Chicago woman Sabrina Kropp has filed a lawsuit against her plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Walton, for posting photos of her nose prior to having plastic surgery on his website labeled “cocaine nose.”
The Chicago Tribune says Dr. Walton took the photos of Kropp in 2004. At the time, the two had an understanding that the images of Kropp would be secure in her medical records. Despite this agreement, Dr.Walton used the photos to advertise his new practice, Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC. Dr. Walton published the photos of Kropp on his site in 2013. According to Dr. Walton’s website, the definition of a “cocaine nose” is:
“Cocaine causes a constriction or closing of blood vessels. When cocaine is snorted through the nose, it causes the blood vessels in the nasal lining to constrict. Chronic cocaine usage can result in prolonged constriction of the nasal lining blood vessels with resultant death of these tissues. This results in sores in the nasal lining and septum that can lead to perforations of the septum, infection, loss of supporting cartilage, scarring and eventual collapse of the nose. Unique to the cocaine injured nose is the relative sparing of the external skin cover.”
Reading that description it’s not hard to see why Kropp, who is suing Dr. Walton’s medical practice for breaching the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is so upset. HIPAA requires an individual’s written authorization before medical information is used for publication, marketing, teaching or commercial purpose.
Kropp alleges that Dr. Walton’s decision to use her photos on his site have caused her “to become distressed, shamed and embarrassed.” Since, filing her suit Kropp’s photos have been deleted from Dr. Walton’s medical site, but thanks to the Smoking Gun, you can still see them here.