Cedar Grove doctor has medical license suspended

CEDAR GROVE, NJ — Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced Oct. 19 that the State Board of Medical Examiners has temporarily suspended the license of an Essex County physician amid allegations that he has been traveling to dozens of offices in New Jersey and neighboring states, where he performed invasive aesthetic procedures with inadequate formal training and little regard for the health and safety of his patients.

Dr. Muhammad A. Mirza, a board-certified internist from Cedar Grove with an office in Summit, advertises and performs a variety of costly and invasive cosmetic enhancement services through his “Mirza Aesthetics” practice, which he operates primarily from rental spaces in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Traveling from office to office, carrying medical products in duffle bags, Mirza allegedly saw up to 30 patients daily in makeshift spaces with substandard protocols for medical recordkeeping, patient follow-up and storage of medical supplies, including products that require refrigeration and strict temperature control.

In a verified complaint filed with the board, the state alleges that Mirza’s practice of aesthetic medicine grossly deviated from accepted standards of medical care because he performed procedures in a manner that could cause bodily harm, lacks formal medical training and an adequate knowledge of aesthetic medicine, performed procedures in inappropriate office settings, and failed to store medical supplies properly or maintain records.

Mirza’s alleged improper use of certain dermal fillers for off-label purposes — including non-surgical penile and breast enhancement procedures — poses a clear and imminent danger to the public, the state alleged in the verified complaint.

In one alleged instance, Mirza’s use of an injectable dermal filler in a nonsurgical penile enhancement procedure allegedly caused permanent harm to a patient who suffered complications that required his hospitalization, where he underwent two emergency surgical interventions. When consulted by an emergency room physician regarding his treatment of the patient, Mirza allegedly failed to accurately disclose the exact filler he injected into the patient’s penis, further complicating the patient’s post-procedure emergency care.

“Patients who seek cosmetic procedures are entitled to safe and appropriate care by properly trained professionals who put their health and safety above all else,” Bruck said. “We will not allow doctors to take advantage of patients’ desires to look and feel better about themselves by subjecting them to medically inappropriate procedures that expose them to grave harm and permanent disfigurement.”

Under an interim consent order with the board, Mirza, who denies the allegations against him, agreed to the temporary suspension of his license until his case is heard by an administrative law judge and until further action of the board.

In addition to temporarily suspending Mirza’s license to practice medicine in New Jersey, the interim consent order prohibits him from treating New Jersey patients in any other location where he is licensed to practice, including New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

“Doctors who flout accepted standards in the practice of aesthetic medicine, as alleged in this case, place their patients at risk and enrich themselves at the expense of public health and safety,” said Sean P. Neafsey, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The temporary measures announced today make full use of the board’s authority to ensure New Jersey residents are adequately protected while this case moves forward.”

The state alleges that Mirza engaged in repeated acts of negligence, professional misconduct, gross negligence and endangerment, and other professional standards violations in conduct that include: improper off-label use of an injectable dermal filler for aesthetic procedures close to patients’ eyes, which, if done incorrectly, can lead to loss of vision or permanent blindness; improper off-label use of an injectable dermal filler for breast enhancement, which can obfuscate patients’ mammogram results; and use of a certain injectable dermal filler without performing a skin allergy test on patients prior to injection, as required, which can cause patients to suffer acute episodes of hypotension, breathing difficulties and other allergic reactions.

The Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs opened an investigation into Mirza and Mirza Aesthetics in April 2021, following the board’s receipt of numerous consumer complaints about the doctor and his practice of aesthetic medicine.

Patient complaints include allegations that Mirza failed to wear a mask or medical surgical gloves while performing procedures; used high-pressure sales tactics; would not disclose what products he was using or show the product’s packaging to patients; caused physical complications, including a lump and a seizure; failed to respond to post-procedure complaints and/or requests for records; and performed aesthetic procedures in an area described as a “small storage closet” and “closet area with a bench.”

Enforcement Bureau investigators conducted a subsequent inspection of Mirza’s office in Summit, which reportedly revealed, among other things, that the medical office consisted of one large room with a curtain used as a divider between the waiting room/receptionist area and the patient examination/treatment area; the examination/treatment area had only chairs and a fold-away table, with no medical examination table; and Mirza’s supply of injectable fillers was stored in “duffle bags” and no medical storage refrigerators were observed on the premises.

Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by calling 1-800-242-5846 toll-free within New Jersey or 973-504-6200.