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Licenses Revoked Over Lipo Death

November 28, 1997

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ A plastic surgeon and an anesthesiologist whose patient died of blood loss after liposuction surgery have lost their medical licenses.

The six-member Medical Board on Wednesday revoked the licenses of anesthesiologist Robert K. Hoo and surgeon W. Earle Matory. Hoo can reapply for his license late next year, though Matory may not practice for at least three years, the board ruled.

Matory’s lawyer, Lloyd Charton, said his client was devastated by Wednesday’s decision and planned to appeal.

Administrative Law Judge Vincent Nafarrete said the surgeon ``exhibited a serious lack of safety″ and ``gross negligence and incompetence.″

Nafarrete called Hoo’s actions especially egregious and said that Hoo failed to call a halt to the surgery when the woman’s condition declined.

The patient, Judy Fernandez, 47, died in a hospital emergency room in March after undergoing 10 1/2 hours of liposuction. A coroner ruled that she died of blood loss _ blood that one expert said was sucked from her body along with the unwanted fat.