After years of Texas Medical Board disciplinary action, Southlake plastic surgeon Dr. Jon Ver Halen’s probation required him to refrain from performing plastic or cosmetic surgery on any patients, but board documents say he admitted to a patient’s husband that he performed a surgery on them when he was officially listed as a “surgical assistant.” Earlier this month, the Texas Medical Board suspended his license after it alleges that he violated a previous disciplinary probation.
Ver Halen has a history of TMB discipline going back to allegedly making false statements in 2008. He has been practicing in Texas for four years and went to medical school at Harvard before being trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Washington. According to his website, he was a varsity swimmer and rower for the University of California Los Angeles. His website says he has spoken at conferences for the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, serving on committees and boards. But he also has a lengthy disciplinary history with the Texas Medical Board.
Ver Halen had been medical board probation from an alleged 2022 incident, which helped Ver Halen avoid a suspension. One stipulation of the probation was that Ver Halen could not practice plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures and that he had to have a chaperone present when doing a physical examination of a female patient. He wasn’t allowed to register to provide office-based anesthesia, couldn’t treat his immediate family or those with whom he has personal relationships, and cannot prescribe, dispense, administer, or authorize controlled substances for family and those with whom he has relationships, among other restrictions and requirements. The medical board says he violated those restrictions.
Medical Board documents say Ver Halen provided medical services to patients without getting approval from the Texas Medical Board, as required by a previous disciplinary measure. Board documents allege that Ver Halen performed a Brazilian butt lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, and other procedures on several patients, violating the 2022 order prohibiting him from doing so. Two patients suffered from post-surgical infections and required emergency care at a hospital. Ver Halen’s TMB file says he has privileges at Methodist Southlake and Star Medical Center in Plano.
Ver Halen’s first interaction with board discipline came in 2008, when board documents said he had to pay a $4,000 penalty for submitting a false or misleading statement in an application for licensure. Things were quiet for a decade, but in 2018, a formal complaint was lodged against Ver Halen with the State Office of Administrative Hearings alleging that he prescribed controlled substances and performed breast augmentation for two patients in an office not designed or operated as a surgical facility. Additionally, documents allege those surgeries were scheduled on Sundays when the facility was closed so he could offer discounts without proper support staff or office-based anesthesia equipment. As first reported by The Dallas Morning News in 2018, the board’s complaint also alleges that Ver Halen watched football during the entire procedure, which was allegedly botched.
Furthermore, the board alleges that Ver Halen prescribed multiple controlled substances to his wife and another person with whom “he had an intimate, personal relationship” without proper monitoring or documentation. The board also says he prescribed weight loss and depression medications to 11 patients without a proper medical evaluation.
Seven months after the complaint, the TMB stayed a suspension and put Ver Halen on probation, providing more oversight to his practice and limiting his independence. To prevent his suspension, he was required to have a chaperone present when examining a female patient, had to modify his DEA registration to eliminate schedule II and schedule III substances, had to move his practice to a group or institutional setting approved in advance by the board, was unable to provide office-based anesthesia, was not allowed to treat immediate family or other close relationships, and more.
In late 2019 and early 2020, board documents say that Ver Halen began requesting approval to practice with other physicians at their offices as the probation required, and the board approved one location in Mansfield and denied another in Flower Mound. Board documents allege that he admitted to performing liposuction at an unapproved setting without a supervising physician–violating his probation. The board documents say, “his conduct evidences attempts to evade compliance with the restrictions” on his license. The board decided to rescind his probation, suspend his license for 90 days, fine him $5,000, and keep the probation restrictions in place.
Another complaint was filed against Ver Halen in 2021. In 2022, the board charged that he had mishandled patients again. Alleged board charges include inadequate documentation of his evaluation and procedures and improperly delegating a patient procedure to his wife (Ver Halen’s website lists a physician’s assistant named Elaine Ver Halen) while improperly monitoring the patient following the procedure.
Despite the accusations, Ver Halen’s license was not suspended at that time. In June of 2022, he was put on probation with restrictions until he made a written petition. On top of all the restrictions placed on his practice in 2019, he could no longer practice plastic or cosmetic surgery in any setting and needed to have a documented chaperone with him during physical examinations. He was required to take 20 hours of continued education about supervision and record keeping and turn in a report on the classes to the Compliance Department.
This last set of probation restrictions bring us to the current board discipline, where Ver Halen was listed as the “first surgical assistant” to procedures but allegedly told the patient’s husband that he personally performed the procedure–a violation of his probation. This lead to his current suspension.
Ver Halen’s lawyer Jordan Parker, a partner at Cantey Hanger LLP, responded to D CEO’s request for comment with this statement: “Anybody can make factual assertions to the Texas Medical Board, but that doesn’t mean that they are true. The underlying facts that served as the basis for the temporary suspension of Dr. Ver Halen’s medical license are not factually accurate. The truth will come out in due course in the procedural process afforded to all licensees.”
According to the TMB, the suspension remains in place until further action.