An internist with little formal training has been recklessly injecting a hazardous dermal filler into patients seeking breast and penis enhancements -- often with extremely harmful results -- at dozens of offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, authorities charged.
Toting the product around in duffle bags, Dr. Muhammad A. Mirza of Cedar Grove has seen up to 30 patients a day in what some described as a “small storage closet” and “closet area with a bench,” Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said Tuesday.
Some patients said that Mirza didn't wear a mask or medical surgical gloves while conducting procedures, used "high pressure" sales tactics, wouldn't disclose what products he was using and failed to respond to complaints, a complaint filed by the state Division of Consumer Affairs charges.
Others reported physical complications including lumps and seizures, it says.
One patient suffered permanent harm that required hospitalization and two surgeries following a nonsurgical penile enhancement procedure involving the injectable dermal filler, Bruck said.
Mirza also didn't disclose the filler he'd used, "further complicating the patient’s post-procedure emergency care," he said.
New Jersey's New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners has temporarily suspended Mirza's license while it continues investigating his use of "invasive aesthetic procedures with inadequate formal training and little regard for the health and safety of his patients," the attorney general said.
In the meantime, Mirza is prohibited from treating any New Jersey patients in the three other states, where he is still licensed to practice, Bruck said.
Mirza, who studied medicine and surgery at Sindh Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, already had a troubled public history.
Three years ago, he sued a dozen people over Yelp reviews, some of which said he got Botox out of China. One reviewer called the doctor's practice "horrible dungeon services."
Mirza has denied the New Jersey allegations, as well, which Bruck said will be heard by an administrative law judge.
The board-certified internist’s "improper use of certain dermal fillers for off-label purposes - including non-surgical penile and breast enhancement procedures - poses a clear and imminent danger to the public," Bruck said Tuesday.
Mirza operated in "makeshift spaces with substandard protocols for medical recordkeeping, patient follow-up and storage of medical supplies, including products that require refrigeration and strict temperature control," the attorney said.
State investigators who inspected Mirza's Summit office reported finding that:
- the medical office consisted of one large room with a curtain used as a divider between the waiting room/receptionist area and the patient examination/treatment area;
- the examination/treatment area had only chairs and a fold-away table, with no medical examination table; and
- Mirza’s supply of injectable fillers was stored in “duffle bags,” while no medical storage refrigerators were found on site.
The practice "grossly deviates from accepted standards of medical care because he performs procedures in a manner that could cause bodily harm, lacks formal medical training and an adequate knowledge of aesthetic medicine, performs procedures in inappropriate office settings, and fails to properly store medical supplies or maintain records," Bruck said.
Among what the state complaint calls "repeated acts of negligence, professional misconduct, gross negligence and endangerment, and other professional standards violations in conduct":
- improper off-label use of an injectable dermal filler for aesthetic procedures close to patients’ eyes, which, if done incorrectly, can lead to loss of vision or permanent blindness;
- improper off-label use of an injectable dermal filler for breast enhancement, which can alter patients’ mammogram results; and
- using a certain injectable dermal filler without performing a skin allergy test on patients prior to injection, as required, which can cause patients to suffer acute episodes of hypotension, breathing difficulties, and other allergic reactions.
The Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs (“EB”) opened an investigation into Mirza and Mirza Aesthetics in April 2021 after the medical examiner's board received several complaints, Bruck said.
Deputy Attorneys General Michael Antenucci and Daniel Hewitt, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group, are handling the case for the state.
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