A few months ago we published the gruesome story of an OC plastic surgeon who had a drinking problem and left several patients hacked and deformed up in Sacramento before relocating to Orange County, where he now practices in Huntington Beach. One of the women in our story was Becky Anderson, who made national news when she went public with her story and images of her severe deformities—protruding intestines and a leg that looked like someone had taken machete to it—caused, in part, by the reconstructive breast surgeries she underwent at the hands of Dr. Brian West.
Anderson died of cancer this past weekend. She was 53. "Becky believes that her story made a difference and also believes that her story should not go unnoticed," says Tina Minasian, another one of Dr. West's patients, a fierce advocate for substance abuse reforms in the medical profession, and a close friend of Anderson's. "She believed by showing her body and the outcome of an alcoholic doctor and his bad judgment, no one should ever have suffer like her. She wanted to prevent it from ever happening again."
Two years ago, Anderson, Minasian and half a dozen other women filed formal complaints against the doctor through the state medical board. Last year six of those complaints were taken up by the attorney general's office and are now part of one formal accusation alleging multiple acts of gross negligence by West and asking that his license be revoked.
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Oddly, and because of a strange set of statute-of-limitations rules imposed by the Medical Board of California, Anderson's case will never be heard (it was removed from the accusation early this year). The rest of the cases in the accusation are set to be heard by an administrative law judge in Sacramento at the end of the month.