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Class action against cosmetic surgery clinic grows

Patients of Dr Daniel Lanzer’s cosmetic surgery clinics across the country have continued to come forward to take part in a growing class action in the Victoria Supreme Court.

user iconLauren Croft 19 July 2023 Big Law

Dr Daniel Lanzer

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Almost 1,000 former patients of celebrity cosmetic surgeon Dr Daniel Lanzer and his clinic, Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Services, have now registered to participate in a class action against the surgery clinic and former surgeon.

The class action was first launched by Maddens Lawyers in 2022 and came after a joint Four Corners and Nine investigation that revealed serious hygiene and safety breaches, leaving patients in excruciating pain, suffering from ongoing medical issues and subsequently requiring further treatment.

Following this investigation, Dr Lanzer retired after the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) began its own investigation. In a statement at the time, the national medical regulator said that “Dr Daniel Lanzer no longer appears on the online register of practitioners as he surrendered his registration on 2 December 2021. This means he is no longer registered with immediate effect and cannot practise as a registered medical practitioner anywhere in Australia.”


“We are continuing our investigations into Dr Lanzer’s conduct and performance, and should they result in a regulatory outcome, this would be considered if he was ever to seek to reapply for registration in the future,” it said.

Justin Byatt and his son both had an otoplasty (ear surgery) nearly three years ago and are still in pain. Dr Ryan Wells performed both procedures at Dr Lanzer’s Malvern clinic in 2019. Mr Byatt then returned to Dr Wells for further procedures to try to rectify complications in 2020 and 2021 without success.

“If I had known the pain we’d still be in and what the appearance of our ears were going to be, I wouldn’t have had the surgeries. I just want the doctors to be held accountable, and I want our ears fixed,” Mr Byatt said.

“After the 2021 appointment, which was just a quick procedure performed on a day bed, the problems were still not resolved. My request for another appointment to review my ears just went ignored by Dr Wells and the clinic staff.

“My left ear is still in a lot of pain; it feels hard and stiff, the ear is deformed, and the stitch is still showing. I can’t sleep properly or play sports. It’s really impacted my day-to-day life. Unfortunately, my son has similar complications, mostly in his right ear.”

Maddens Lawyers class action principal Kathryn Emeny said that patients coming forward ranged in demographics such as age, gender and types of surgery.

“Otoplasty procedures like those undertaken by Justin and his son tend not to get much of the spotlight, but it’s important to raise awareness about the life-altering consequences of otoplasty surgery going wrong,” she said.

“Imagine not being able to lie on your side to sleep at night because of the pain to your ears. In addition to not being able to sleep comfortably, many people can no longer wear glasses, play any form of contact sport, or even hug someone in case their ears are bumped.”

Dr Lanzer operated cosmetic surgery clinics in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Salisbury, Queensland. The defendants to the class action are Dr Daniel Lanzer, Dr Daniel Aronov, Dr Ryan Wells, Dr Daniel Darbyshire, Dr George Wong, Dr Alireza Fallahi and Candice Wainstein. All types of surgery are included in the class action, including liposuction, gynecomastia procedures, tummy tucks, otoplasty, fat transfers, and face lifts.

“We have participants from all walks of life linked by these terrible experiences at the Dr Lanzer clinics. In the case of otoplasty procedures, it is not uncommon for children to be impacted. On top of the physical and psychological harm, the financial impact can be devastating, with many having to seek additional costly procedures to try to rectify their original surgery,” Ms Emeny explained.

“I want to highlight to anyone out there suffering – know that you are not alone. We are hearing from people continually; it’s quite astonishing the scale of the impact and harm. We are advancing this class action on a no-win-no-fee basis, so there is nothing to lose by taking part.”

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