Hospital is raided over suspicion of ghost surgery

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Hospital is raided over suspicion of ghost surgery

A plastic surgery hospital in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, has been raided following suspicions that ghost surgery was performed by an unauthorized substitute surgeon on a 19-year-old girl who lapsed into a coma.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said on Friday that they raided the Grand Plastic Surgery Hospital with a warrant on Nov. 12 to search for evidence of a ghost surgery, surgery performed by an unauthorized substitute surgeon without the patient’s permission, after injecting a patient with anaesthetic.

The hospital aroused suspicion of being involved in ghost surgery after a teenage girl lapsed into a coma while she was having plastic surgery on her eyes and nose at the hospital in December 2013.

Although the hospital denied the accusation and accused the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons in March this year of spreading false information, the prosecution continued to investigate the claim.

Following the incident, an organization to eradicate ghost surgery was created in March by Consumers Korea, founded to protect consumer rights, and the Korea Alliance of Patients Organization. The organization has received reports of illegal medical practices.

The prosecution also announced that it collected related materials, such as the record of plastic surgery treatments performed by the hospital. It said it will focus on investigating whether ghost surgery was responsible for the 19-year-old girl falling into a coma.

“The prosecution raided the hospital with the warrant in order to secure more evidence, as the police forwarded the case to us in September to indict Yoo Sang-wook, president of the hospital,” an official from the prosecutors’ office said.

The prosecution is investigating Yoo, who is suspected of opening another hospital. Medical law stipulates that medical personnel cannot run more than one medical facility and work there.

The Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons said in 1983, the Supreme Court of New Jersey had punished an individual for performing ghost surgery on a patient. “The United States clearly specifies that a ghost surgery is an illegal medical practice,” they said.

BY LEE YOU-JEONG AND YOON JEONG-MIN [koo.yurim@joongang.co.kr]

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