While officials await the final results of an autopsy conducted Tuesday on the remains of Dr. Donda West, the mother of Kanye West who died Saturday at age 58, more and more information is surfacing about the man who performed cosmetic surgery on Dr. West, plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams of Beverly Hills, California.
An official cause of death won’t be released for at least six weeks, pending further test results, but the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has said it was likely due to complications from the surgery. Adams speculated to TMZ.com that her death was not caused by the surgery, and that it might have instead been caused by a heart attack, a pulmonary embolism or vomiting. West was unresponsive and in respiratory arrest at her home on Saturday and pronounced dead that evening after being treated at a nearby hospital.
CNN reports that Adams is the subject of an investigation by the Medical Board of California, which is exploring whether the doctor’s medical license should be revoked or suspended after he was arrested twice in the past four years for alcohol-related offenses. But Adams’ problems don’t stop there: According to The Associated Press, he has been the target of several malpractice lawsuits, and two cases in 2001 ended in payouts of $217,337 and $250,000.
According to CNN, Adams had previously said that he performed cosmetic surgery on Dr. West at a surgical center, but The Associated Press reports that Adams, citing doctor-patient confidentiality, would not say when or where the surgery was done. He issued a statement through his spokesman Kevin Williams on Tuesday, AP reports, and in it he said, “I first want to express my deepest condolences to the West family at a very difficult time. Out of respect for the West family and in the absence of other verifiable information, any comment from me without first discussing that information with the family would be unprofessional.”
Adams, who has made a number of television appearances as an expert guest on “Oprah,” “The Other Half,” CNN, “Entertainment Tonight” and “Extra.” He also had his own series on Discovery Health, “Plastic Surgery: Before and After,” but according to AP, it has been pulled from the channel’s lineup. He also sells a line of skincare products and authored two books on plastic surgery, including 2000’s “Everything Women of Color Should Know About Plastic Surgery.”
In 2006, Adams was reportedly convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater, and pleaded no contest to driving under the influence in 2003. According to AP, he also pleaded no contest to another alcohol-related charge, filed against him in 1994.
AP reports that David Thornton, the medical board’s executive director, filed a complaint against Adams earlier this year, alleging that his arrests were a clear violation of the Medical Practice Act and indicating that Adams may have abused alcohol. A hearing in that matter is still pending. He has been placed on probation in the past and was once ordered to complete an alcohol-counseling program. His medical license is set to expire in April.
Meanwhile, a civil action brought by an Orange County woman is still pending against Adams. She alleges that, in 2006, she was hospitalized with a high fever and fluid in her left breast, following a botched surgery to remove excess skin and reshape her chest and abdomen. Two other cases against Adams also remain active.
Through a spokesman, Adams told AP that he performed an abdominoplasty (commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck”) and breast reduction on Dr. West but would not say when or where the surgery was done. He refutes reports that her death was a result of the surgery.
Adams graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1985. His Web site, which has been taken down, claimed he received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and studied plastic surgery at the University of Michigan, according to AP.