The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is urging all clients of an unlicensed plastic surgeon in Delta to see a registered physician for possible HIV and hepatitis testing.
In November and December, the college was alerted by the public and physicians to an unlicensed business offering cosmetic medical services operating out of a basement at 10519 Modesto Place in Delta.
One 23-year-old patient who received an implant in her nose wound up with a persistent infection. Two other patients experienced complications from eyelid lift surgery.
On December 20, the B.C. Supreme Court authorized a search of the residence where Zhuo (Sabrina) Li was believed to be operating Sabrina Permanent Make-up Studio and offering cosmetic medical services that she was unqualified or not legally permitted to perform.
The raid resulted in the seizure of boxes and vials of injectable medication (including Bocouture and local anesthetic); prescription medication; syringes; needles; suture forceps; surgical clamps, scissors, and markers; scalpel blades; and receipts for transactions ranging from $300 to $5,000.
Investigators were unable to find proof that surgical equipment was being properly sterilized by an autoclave (a high-pressure steam chamber used by hospitals and medical clinics for sterilization).
College registrar and CEO Dr. Heidi Oetter explained in a news release that as the college is responsible for licensing physicians and regulating the medical profession, it will take action against anyone who puts the public at risk by practising medicine unlawfully.
“Based on the findings, the College believes it is highly probable that Ms. Li was performing cosmetic surgery such as facial injections, eyelid lifts, and facial implants, which are restricted activities that only qualified medical professionals are authorized to perform,” she said.
Li is temporarily restrained from providing any service that may be provided only by college registrants.
Based on recommendations by the Fraser Health Authority after a review of the evidence, the college issued an alert on January 10 to anyone who received surgical services from Li to seek clinical advice from a registered doctor about possible testing for hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. (A positive test might not confirm that the infection occurred at the premises in question but it will ensure that the individual receives treatment and care from qualified medical professionals.)