Fake Plastic Surgeon Who Operated on Unsuspecting Victims Sentenced to Prison

Updated June 6, 2017

More than 50 victims eventually came forward in the case against Carlos Hernandez Fernandez, 37, a surgical assistant in Denver, CO, who was accused of posing as a plastic surgeon and performing a myriad of plastic surgery procedures including facelifts, rhinoplasties, tummy tucks and more—without using anesthesia.

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Fernandez plead guilty to second-degree felony assault, criminal impersonation and unauthorized practice of a physician and received a six year prison sentence followed by three years of parole and six years of probation. He is also ordered to pay $189,222 in restitution to the victims who have come forward. Fernandez began operating in January 2015 and officials believe there are more victims who have not come forward as the fake doctor had mainly targeted illegal immigrants. 

Originally Published August 30, 2016

A Denver surgical assistant is facing 14 felony charges for criminal impersonation, illegally practicing as a medical doctor and unlawful sexual contact with a patient after authorities were alerted by former patients that he was practicing without a license. Carlos Hernandez Fernandez, 36, is accused of performing surgery on patients without anesthesia and operating a plastic surgery clinic without a license. For more than a year and a half, Fernandez performed numerous surgical procedures, including tummy tucks, facelifts and liposuction on unwitting victims who believed he was a licensed surgeon. The Denver district attorney’s office says the fake doctor has cause bodily harm to at least four former patients who reported botched surgery results, two of which have also reported unlawful sexual contact.

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The fake surgeon opened the cosmetic surgery clinic in January 2015 and performed countless procedures without the use of general anesthesia. One victim, Maria, who asked that her last name not be released, spoke through her attorney with Denver news station CBS4 and said that although she was given something to dull the pain before a mini-tummy tuck, she could still feel the scalpel cutting into her during the operation. Attorney Anthony Lucero, who spoke on behalf of the victim said, “She felt the actual cutting of her skin. They do a form of liposuction. She felt every minute of it while it was going on and complained to the doctor.”

According to the Denver Post, the fake doctor held a valid state license as a surgical assistant but was not licensed to perform the operations that he carried out during the year and a half he practiced as a plastic surgeon. During that time, Fernandez conducted business under the name H-F Care Complete Beauty and identified himself with the titles Dr. and MD. While it is not known how many procedures he performed, authorities believe Fernandez targeted undocumented women, offering a wide variety of invasive cosmetic surgeries, from facelifts and rhinoplasties to breast augmentations and tummy tucks.

Speaking in Spanish through her attorney, Maria warned, “You should not go forward with a procedure like this until you have fully investigated the plastic surgeon and you know who he is and what he's doing.”

Fernandez had a Healthgrades.com profile, which was immediately disabled after his arrest. His original profile correctly listed him as a medical specialist, but he later violated Healthgrades policy and fradualantly updated the profile to list himself as a medical doctor. At the time of his arrest, the fake doctor had a five-star rating based on two user reviews. Denver authorities are urging all former patients to come forward.

To avoid falling victim to medical foul play, do your homework and thoroughly research your chosen doctor before undergoing any procedure. Plastic surgeons who are board-certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties have undergone the necessary surgical training and have demonstrated best practices for patient safety. Do not rely solely on word-of-mouth referrals and ratings websites—visit certificationmatters.org to verify that your surgeon is board-certified.