Woman Sues Doc Over "Cocaine Nose" Photos

Chicagoan: Plastic surgeon posted embarrassing pix

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Cocaine Nose Lawsuit

JULY 30--A Chicago woman is suing her plastic surgeon for publishing before and after photos of her facial reconstruction and labeling the images “Cocaine Nose.”

Sabrina Kropp, 55, alleges that Dr. Robert Walton posted the photos to his web site last year without her permission, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Cook County Circuit Court. The photos were taken in 2004 and were supposed to be kept confidential, Kropp contends.

The photos, which have been removed from Walton’s web site, were originally posted in a section highlighting assorted “nose procedures” performed by the 68-year-old surgeon.

Three “before” images (seen above) were captioned, “Pre-operative view of a cocaine injured nose with collapse of the nasal lining.” A trio of “after” images (seen below) were described as “Post operative views of the cocaine injured nose following reconstruction of the nasal lining with a microsurgical Bat Flap. A stable nasal platform has been restored allowing for projection of the mid face. Rib cartilage grafts were used to provide structural support.”

The six images each carried black redaction marks covering the eyes of Walton’s patient (who is not identified).

As first reported by the Chicago Tribune, Kropp alleges that Walton uploaded the photos to a web site launched in conjunction with his opening of a new medical practice, Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC.

According to her complaint, Kropp has suffered “great harm” as a result of the publication of the photos. Walton, she added, should have realized that the photos would cause her distress, shame, and embarrassment.

While a link to the “Cocaine Nose” images has been deleted from Walton’s web site, the original page remains online and can be accessed through a Google search. Additionally, cached pages containing the photos can be found on the Internet Archive. (4 page)