A glamorous cosmetic surgeon dubbed the “Barbie Doctor” is standing trial after she was accused of mutilating at least eleven patients in botched surgeries.
Olgica Markanovic allegedly carried out botched operations without a licence and will go on trial alongside her associate, who has been named only as Jasmina T. due to strict local privacy laws.
One of the alleged victims of the pair claims to have asked for her nose and eyebrows to be raised but instead left with her face burnt and unable to open her eyes for seven days.
Markanovic was arrested on the border between Serbia and Croatia on June 1, 2021, after a number of patients complained of scars and injuries after she performed cosmetic surgery on them.
The first attempt by prosecutors to start the trial was postponed due to the absence of Jasmina T, who is about to give birth. This is the second attempt to start the trial.
Markanovic allegedly carried out illegal and unlicensed cosmetic procedures on at least 11 people from May 2020 to March this year.
She allegedly used a “plasma pen” on her patients causing permanent damage to their faces in the form of second- and third-degree burns, according to local media outlet Telegraf.
The pair also allegedly used the drug lidocaine chloride as a local anaesthetic and this is said to have endangered the lives of the people they were operating on as it could have caused an allergic reaction that in some cases can result in death.
She defended herself, claiming that the services she was providing to her patients were cosmetic and that she never presented herself as an expert in the field of medicine, according to Telegraf.
She reportedly said that the plasma pen was not a medical instrument but a cosmetic one and that she had a certificate to use the device, adding that any injuries suffered by patients were down to their failure to comply with strict instructions for adequate recovery, such as avoiding tanning beds or exposing their skin to sunlight.
A group of at least eleven men and women filed a complaint in March 2021 against the suspect claiming that they had been disfigured after she treated them at her salon in the Serbian capital Belgrade.
One male victim, name not disclosed, told Croatian media outlet Blic: “When I met her she introduced herself as the ‘President of Aesthetics’.”
He added: “She then introduced herself to my girlfriend as a qualified doctor.”
Another victim, who was also not named, told the Croatian news site Jutarnji that she went to the suspect’s salon to have her nose and eyebrows raised but was instead left with burns all over her face.
She added that for seven days she could barely open her eyes, and for several months simple tasks such as eating and drinking became agonising due to the scars on her face.
Although eleven lawsuits have been filed against the suspect, she is rumoured to have treated over 20 people, all of whom suffered some sort of medical injury.
According to Blic, the ‘President of Aesthetics’ could face up to three years in prison and a fine.