FDA: San Diego Doctor Operating Illegally - NBC 7 San Diego
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FDA: San Diego Doctor Operating Illegally

A warning to consumers about a local doctor selling unapproved cosmetic injections online

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    NBC 7 Investigates discovered the Medical Board of California does not have a Dr. Hettie Morgan listed as a licensed doctor in California. Mari Payton reports. (Published Thursday, July 30, 2015)

    On a variety of websites, Dr. Hettie Morgan offers hydrogel injections for "buttocks and breast enhancement” -- something that is illegal, according to the FDA.

    The injections can be ordered online and shipped to your home.

    Dr. Morgan’s website advertises, “FOR BREAST, BUTTOCK, GENITAL AND WHOLE BODY SHAPING INSTANTLY! BUTTOCKS INJECTIONS ... A KILLER REAR IN ABOUT AN HOUR Hydrogel is 100% Polyacrylamide of INTERFALL brand.”

    Hydrogel is “a semi-permanent filler that has a synthetic component that helps to draw water into the tissue to plump it up,” La Jolla Plastic Surgeon Jeffrey Umansky said. “It hasn't been FDA approved in the United States. Injections into other parts of the body will not only be off-label but potentially dangerous.”

    In May, the FDA sent Dr. Morgan a warning letter explaining that selling this product was illegal in the United States. Click here to read the letter.

    The FDA gave Dr. Morgan 15 business days to respond. A spokesperson for the agency said they never heard back from Dr. Morgan.

    “It could be dangerous, and if it's online, there's a good chance it’s fake,” Umanksy said, "which is what makes this a scarier issue. People are injecting something they’re not supposed to inject in the first place.”

    On the website, Dr. Morgan lists an address in the Clairemont area of San Diego County. It's the same address where the FDA sent the warning letter.

    NBC 7 Investigates went to that location. A woman who answered the door had no idea who Dr. Morgan was. She told NBC 7 Investigates her family has owned the property since the 1960s. In the last two months, she received mail addressed to Dr. Morgan, but doesn't know why he's using her address.

    NBC 7 Investigates discovered the Medical Board of California does not have a "Dr. Hettie Morgan" listed as a licensed doctor in California. And no one with that name is licensed through the California Department of Consumer Affairs in any medical field.

    A quick online search shows the image Dr. Morgan uses on his website is actually New York doctor John Muney, who has no affiliation with Dr. Morgan or the hydrogel injection website. Dr. Muney told NBC 7 Investigates he was shocked someone stole his image and is worried it might ruin his reputation.

    Calls and emails to the numbers and address listed on Dr. Morgan's website and Facebook page were not returned.

    If you want to report suspected illegal activity to the FDA, you can contact their office of criminal investigations.

    NBC 7 Investigates is working for you. If you have more information about this or other story tips, contact us: (619) 578-0393, NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com. To receive the latest NBC 7 Investigates stories subscribe to our newsletter.