Burien plastic surgeon's license suspended following allegations from WA Medical Commission

The Washington Medical Commission (WMC) suspended the license of a south King County plastic surgeon following allegations that the doctor violated an agreement that placed restrictions on her ability to practice.

WMC issued a suspension order on Sept. 19 for Dr. Kristine Brecht, who runs Aesthetic Rejuvenation & Spa in Burien. 

Brecht was placed on probation and had "significant practice restrictions, some of which were permanent," placed on her license in 2021, according to WMC.

She agreed to comply with the order, and if she was in compliance, after a period of three years, she could petition for changes to the restrictions, the WMC said. 

However, WMC received complaints from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) that Brecht was operating an unlicensed surgical facility as well as violating WMC restrictions, the organization told FOX 13. 

The allegations against Brecht claim that she did not properly sedate several patients. 

The DOH said that one patient died after a liposuction procedure from Brecht in 2019. 

According to the DOH, the patient was given an oral sedation and nitrous oxide for a three-and-a-half-hour procedure instead of having general anesthesia or an IV sedation. The DOH says Brecht should have "established intravenous (IV) access for emergency management" and that "an anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist should have been present."

Documents from the DOH said the patient was already at poor risk for having that type of procedure using that type of anesthetic, and that Brecht did not consult with the patient's primary care doctor and did not get the patient's medical history. 

At a post-operative visit three days after the procedure, the patient was having difficulty breathing and had an oxygen saturation level of 88%, according to the DOH. For an average person, oxygen saturation levels should read between 95% and 100%, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

During that visit, Brecht did not call an ambulance or give the patient oxygen, the DOH said. 

The patient died two days later due to multi-system organ failure, septic shock and aspiration pneumonia, the DOH said.

In May of this year, the DOH filed a complaint with the WMC, informing them of her breach of an agreement to not perform procedures that required sedation.

In a statement, WMC told FOX 13, in part: 

"We began legal action in May and within five months, Dr. Brecht is completely suspended from every kind of medical practice indefinitely. This is actually a swift legal action. The public should know that the WMC took action on Dr. Brecht to protect their health and safety, as fast as statutorily possible, and Dr. Brecht cannot endanger anyone or practice medicine."

WMC said Brecht must tell her patients that her license has been suspended within 21 days of the suspension order. She can contest the suspension by requesting a show of cause hearing.

As of Monday, the WMC said Brecht has not filed an answer to the statement of charges and is suspended indefinitely – without an end date or proposed remedial steps.

The Washington Medical Commission says all patients in Washington are encouraged to look up their doctor before going in for a procedure at this credential search.

Additionally, WMC has resources for patients on a basic list of what they should ask and/or do before a procedure. 

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FOX 13 reached out to Brecht several times on Wednesday through phone, e-mail and even by visiting her office. As of Thursday, Brecht replied to FOX 13 stating that she would get back to us.

She has been licensed to practice as a physician and surgeon since 2004.