Report: #960580

Complaint Review: Dr. Ronald Pino

  • Submitted: Fri, October 26, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, October 26, 2012
  • Reported By: Marsha — Los Angeles California United States of America
  • Dr. Ronald Pino
    350 West American Embassy
    San Jose, Select State/Province
    United States of America

Dr. Ronald Pino Ronald Antonio Pino King Plastic surgeon left GAUZE PAD in my FACE - REFUSED TO RECTIFY! ALMOST DIED! San Jose, Other

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Many Americans flee to Costa Rica every month to have cosmetic procedures performed, so much in-fact, that it has became one of Costa Rica's main source of income.  For many decades Costa Rica has been known for excellent plastic surgery at a very affordable price.  Sadly, though the prices are still far below what one would pay in the United States, the quality has become extremely substandard. 
Based on a referral, I decide to go to a cosmetic surgeon who was supposedly the best plastic surgeon Costa Rica had to offer, Dr Ronald Antonio Pino King, of San Jose. I ended up being the victim of gross negligence of malpractice committed by Dr. Ronald Pino from the plastic surgery he performed on my face. Please know that some of the below photos are graphic in nature.
February 1, 2012.
I arrived in Costs Rica, only to realize that the entire country is a gated community.  To my surprise, there is so much theft and violence, that all buildings are cordoned off.  Though the people in the gated community in which I was staying were quite nice, I felt like third world refugee, and for the most part felt very fearful of even walking outside.  But...I had already arrived, and decided to continue with the procedure that was scheduled for the following day.

February 2, 2012

Dr. Pino performed what was a very routine lower face lift.  Within a day (February 5, 2012), I became extremely ill and was unable to eat.  The right side of my face was healing very quickly, however the LEFT side was extraordinary swollen and extremely red.

February 6, 2012

Due to amount of swelling, Dr. Pino drained the area of left side cheek.  He mentioned a possible Hematoma and it may need re-opening to correct.  Even after draining, the cheek again began to immediately fill with fluid.

February 8, 2012

On this day, I had an extra post-surgical appointment.  Dr. Pino drained left side of cheek again, and concluded that it was merely an "infection", and prescribed Ciprofloxin (which was later found to be the wrong Anti-Biotic), and deemed I was totally safe to return to the United States.

The condition in which he allowed me to leave Costa Rica is shown below:


2 Weeks after return to the USA.

I remained in contact with Dr. Pino every other day to update him on my status, including the unrelenting swelling in left side of cheek only.  It was extraordinarily painful, and after approx. 2 weeks, a hole opened in the surgical cut, located under the left ear.  Fluid drained out on its own periodically.  Note the "hole" in the shiny area of this photo:


4 weeks after return to US:

My overall condition had changed, but now a SECOND hole opened in my cheek.  Note the black dot in the center of the swelling in photo below.  Also, this was the first time I was able to see my surgery scars on my neck.  These were supposed to be ABOVE THE HAIRLINE, so they would never be noticeable.  The incision ended up being approx 1/2" below the hairline, leaving me with a permanent visible scar. 


The photos you are viewing were emailed to Dr. Pino.  Dr. Pino stated it could be a possible abscess (which could be life-threatening), and suggested "possibly" coming back to Costa Rica to rectify.

March 13, 2012

I went to a doctor here in the US to get 2nd opinion.  She also suggested it was a possible abscess (life-threatening) and most likely needed to be re-opened and cleaned in an operating room, under general anesthesia.  The discoloration on neck was also possibly permanent! 

The next day, the black dot opened up revealing a white "puss-like" substance.  Dr. Pino emailed me for an update, and I immediately sent him this photo below.


After viewing the photos, Dr. Pino insists that I come back to Costa Rica, so he can fix the problem.  Arrangements were made for a 2nd surgery with Dr. Pino, and a flight was booked to come back to Cost Rica.  That evening the white substance ended up looking "cloth-like" and after rubbing my fingers over it, a piece of string appeared!!

It was now VERY evident what the problem was.  All the pain, discoloration, and swelling was because Dr. Pino was extremely careless and left a LARGE PIECE OF GAUZE IN MY FACE!



After I contacted Dr. Pino immediately and showed him the above photos, HE REFUSED TO REPLY TO ANY EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS!
Fearing for life, I went to a very reputable doctor in Beverly Hills.  He deemed it an emergency situation, as the infection was moving down the cheek and was about to go systemic.  Surgery was performed immediately to remove the substance.

This doctor also pointed out that as the scars/incisions on left side are too low (not in hairline and are visible), left side of my face did not match the right, and sutures were done incorrectly, he concluded that this left side was performed by someone else (not Dr. Pino, and probably an unlicensed assistant). 

Emergency surgery was performed to remove the gauze pad.  See photo below.  There was in-fact an abscess, and the gauze was so tangled and stuck in-between the nerves, it made the removal horrendous and took much longer than expected.  What was removed is shown in the below photos.  Yes, that is my face open that you are viewing below.



I again tried to contact Dr. Pino, but since finding out he left a large gauze pad in my face, caused me all this pain, suffering, and additional expenses, he refused to reply, and he has not replied to any emails or phone calls since.  He has also seen ALL of these photos. 
Below is the aftermath and result of Dr. Pino's so-called "cosmetic surgery".

I did hire an attorney to deal with the situation, but sadly, the attorneys and entire legal system is just as corrupt.  My attorney took $2000 from me, and what I got in return was him writing 2 very short letters to Dr. Pino...again to which Dr. Pino completely ignored.  
 In addition to the original surgery costs, and the lawyer fees, $10,000.00 in emergency surgery in the United States, and a life threatening abscess, I also have permanent scar on my cheek, all of which Dr. Pino is personally responsible for.
 After I was healed physically, I also tried pressing criminal charges, however the lead prosecutor refused to file them, unless I come back to Costa Rica to be examined by "his" medical team, to prove I am not lying.  They are also in possession of these photos.

After this entire ordeal, I did some in depth investigating.  Contrary to his website and a large sign on his San Jose office, Dr. Pino is not a US Board Certified Plastic surgeon.  In the United States, in order for a doctor to be realized the America Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) - the highest recognition for a surgeon - there is a rigorous selection process:  The doctor has to be referred by 6 other board members and must uphold the highest amount care for his patients and facilities.  Foreign surgeons however, can simply "apply" for this ASPS recognition without meeting any of the high standards set in the Untied States, nor the board referrals.

What happened to me should never happen and never would have with an ethical, competent surgeon. Apparently, there is one other identical case - also an American woman.  This case can be found on this website. 

Dr. Pino appears to be singling out foreign patients for sub-standard care, and is allowing no-medical unsupervised staff to perform surgical procedures.  Because he is in a 3rd world, unethical country that colludes on all levels, they prevent their criminals from prosecution.

In the course of doing further research, including speaking with the Chief of the Costa Rican Consulate, Steve Castonguay, this is a common occurrence.  Prosecutors have free reign to do what they want with no ramifications, and they protect their friends and their own interests.  Many years ago 7 American were killed in Costa Rica, and though the people guilty have been caught, the government will not convict most of them; and more recently, a prosecutor refused to press charges for a rape victim, unless she flies back to Costa Rica to undergo an interview.  Due to the emotional trauma, this lady did not want to fly back, and it took over two years to convince the prosecutor just to simply "accept" a video taped statement.

Know that as a foreigner, you will not be able to prosecute anyone for anything in Costa Rica, and is certainly not a path anyone should want to pursue. It is important to realize how Costa Ricans treat foreigners - then can and do act with impunity. I am lucky to escape with my life and health in tact, but still have the permanent scars on my face and a $10,000.00 debt. 
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/26/2012 01:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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