$5.1 Mill Awarded in Plastic Surgery Malpractice Case

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A woman whose plastic surgery operations by a Boardman doctor resulted in numerous infections and nerve damage was awarded $5.1 million by a jury.

Kelly Turkoly, of Glencoe, was awarded the money after an eight-day medical malpractice jury trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court against Boardman plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Gentile.

Turkoly suffered a MRSA staff infection, blurred vision and permanent forehead scarring after Gentile performed operations that were different from what Turkoly paid for. Court records say Gentile talked her into more procedures, never performed some operations and used a more dangerous form of a forehead lift that caused nerve damage and MRSA.

The jury awarded Turkoly $3.05 million for Gentile’s negligence, $2 million for medical battery and failing to obtain her consent to perform the operation and $50,000 to her husband, Frank, for losing his wife’s companionship and comfort as a result of the surgery.

“Hopefully, this jury’s verdict will cause other health care practitioners to think twice in the future before choosing to ignore medical standards of care and failing to obtain informed consent from their patients,” said Turkoly’s attorney Geoffrey Brown, of Wheeling W. Va., in a statement.

The complaint said Turkoly visited Gentile in January 2010 seeking aesthetic repairs to her upper eyelids and wrinkle removal underneath her eyes.

However, Gentile convinced Turkoly that to get the “complete” look, she needed other procedures, including an endoscopic forehead life, laser skin rejuvenation, botox injections and the original eyelid repairs.

Turkoly, court records say, paid $7,325 for the procedures, which took place March 12, 2010 at Gentile’s 6505 Market St. office.

When she woke up, she had large bandages on her thighs. During the next few days, records said, she noticed numbness from the top of her forehead to the crown of her scalp, blurred vision and boils on her face where the forehead lift occurred.

She later discovered Gentile performed a traditional forehead lift instead of the endoscopic lift, a safer procedure that makes a smaller incision. Turkoly had an “ear-to-ear” incision across her scalp following the procedure.

The larger incision caused nerve damage to Turkoly’s scalp and caused her to contract MRSA, which resulted in the boils.

Turkoly found Gentile also harvested fatty tissue from her things and injected it in her lower eyelids instead of using botox.

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