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Doctors Behaving Badly: Idaho board bars doctor from tummy tucks, facelifts and other plastic surgery

Doctors Behaving Badly: Idaho board bars doctor from tummy tucks, facelifts and other plastic surgery

Picture of William Heisel

Take away an artist's paints. She may just use her fingers.

Take away a chef's knives. He may opt to smash, grate or whip the ingredients instead.

But what if you are a doctor and the medical board takes away your ability to perform facelifts, liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks?

If you are Dr. Carl Freeman Wurster in Boise, you beg.

The Board of Medicine in Idaho banned Wurster in 2007 from performing 46 different procedures, including everything that a flabby, knobby, gnarly body might want.

He successfully completed a state evaluation program and petitioned the board to lift the restrictions on his license. The board bent, just a little, and in January 2008 allowed him to perform four specific procedures: "excision of benign face lesions, excision of malignant face lesions, facial simple laceration repair and facial intermediate laceration repair."

The rest of the restrictions will remain in place until at least 2012. You can find this out by using Idaho's elegant and intuitive state licensee website. Antidote only wishes there was more information to be had there.

The incidents that led to Wurster's license restrictions remain a mystery. The Board of Medicine says only that it based its decision on "complaints from various and the Board's own investigation regarding Respondent's training and ability to perform cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures and other issues."

Antidote has reviewed medical board decisions from around the country and never seen a list of banned procedures this long. The fact that there were "other issues" beyond an inability to safely perform these standard plastic surgery procedures leaves the mind reeling with possibilities. One sticking point may be that Wurster is not a certified plastic surgeon. He's an ear, nose and throat specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist. These doctors do perform cosmetic procedures from the neck up, but it appears that Wurster was working on the lucrative areas below the head, too.

Final question: Why don't medical boards pickup the phone and talk to each other? Wurster is licensed in both Idaho and Utah. Wurster has told the Utah Board of Physicians that he is not able to practice there because he is recovering from a back surgery. As a result, in an odd Catch-22, Utah won't put him on probation until he starts practicing. And when will that be? In March 2009, the board conducted a "telephonic monitoring" call with Wurster and asked him if Idaho had a specific time frame for when Wurster was supposed to go back to work. "Dr. Wurster responded that Idaho does not have a time frame. He stated Idaho does not contact him regarding his status or to meet with the Board." The Utah board took him at his word and wrote, "The Board determined Dr. Wurster is in compliance as much as he can be at this time but that his time clock has not started."

This seems like a question better directed to Idaho's board, but, as Antidote has seen repeatedly, boards don't share information.


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Doctor wurster performed surgeries on me in the most satisfactory way. my first surgery was a lump in my throat that was closing my airway.I had emergency surgery and was treated in the most caring and professional way ever.After that I had Sinus surgery and finally had thyroid nodules removed. He was the best doctor I have ever had, Honest and understanding.Gave me time to talk and answered my questions.I am in need of sinus surgery and don't know who to go too.Doctor Wurster is the only doctor I would trust.My last surgery was back in 1998? HE IS A OUTSTANDING DOCTOR.!!!! I have not seen Doctor Wurster sense 1998?
Sad to hear about his back surgery and the problems with the medical Board.
P.S my English might be hard to understand because it is self thought.However I for one would have doctor Wurster as my doctor again.

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Dr Wurster, ruined my daily quality of life with a botched nose surgery that was meant to remove simple nasal polyps. I was sent home an hour after the surgery with active bleeding and me coughing up blood. I was discharged and told to call back if I still had bleeding in 4hrs time. I threw up blood in the truck as I was being driven home, I was helped into bed, but threw up a bucket of blood and kept throwing up. called Dr. Wurster and was told to go back to his office, he had multiple patients in his waiting room and as I was covered in blood his staff asked me to enter his office through a back door. I was too ill to manage walking that far, so went in his exam room, threw up more, he looked down my throat said I would have to go back to the surgery center and have another surgery. I had general anasthesia, took all day to wake from the surgery and had a nurse wake me up just before midnight and help me into a wheel chair, lifted me into a friends truck and sent me home. I could not swallow anything but drips of water on a spoon for 3 days. I was so weak I could not stand or get out of bed with out someone supporting me and holding me on a toilet and pulling my clothes on and off etc.. After the weekend I was taken for a follow up visit . Dr. Wurster had me lay on the office floor and he pulled out the hard tampons from my nose, 4 of them. They were stuck hard. He said I was fine, and sent me home. I noticed thread coming from my nose and so went to another ent Dr. For a second opinion. He said I had not just had nasal polyps removed, but a septoplasty and turbinate removal and the septoplasty sutures were coming out and a flap of septum loose and a hole in my septum.
Long story short, I have a painful hole in my septum and crusty blood and nasal discharge that accumulates around the hole daily. One nostril has lots of dryness and damage due to the turbinate being removed. I get frequent sinus and nasal infections, then other problems developed. I did not sue as I was too ill to even manage thinking about it. I was approached by lawyers as it was found that dr. Wurster had a bad back and had used narcotics prior to his surgery to relive his pain, that effected his performance. He ruined my quality of life and it was 9 years ago and I am still suffering daily.


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