Dentist Faces Malpractice Charges After Allegedly Botching Breast Reduction Surgery and Killing Another Patient

thumb_doctor_1It is hard to know where to begin with this case. A woman goes to a dentist for a breast reduction and is shocked that he botched the job. The unnamed woman is suing dental surgeon Thomas Laney of Seattle for a surgery done on her when she was 15 years old. Laney has faced a series of 10 malpractice lawsuits, including one alleging a wrongful death.


The woman, now 18, was a high school athlete who needed the reduction so not to hamper her ability to play sports.

The family’s expert has detailed how Laney violated “the standard of care” by allegedly mismarking the woman’s breasts post-op and by placing her nipples “cross-eyed” and left her with deformed breasts.

The obvious question is why oral surgeon’s are doing breast surgery in Washington. Under the common law, they will be held to the standard of a proper cosmetic surgeon in these lawsuits. The board will have to address his license and training problems. I must confess, however, some curiosity as to how a family could decided to take their daughter for major surgery by a dentist. Did they also ask him to re-build their car engine? In most states such surgery outside of your specialty would be a potential criminal act.

For the full story, click here.

17 thoughts on “Dentist Faces Malpractice Charges After Allegedly Botching Breast Reduction Surgery and Killing Another Patient”

  1. While I’m not defending this doctor, he claims to be a board certified physician in plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as a dentist. He claims he has an M.D. in addition to his D.D.S.

    Professor Turley doesn’t seem to have mentioned this. Is that becasue (1) it isn’t true; (2) Prof. Turley didn’t know of Dr. Laney’s claims; or (3) Prof. Turley knew of Dr. Laney’s claims and decided it would ruin a good story?

  2. Does anyone know if breast reduction pills actually work? I’m really thinking about giving this a try before doing surgery.

  3. Patty C

    And dentists take care of teeth; they don’t do breast implants.

    I take it that you have little to no sense of humor

  4. Well then, you might like to know ‘general’ surgeons do breast surgery, not ‘gynos’…

  5. Patty C

    I was being sarcastic. I was referring to the stupidity of someone who would go to their dentist for breast implants.

    I am not trying to bring up sexual assaults of women who recieved dental care while knocked out with some drug, as you are trying to

  6. Great. Does this mean that my dentist is not a licensed gyno like he siad he was? I’ve been fooled again.

  7. Mespo,
    Taking a “whack at it” is just what this dentist did! I am amazed that Washington and other states allow this. I guess their thinking is let the buyer beware.

  8. I hate stories like this.

    http://www.aaoms.org/treatments.php

    mespo, I don’t doubt that any DDM/DDS can do some minor procedures, but someone who also specializes in maxillofacial surgery, an MD, is often a better bet with complex cosmetic procedures.

    The truth is any MD can legally hang out any shingle with a current license. That doesn’t mean he/she is skilled at what they are doing, either.

    That’s why it’s wise for patients to do some homework besides the basics. Ask, ‘how many of these procedures have you done?’, and ‘what is your success rate?’ etc.

    If the answers are ‘over 50 times’ and ‘95%’, and verifiable, it’s probably ‘OK’. Never hurts to do some research on your own, and get
    a second opinion, though.

    Surgery is serious business – there’s no going back once it’s done.

  9. In Virginia, we have DMD’s performing facial cosmetic surgery all the time and advertising for it. This doesn’t seem like such a big leap to me for the parents to rely on the purported skill of the dentist who is licensed by the State. According to the article, Washington State permits dentists to perform full body cosmetic surgery with proper certification based on residency or fellowship. Our cross-eyed dentist here apparently didn’t have that but did have some sporadic classes which in his mind allowed him to “take a whack at it.”

  10. what are cross eyed nipples anyway? Do nipples have eyes? Maybe her parents are going to take her to see the optician for that.

  11. “A woman goes to a dentist for a breast reduction and…”

    Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

    A woman goes to a dentist for a breast reduction and … the dentist says “Finally, something I can really sink my teeth into.”

  12. Doesn’t everyone visit a dentist or oral surgeon for their necessary cosmetic surgery?? Is this legal in Washington? If it is, isn’t this the evidence why that is a bad idea. Was this dentist licensed for this? How was this guy advertising or promoting his ability to do breast reduction surgery? Finally, were these parents crazy to bring their daughter to a surgeon who was not trained for this area of medicine? Wow.

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