Glenn liposuction clinic’s ‘deplorable conditions’ sparked investigation; state suspends doctor's license
State authorities have suspended the license of Dr. Bradley Bastow for a list of violations including doing liposuction in an unfinished pole barn.
Bastow owned and operated the Body Laser Sculpting Medical Spa at 6990 114th Ave. in Glenn and has been accused of a number of violations by the Michigan Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs.
LARA director Shelly Edgerton said, “Our investigation found that Dr. Bastow’s conduct was negligent, incompetent and lacked good moral character.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of Michiganders, and the dangerous and deplorable conditions of Dr. Bastow’s facility warranted an immediate suspension of his medical license.”
No criminal charges had been announced by the state attorney general’s office by the time The Allegan County News went to press.
Allegan County Prosecutor Roberts Kengis said he was deferring to the state until further notice.
Bastow did not return a call and an email for comment.
Bastow holds an osteopathic physicians license, which was suspended under provisions of the public health code.
The department and the Michigan Attorney General’s office allege violations including:
• Performing liposuction procedures in unsanitary conditions in an unfinished pole barn;
• Improperly disposing and storing medical waste;
• Improperly dispensing and recording the dispensing of controlled substances;
• Improperly comingling human and animal drugs; and
• Taking a controlled substance from the facility for personal use.
The actions were triggered by an April incident involving a liposuction patient.
The patient, whom the department referred to as C.R. in its order, went to the clinic for liposuction April 20 and the procedure lasted for about 10 hours.
The department alleges an unlicensed person helped with the procedure, including administering Demerol, a controlled substance and painkiller.
C.R. and her mother, who accompanied her, reported they saw Bastow pouring the fat he’d removed down a regular sink drain instead of a proper biohazard storage container and sterile sewage system, LARA alleges. Fat was also placed in plastic baggies and a lidless container without proper biohazard markings, according to the documents.
“C.R.’s mother and sister were allowed to sit with C.R. during the liposuction procedure. At one point, they became concerned because C.R. appeared to be drowsy and going in and out of consciousness,” the complaint said.
The pair called an ambulance and C.R. was taken to a hospital for observation. Firefighters and sheriff’s officers responded to the call and began an investigation based on what they saw.
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office notified the Allegan County Health Department and county health officials urged anyone who had surgery there and post-surgery symptoms of infection like fever, redness and swelling to seek immediate medical care.
According to LARA, Bastow has been operating the facility since 2015.
He was ordered in June 2016 by an Allegan County judge to bring the site into compliance with a site plan approved by Ganges Township within 30 days and that no activity other than construction could happen until the township issued a certificate of occupancy.
Ganges Township supervisor John Hebert said the township approved Bastow’s site plan but were dismayed when he proceeded to not follow through on that plan.
“All of the site work was really slow,” Hebert said. “That’s when we had to bring it to court.”
Hebert said they hesitated to chain the doors shut to avoid a situation where one of his patients had their health or life threatened if they couldn’t keep their appointment.
“What if someone’s dies because they can’t get their prescription? We tried to avoid that,” Hebert said. “We tried to keep pressure on him and continued our inspections.”
He contends the clinic has been in operation without an occupancy permit.
“We hadn’t heard of the surgery,” Hebert said. “We just knew it was a doctor’s office.”
He said the township has control over building code and zoning requirements but none over how sanitary the clinic is.
“That’s all state licensing,” he said.
He said the township had been forced at one point to clear refuse outside the building.
“I haven’t been inside,” Hebert said. “He eventually cleaned up the outside.”
The sheriff’s office investigation and an inspection by a pharmacy inspector found evidence of all the alleged violations, the department said.
Bastow allegedly admitted during the investigation he was taking Tramadol for personal use, a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain.
Editor Ryan Lewis contributed to this article.
Contact Dan Pepper at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.