It was only when a Daly City woman got a severe infection shortly after receiving liposuction surgery that she knew something was fishy with her doctor.
Although, there were a few clues along the way.
For example, he smoked a cigar while operating and made her hold up her own IV bag during the procedure. Also, a couple days after her surgery, he showed up at her home with the six pounds of fat he had just removed from her body saying he needed help disposing of it.
Naturally, they flushed it down the toilet.
So goes the strange story of Carlos Guzmangarza, a 49-year old Bay Area resident who is now facing felony charges of practicing medicine without a license, identity theft and two counts of performing invasive medical procedures without a license.
Prosecutors allege Guzmangarza stole the identity of a physician's assistant with a similar name and began operating the Derma Clinic in San Francisco's Mission District under the auspices that the clinic was being run by an actual, if unseen, doctor.
Stephanie Ong Stillman, a spokesperson for the San Francisco District Attorney's office, told the San Francisco Chronicle that neither the doctor nor the physician's assistant were in any way affiliated with the clinic.
The Daly City woman, who the Los Angeles Times reported had to have corrective surgery to repair the damage done by Guzmangarza, also allowed him to give her daughter an injection for acne. It is unknown exactly what substance Guzmangarza shot into her face.
Guzmangarza's is facing up to 12 years in prison. His bail has been set at $750,000.
Anyone who believes they may have also been victimized by Guzmangarza should call Doug Becker at the Medical Board of California at (408) 437-3680 or Lt. Carlos Sanchez with the San Francisco DA's office at (415) 551-9500.
Update: At a press conference this morning, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said, "The defendant put lives at risk by performing medical procedures he was not licensed or qualified to perform...Impersonating a medical professional is a serious crime. My office will hold people accountable for endangering the lives of innocent people."
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