, a complication all plastic surgeons have had with patients and which is unrelated to the size or type of implants used.  Dr Chasan is an ethical, dedicated, highly-respected plastic surgeon who never has exploited his physician-patient relationships with patients and yesterday the judge hearing this matter dismissed all charges against him in this regard so such charges are not part of the hearing taking place now."

In the complaint, there were allegations that Chasan had sex with patients but a judge dismissed all of the allegations relating to sex.

The hearing is supposed to end by Friday. The judge then has 30 days to write a proposed decision. The medical board can adopt that decision, adopt it with changes or send the case back for more testimony.

Chasan could lose his license, be put on probation or all the charges could be dropped.

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