An Ohio plastic surgeon lost her medical license on Wednesday after the state medical board investigated her for livestreaming operations on TikTok and surgical complications reported by patients.
The State Medical Board of Ohio voted at a hearing on Wednesday to permanently revoke Dr. Katharine Roxanne Grawe’s medical license and to fine her $4,500 “based on her failure to meet standard of care.”
At the hearing, doctors on the board said that Dr. Grawe, known online as “Dr. Roxy,” had previously been cautioned about protecting patient privacy on social media. They also spoke about her treatment of three unnamed patients who had reported complications from procedures, including one whose surgery Dr. Grawe had broadcast a part of on social media.
Dr. Jonathan B. Feibel, vice president of the medical board, recommended that Dr. Grawe’s license be revoked because of the “life altering, reckless treatment” provided to those patients.
“These outcomes were not normal complications like those that exist in the routine practice of medicine, but were rather caused by recklessness and disregard for the rules governing the practice of medicine in Ohio,” he said.
He said Dr. Grawe’s social media presence “amplified her reckless behavior” and accused her of using it to grow her brand, not to educate.
Dr. Grawe has not been allowed to practice medicine since the medical board suspended her license on Nov. 18, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The board said at the time that her continued practice presented “a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.”
Dr. Grawe addressed the medical board at the hearing before the vote. She said she had reflected on the board’s critiques over the past year and saw how she had “fallen below the board’s ideal in multiple ways.”
She added that she made social media videos because she loved teaching and wanted to explain cosmetic surgery to people outside of the medical field. “But, as I stand here today, I see how many of those videos appeared silly and unprofessional,” she said.
She said that her husband had left her because of the stress from the situation, her children had been harassed at school because of the media attention and she had to fire 20 employees at her clinic, Roxy Plastic Surgery in Powell, a city north of Columbus.
Dr. Grawe’s TikTok account is now private and it is not clear how many followers she had when it was public. On Instagram, she still has more than 100,000 followers.
Dr. Grawe has 15 days after the board’s order is mailed to appeal the decision, said Jerica Stewart, a spokeswoman for the medical board.
Many of the medical board’s concerns were outlined in a suspension notice sent to Dr. Grawe in November.
The board said it had cautioned Dr. Grawe about the need to maintain patient privacy on social media in letters sent in October 2018 and September 2021. In the second letter, the board secretary recommended Dr. Grawe take remedial education courses about plastic surgery and “professionalism/ethics.”
Dr. Grawe gave the board documents that showed she had completed remedial classes, including “ethical social media” in December 2021, the board said, but she continued to record video and live broadcast medical procedures through Oct. 14, 2022.
These videos included patient interviews and photos before operations, livestreams of procedures and photos taken in the operating room after surgery. During some videos, Dr. Grawe responded to viewers’ online questions “while the surgical procedure remains actively ongoing,” the board said.
At least three patients, who were not named, had experienced complications after seeing Dr. Grawe for cosmetic surgery, and their issues were outlined in the suspension notice.
One patient, according to the board’s notice, received a Brazilian Butt Lift, tummy tuck and liposuction from Dr. Grawe in July 2020. The patient saw Dr. Grawe again in March 2022 for more cosmetic procedures, and Dr. Grawe looked at and spoke to a camera while engaged in liposuction on the patient’s abdomen, the board said.
A few days after the surgery, the patient was hospitalized and found to have a perforated small bowel and a soft tissue infection.
In December 2020, Dr. Grawe provided several cosmetic procedures to another patient under anesthesia, including liposuction and a Brazilian Butt Lift. The next day, the patient went to the emergency room because she was experiencing severe abdominal pain and cramping and had to have several surgeries on her stomach.
Dr. Grawe saw the third patient in December 2021 for a breast augmentation. A few days later, the patient reported nausea and bleeding from her breast and was treated at the clinic. After, the patient reported pain, malaise and nausea. A nurse practitioner then treated her at the clinic, but the patient had to be hospitalized for a faster than normal heart rate. At the hospital, they were found to have an infection that required treatment and the removal of her breast implants.
Mary Jenkins, another former patient, won a lawsuit against Dr. Grawe in 2016 for complications from breast reconstruction surgery, according to The Columbus Dispatch.