Ants, Infections, And Spilled Fat: Inside This TikTok Famous Cosmetic Surgeon’s Hellish Clinics
A Four Corners investigation revealed damning allegations around Dr Daniel Lanzer.
Australia’s biggest celebrity cosmetic surgeon Dr Daniel Lanzer has denied wrongdoing after being hit by allegations including botched surgeries and hygiene concerns. The specialist dermatologist, who has day hospitals across the country, is known for hosting multiple TV shows and amassing millions of followers on TikTok and Instagram.
A joint investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and ABC’s Four Corners broadcast on Monday, despite Lanzer’s failed attempt to stop the episode airing in court — and unveiled claims of his staff using expired drugs on patients, biohazard risks, and dangerous patient care.
Registered nurse and former employee Justin Nixon described his time working under Lanzer as “bloody, messy, gruesome, chaotic”. In one wild accusation, staff were allegedly made to take human fat home in plastic shopping bags before an audit by the Victorian State health department, before returning them back to work. There were also concerns over lack of sterilisation for surgical tools.
“I can recall in one instance where [liposuction] fat had fallen down and got lodged in the floorboards, and there were a lot of ants eating up all the fat. It was pretty disgusting,” Nixon told the ABC.
His standards were sub-poor. They were absolutely diabolical…
Lanzer has denied the claims, saying he employs “the highest standards of hygiene and safety”.
“In my 30-year career, I’ve never had a single ruling or recommendation against me regarding my method of surgery, or my patient care by any regulator,” he said.
One of Lanzer’s patients claims she ended up in hospital with bacterial skin infection cellulitis, and nearly went into septic shock, after having lipo done in his Sydney clinic. “His standards were sub-poor. They were absolutely diabolical,” she said.
To make matters worse, Lanzer also sent out a group voice message this time last year warning staff to not admit fault or an infection, nor send a patient to a GP or hospital if concerned for their wellbeing.
“Never, ever, ever, not slightly ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER admit to a patient that something’s bad or wrong,” he said. “You do not own up to nothing! Zero! … Never, ever, ever, ever own up to anything.”
"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever" go to Dr Daniel Lanzer is the takeaway message from tonight's #4Corners.
— Matthew Toohey (@TooheyMatthew) October 25, 2021
“I love you all,” Lanzer told his followers on Tuesday. “The truth will prevail. I’m smiling and laughing because I know the truth, so don’t worry.”
It’s unclear whether a formal investigation will be launched into Lanzer’s clinics.