Plastic surgeon Woffles Wu sued for alleged negligence

Well-known plastic surgeon Woffles Wu is being sued by a patient for $400,000 in damages over his alleged negligence in her treatment. -- PHOTO: TNP FILE
Well-known plastic surgeon Woffles Wu is being sued by a patient for $400,000 in damages over his alleged negligence in her treatment. -- PHOTO: TNP FILE

Well-known plastic surgeon Woffles Wu is being sued by a patient for $400,000 in damages over his alleged negligence in her treatment.

Ms Cherlyn Soh, 47, said she consulted Dr Wu in May 2011 about her visible eyebags, but claimed she was persuaded to undergo facial treatment instead that led to pain, suffering and complications.

Dr Wu, 54, in defence documents filed last month, denied her claims. He said she sought treatment to improve the poor skin condition of her face and they never discussed eyebag treatment.

A High Court pre-trial conference is due next week.

Ms Soh claimed she agreed to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment and using a Cosmelan Peeling Mask as she relied on Dr Wu, due to his popularity and specialisation in his aesthetic practice.

She claimed he told her she would be able to resume work the next day. Instead, she said she took a long time to recover due to her appearance and the stress she suffered. She alleged that the treatment caused her face to become swollen, red and painful.

She returned to see him twice in June 2011 and between the two visits, also sought treatment at two other clinics for her swollen red cheeks and brown crusting that had formed on her face.

Ms Soh said she saw a few more physicians after the June visits to Dr Wu and, more than two months later, was diagnosed by one as having had skin burn caused by her facial treatment.

Ms Soh, an estate agent then, claimed she lost income from commissions for a project she could not work on.

She also took issue with the facial treatment being administered by Dr Wu's employee when she sought his personal services.

Ms Soh is seeking a refund of about $5,000 in fees paid to Dr Wu and $400,000 for loss of earnings.

Dr Wu countered that she was told and did not object to the treatment applied by a trained, competent and experienced staff nurse supervised by him. He monitored the progress and checked her skin to ensure the IPL was properly conducted.

He said Ms Soh had been given various treatment options for her skin condition and agreed to the IPL and mask treatment as she wanted visible results within the shortest time. Among other things, she had been "over-enthusiastic" in applying prescribed creams after the treatment and admitted to using skin-care products from other doctors at the same time. This led to the "chemical burn" diagnosis.

Dr Wu argued that she did not follow the post-treatment home- care regimen and could have gone to work the next day, using foundation to cover up some redness.

Contacted yesterday via his lawyer Mak Wei Munn, he said: "I deny the allegations but as the matter is before the courts, I am not prepared to make any further comment at this time."

vijayan@sph.com.sg