EDMONTON – Concerns are once again being raised about an Edmonton laser clinic. This time, it’s for allegations that staff are advertising procedures they are not medically trained to perform.
This clinic has been at the centre of an ongoing Trouble Shooter investigation that started in 2011, when clients complained to Global News they were burned and scarred from treatments at what was then called Ultra Medic Laser Skin Studio.
“Even got to the point where some of my skin was breaking and bleeding in some areas,” said Alyce Brook in 2011.
Our investigation confirmed the clinic operator, Sukhdave (Sukhi) Seehra never graduated from the medical school the degrees on his wall once stated. The College of Physicians and Surgeons later obtained a court order ordering him to stop calling himself a doctor.
Last year, health officials shut down the clinic temporarily because of sanitation concerns.
Environmental Health Officer Jason MacDonald cites “staff changing out the rooms inappropriately, so not disinfecting the surfaces” as one of the concerns.
Its name has since changed to Look MD Cosmedics. Its website, which was shut down shortly after we contacted the company, was similar to that of Marina Plastic Surgery in California.
Global News notified the U.S. clinic, and staff claim the Edmonton business cloned or stole its website, even content and patient stories.
“I have never heard of this individual and I am shocked at this unethical behaviour,” Dr. Grant Stevens said in a phone interview.
“I’m going to pursue my legal options to stop this misleading and false advertising.”
These allegations have not been proven in court.
The website listed many services, including CoolSculpting – a new cosmetic procedure that has become a fast favourite for those looking for a quick fix for a bulging belly. Only a doctor can perform the procedure or must supervise it.
But the company which owns the medical device says the Edmonton clinic in question not only does not have a doctor on site, but also does not own its device.
Global News sent in a hidden camera, and asked Look MD Cosmedics about CoolSculpting.
Seehra recommended a two-step laser procedure, and said the procedure wasn’t surgical so the individual performing it does not have to be a doctor. He also said the cost for the procedure, which he referred to as “Cool Shape,” is $3,000, but offered a deal for $999.
“We are actively in discussions with the College of Physicians, as well as Health Canada to try to get him shut down, or, at least in our case, not using the CoolSculpting brand when he does not have our system,” said Brad Hauser, the vice-president of Zeltiq, the company which developed CoolSculpting.
Hauser says knock-off devices are common.
“Often they will bring other devices from other parts of the world into Canada and into the United States, and use the CoolSculpting brand to try to bring patients in.”
That has experts, like Dr. Ashwani Singh of Cosmedics – who is trained to administer CoolSculpting – worried about patient safety.
“There’s a large underground industry that is tapping into both sides and I think they are being able to come into the medical side under the guise of Cosmetics and that’s really what our jobs are, to make sure that we’re protecting patients.”
He warns patients who are shopping for procedures, that beauty on a budget comes with risks.
“You generally get what you do pay for.”
In an email, Seehra tells Global News the copied website was a mistake made by his web designer. He claims a test version of the website was accidentally launched. Seehra adds that references to CoolSculpting should not have been used, and have now been removed.
You can read his full letter below:
With files from Julie Matthews, Global News