Aesthetics doctor ordered to pay make-up artist S$250,000 for botched nose job

SINGAPORE – An aesthetics doctor has conceded that he was negligent and breached his duty of care to a former patient over a nose job gone wrong in 2008, even before a scheduled five-day civil suit in a High Court over the matter could begin.

As a result of his concessions, Dr Amal Dass, a Singaporean general practitioner who is married to veteran model Junita Simon, was yesterday ordered to pay make-up artist Sng Hock Guan (picture) S$250,000, on top of legal costs. Lawyers from both sides had earlier spent a full day in a judge’s chambers locked in negotiations.

Dr Dass, however, denied two other claims made by Mr Sng, 40, who suffered a serious infection because of the botched surgery and subsequently spent about S$77,000 to repair his collapsed nose.

These allegations related to the medical qualifications of Dr Dass as well as of the staff in his clinic, Advanced Aesthetics & Surgery in Orchard Building, and of fraudulently misrepresenting himself as having the qualifications, knowledge and skill to perform the rhinoplasty when in fact he was not registered on the Singapore Medical Council’s Register of Specialists as a specialist in plastic surgery.

According to the statement of claim filed by Mr Sng’s lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong of Drew & Napier, two well-known plastic surgeons here, Dr Woffles Wu and Dr Leslie Kuek, had given statements questioning Dr Dass’ experience and judgment before, during and after the surgery.

Among Mr Sng’s various claims was that he was improperly sedated during the six-and-a-half-hour surgery, which caused him excruciating pain. Dr Dass’ conduct of the surgery, his choice of implant for Mr Sng – who has had multiple cosmetic surgeries in the past, including six nose jobs – and post-operation decisions were also deemed “inappropriate” by Dr Wu and Dr Kuek.

After the court’s decision, a visibly relieved Mr Sng hugged his lawyers. He also issued a statement saying it had been “a long and difficult journey for (him) these past three years”.

He added: “It is now for the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) to judge what happens after he has admitted his negligent acts towards me.”

Dr Dass declined comment yesterday.

SMC’s investigations against Dr Dass are in progress.

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