Botched butt job patient asks PRC to revoke Belo license

Posted at 10/26/09 11:32 PM

Photos courtesy of the Belo Medical Group and the patient's lawyer, Atty. Argee Guevarra.

MANILA - A woman who suffered injuries allegedly from a failed butt augmentation procedure is urging the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to revoke the licenses of cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo and 4 other doctors from the Belo Medical Group (BMG).

The complainant, Josefina P. Norcio, 40, said she suffered complications from two butt augmentation procedures performed by BMG doctors in 2003 and 2005.

In a complaint filed before the PRC, Norcio urged that the following doctors be stripped of their licenses: Belo, Filipino Buñag Jr., Tony del Rio, Francis Decangchon, and Ronaldo Cayetano.

Cayetano performed the butt augmentation procedure on Norcio in 2003. In 2005, Decangchon, an obstetric-gynecologist, corrected assymetry that resulted from Norcio's previous surgery under Cayetano.

Both doctors are no longer affiliated with the BMG.


On May 11, 2009, Norcio started feeing intense pain and swelling in her buttocks, later found to be caused by hydrogel implants inserted into her buttocks during the butt augmentation procedures.

Norcio said Belo had personally examined her in 2003 and assured her that hydrogel was safe.

The material, which has not been certified by the Food and Drug Administration (formerly Bureau of Food and Drugs), had reportedly seeped into other parts of Norcio's body, nearly causing her death.

Hydrogel, composed of 97.5% water, is banned from the US, Europe, and China over safety issues.

Atty. Trixie Angeles, Norcio's lawyer, said they have filed formal complaints against the BMG doctors on several counts.

These include estafa, medical malpractice, reckless imprudence resulting in injuries, and violations to the Consumer Act since Belo failed to guarantee the safety of the hydrogel implants.

In a previous statement, Norcio's other counsel Atty. Argee Guevarra, had also accused the BMG of allowing unlicensed surgeons to perform surgeries on Belo patients.

He said that out of 70 to 80 doctors under the BMG, there are only 2 licensed surgeons.

Deceiving patients?

Josie Norcio appears before members of the press on Monday, almost 5 months after she first complained of an alleged botched butt job.

Norcio said she had to undergo 6 additional surgeries after infections caused by the hydrogel implants caused her buttocks to swell to 3 times its original size. She said she also has difficulty walking.

"I will make sure that Dr. Vicki Belo and the BMG will stop deceiving patients like me," Norcio said in a press conference on Monday.

Norcio's camp alleged that the BMG refused to issue Norcio's medical records when she asked for it.

Meanwhile, Buñag - assistant medical director of the BMG - argued that there is a discrepancy between the condition of Norcio's buttocks after her surgeries in 2003 and 2005, and her condition in 2009.

Since Norcio's infection came almost 4 years after the surgeries were performed, Buñag alleged that other "supervening events" may have occurred within that time.

"You can see the difference from the post-operative picture of 2005 that the size and shape [are different.] So we would really think and feel that in the intervening years, someone might have touched it," he said.

Atty. Adel Tamano, a BMG lawyer, added that Norcio's camp had previously asked for a P200 million settlement before they filed the series of complaints against Belo and her team.

The results of a National Bureau of Investigation probe into the case are expected to be released this week. Report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News. With reports from Kristine Servando, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak.