The year is only about two months old and already another cosmetic surgeon has been arrested. This time it was a California plastic surgeon from Tracy who was charged with inappropriately touching several female patients.
In the case, 46-year-old Dr. Peter Chi of Beauty Renewed in Tracy, reportedly molested seven or more patients between September 2007 and December 2008. The attacks happened while the patients were undergoing surgery or during post-op exams, according to police.
In most of the cases, the women were unconscious as the alleged abuse happened. Some were told there would be touching for professional reasons.
Police said that Cogburn had been under suspicion since September 2007 when a victim reported the cosmetic surgeon. However, at that time, they didn’t feel they had enough evidence to prosecute.
The Medical Board of California worked with the local police, joining them in the investigation and providing them with technical assistance when they needed it.
Stories like this are of particular concern to women going in for intimate procedures such as a labiaplasty or vaginoplasty. If a doctor cannot be trusted to ethically work on a person’s face or stomach, how much more likely are they to be abusive when dealing with the area of the woman’s vagina! For this reason, stories like this, and the dozen or so others that are exposed each year, should remind women yet again not to treat the selection of a surgeon for your labiaplasty or vaginoplasty lightly.
First, give strong consideration to hiring a female surgeon. However, there are many perfectly fine and ethical males in the field. So beyond that, consider it a priority to try to talk with patients who have hired that surgeon in the past. Find out their experiences. Also, speak with many of the staff at the facility where he works. And of course, make sure he’s properly credentialed. These steps will help you avoid becoming the next newspaper headline.