DORAL, Florida. – New video from a body-worn camera obtained by Local 10 News shows the times City of Doral inspectors had to shut down a cosmetic surgery clinic in early March.
“You operate without a use and occupancy certificate. I have to close you. I have to shut this down,” the city building official told the owner of the Miami Aesthetic Center over the phone. Inspectors visited the facility after sources told Local 10 the city was tipped and found the entire facility renovated with no permits, fire inspections or licenses to even operate like a business.
Patients awaiting procedures inside the clinic located at 2001 NW 107th Ave. were ordered to evacuate, some of them in various stages of anesthesia.
Inspectors said the latest discovery followed a series of permit violations and ordered the business closed, declaring the building unsafe.
Video from a body-worn camera showed the lawyer representing the Carmen Gallardo clinic a few days later telling the building manager: “We must have more than forty doctors’ offices and this is the first time we have had a problem with that.”
The building manager explained, “When you open to the public, their assumption, the ordinary person thinks it’s already good, I’m going to be in a safe and sanitary building, etc. And we don’t have those conditions.”
Local 10 learned that it was not the only clinic with the same legal representation abruptly shut down by city inspectors. Prestige Aesthetic Center and Unique Aesthetics, located on Northwest 12th Street, were closed for similar violations.
“I mean, being 2022, people are having a hard time even opening a restaurant,” said one patient who asked not to be identified, “like, they just winged it.”
She told Local 10 News investigative reporter Amy Viteri that she was due to travel to Miami in late March for a Mommy Makeover procedure, which involves a tummy tuck, breast lift and implants at the Miami Aesthetic Center. But at that time, the clinic was closed. Despite the abrupt closure, she was told she could still have surgery, but at another clinic.
Her contact at the Miami Aesthetic Center referred her to Adore Plastic Surgery in Miramar where her surgery was scheduled with a new doctor, Manny Iyer, whose biography appears on both clinics’ websites.
“It kinda reminds me of like a puppy mill,” she said, “You know, like in the sense that they didn’t want to run out of money.”
Last minute emails only provided a mailing address telling him where to go for surgery. But when she arrived, she said she had a bad feeling.
“Like the moment I walked into that operating room, I felt this dead energy, where I am, I don’t feel safe,” she said.
Despite the mandatory closings, Local 10 has learned that the call center at some of these clinics is still booking patients and sending them for procedures at other South Florida clinics, some operating under different names. Call center workers said some of the procedures were taking place at Jolie Plastic Surgery on SW 8th Street, which from the outside appears vacant.
The patient confirmed that she visited Jolie for several postoperative visits after her surgery, “But the last time I noticed Jolie’s sign had been removed.”
“Once the Miami Aesthetic Center was closed, she was sent directly to Jolie Plastic Surgery for her postoperative care,” attorney Andres Beregovich explained, “So there must have been some sort of deal there. -low, you know, otherwise the same property”
Beregovich said he was representing two women who said they had booked surgery through the Miami Aesthetic Center and suffered serious complications.
“One of the ladies I represent, she had told me it looked like no one was in scrubs,” Beregovich added, “No medical staff were actually dressed to perform this procedure.”
The woman who spoke with Local 10 said she had to go to Broward Health’s emergency room after developing serious infections and sepsis following her surgery.
Documents she signed with the Miami Aesthetic Center show her doctor Manny Iyer says he does not have medical malpractice insurance. However, on his profile on the Florida Department of Health website, Iyer states that he has professional liability coverage of at least $250,000 per claim.
The woman told Local 10 that she now faces further surgery to fix what was not done correctly the first time around.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else, to have to go through this,” she said, “You really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”
Each of the clinics involved in this story is represented by the same law firm.
The law firm Gallardo released this statement:
Our firm currently represents Miami Aesthetic Center (also known as “Mac”), Unique Aesthetic Center and Prestige Aesthetic Center. In order to avoid further inconvenience to patients, during the closure clinics diligently made arrangements for most patients to proceed with their scheduled surgeries or issue refunds as per patient preference. and the different company policies followed by each clinic.
Additionally, each company is working with the City of Doral to resolve any outstanding issues in order to resume services as soon as possible.
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