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CNN Larry King Live

Plastic Surgery: Worth the Risk?

Aired November 13, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, dying to be beautiful -- is plastic surgery worth the risk?
The shocking death of superstar Kanye West's mother renews concerns about cosmetic procedures. And we'll hear from the uncle of the plastic surgeon who operated on her.

Contemplating going under the knife?

There are some questions you need to ask.

And then, actress Hunter Tylo on the tragic loss of her 19-year- old son, Mickey.

How does a mother cope with the ultimate heartbreak?

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Can Kanye West's 58-year-old mother, Donda West, may have died from complications related to cosmetic surgery. An autopsy was conducted today. However, the final causes of death have not been determined, pending further toxicology. Her funeral is scheduled next Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

A quick note. Tonight, we did expect to speak with the Dr. Aboolian, the doctor who would not operate on Dr. West without a go- ahead from an internist. Dr. Aboolian just informed us that in respecting the wishes of the West family, he would be unable to be a part of tonight's show.

Our operating panel is Harvey Levin, the managing editor of, executive producer of the syndicated TV show, "TMZ." And he's been all over this story.

As has Shaun Robinson of "Access Hollywood," the correspondent for that wonderful program, who, by the way, in the past, has interviewed Donda West.

And joining us, as well, is Dr. Pearlman Hicks, the uncle of Dr. Jan Adams. He is also a plastic surgeon. He practices in Long Beach. He is board certified.

Were you -- when you say Harvard trained, were you a Harvard graduate?

DR. PEARLMAN HICKS, UNCLE OF DR. JAN ADAMS: A graduate of Harvard College and I did my plastic surgery at Harvard.

KING: So you went to undergraduate at Harvard?

HICKS: Undergraduate at Harvard and medical school in Cleveland.

KING: Medical school in Cleveland?


KING: OK. And the board certification was issued in Cleveland?

HICKS: No, it was issued here.

KING: Oh, in -- in California?


KING: That's a test you take after (INAUDIBLE)?

HICKS: It's a national certification, Larry. Yes.

KING: Yes.

All right, Harvey, what do we now know?

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR OF TMZ.COM & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF "TMZ": Well, we know a lot. We know that -- that -- you mentioned Dr. Aboolian said you've got a medical condition, ma'am, and I'm not going to operate on you without this note. We know -- I spoke with the doctor last night. I spoke with Dr. Adams. And I was actually sup...

KING: The surgeon who performed the surgery?

LEVIN: Yes. And he called me. I had left a message and he called me back. And he was exorcised and was upset at the press and was upset at Dr. Aboolian and said he did nothing wrong.

But what we know happened is that she was in surgery for eight hours. The surgery should have taken four hours. I'm told she should have gone to a recovery center. This is a pretty big operation. She didn't. And she may not have gone because she had this condition and they may not have wanted her there because she was high risk. So he sent her home and she died.

And then we started looking today and found out that the medical board basically wants his license; that he's had two DUI convictions; and the medical board -- at least the executive director -- doesn't think he should be practicing. We found malpractice suit after malpractice suit after malpractice suit against him. And in one case, even, a woman says that she -- he botched a surgery. He went over to her house afterwards, took her out to dinner and got her drunk. When she was heavily medicated, had sexual intercourse with her at his house, got her pregnant and then gave her the doctor -- the name of an abortion doctor.

KING: All right, Dr. Hicks, do you know... HICKS: This is the first...

KING: ...have any knowledge of this with regard to your nephew?

HICKS: No. I know not about this, Larry. The first that I heard about this was this morning when I read the newspapers and I saw -- I looked on the computer and saw some names on the Internet.

KING: What do you know of your nephew?

Do you know him well?

HICKS: Well, yes. Well, he -- we grew up in the same community. And I was sort of his mentor and I think he sort of followed me along into plastic surgery. I know him to be a very good person. I'm very shocked at all of this. And, also, before I go on, I want to send my condolences out to the West family, because this is a patient who died. And this is something that's very, very serious.

KING: What's the normal procedure before?

Do you get a complete medical checkup on someone?

HICKS: Yes. There are guidelines that all board certified plastic surgeons should and probably do follow. And, certainly, if a patient is over 40, I would recommend that the patient have a complete physical. And if there is any medical problems that arise that you have a question about as a doctor, then I would have another internist take a look at the patient.

KING: So these things about your nephew that Harvey mentioned, you have no knowledge of?

HICKS: I'm shocked about it. I have no knowledge other than what I saw today (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Shaun, how did you come to know and interview Donda?

SHAUN ROBINSON, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" CORRESPONDENT: Well, I -- back in September, hosted an event for the Kanye West Foundation. Both Dr. West and Kanye were there. I had an exclusive sit down with them...

KING: She is a doctor -- a Ph.D.?

ROBINSON: Yes. Yes. Right, a Ph.D. -- professor of English in Chicago for the last 30 years. And she had quit her job to manage Kanye's career.

And so during this interview -- what is so tragic about this, Larry, is that this was a mother and son who were just so close. Kanye has this very tough exterior. But he was known as really kind of like a mama's boy, because they were just very, very close with each other. And she is somebody who raised her son to be just very independent and very outspoken, as we all know him to be. But there was a very -- just a very soft, tender side. I mean he just melted when he was around her. KING: You interviewed her on what occasion?

ROBINSON: Yes. When I hosted the event for the Kanye West Foundation -- she had written a book called "Raising Kanye". And she talked about raising him as a single mother...

KING: The interview was on...

ROBINSON: tough that was.

KING: The interview was on "Access Hollywood?"

ROBINSON: Yes. We aired that interview on "Access Hollywood". It was the beginning of September.

KING: What do you make of this story?

ROBINSON: Well, you know, it -- why she went in for this surgery -- I mean, you know, you look at her, a beautiful woman. Why many women go in for cosmetic surgery, a lot of people wonder why.

Who knows what her decisions were behind it?

It was something, probably -- I know her son thought she was perfect in his eyes. But it was just -- it's just so, so upsetting because, once again, this was a mother and son who depended on each other so much.

KING: By the way, we invited Dr. Jan Adams on LARRY KING LIVE.

He declined our invitation, but gave us this statement: "I want to first express my deepest condolences to the West family at this very difficult time. As a medical doctor practicing in this field, I hold sacred the bond of confidentiality that exists between the patient and doctor. 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."

Did he discuss any aspect of it with you, Harvey?

LEVIN: Yes, he did. I mean he...

KING: Did he discuss the surgery?

LEVIN: He told me she had gone back and forth with him over four months, constantly changing her mind. He told me that he felt she died either of a heart attack and embolism or extreme vomiting, but he wasn't sure which. So he was -- I mean he went on for 15 minutes on the phone.

KING: So why this statement to us that -- in confidentiality?

LEVIN: I don't know. I mean I was speaking with his uncle before the show and I guess he's just gone off the radar. He's not returning phone calls. He actually said he was going to talk to me today. But as far as I know, he's really spoken to no one.

KING: Does confidentiality go out the window if the patient dies?

HICKS: No, it doesn't.

KING: That always exists?

HICKS: It always exists, yes.

KING: So in taking that stand, he is correct?

He does not -- he should not enlically talk about her, even if she's passed?

HICKS: Larry, absolutely. Absolutely.

KING: Do you -- where's the -- well, we don't know enough, right, Shaun?


KING: We're still a little in the dark.

ROBINSON: Yes, we are.

KING: We don't know how she died.

ROBINSON: Right. And, Larry, let me clear up this big rumor that has been out there. There was a rumor that Oprah Winfrey had introduced Dr. Donda West to Dr. Jan Adams. That is not true. Dr. Jan Adams has done a lot of television in his career and he was on a segment of "The Oprah Winfrey Show". Kanye West was on a totally different segment, a different day, and his mother, Dr. Donda West, was there.

For some reason, a rumor got started that Oprah Winfrey actually introduced the two. That is not true.

KING: That is not true?

ROBINSON: She is -- she did not have any contact with them -- either one of them -- once they left the show that day.

LEVIN: But, Larry, what's interesting about this is that he was on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" almost as the go-to plastic surgeon. He was on the Discovery Channel. He was on NBC on a show they had there. And no one -- none of this, none of this surfaced. And, clearly, you know, had they known, this would have raised a red flag in terms of putting him on the show because it's almost like a "Good Housekeeping" stamp of approval.

KING: If they had known about his past record?


KING: By the way, Shaun and Harvey will be returning with us shortly.

When we come back, we'll talk to cosmetic surgeons about the questions you should ask before having plastic surgery.

As we go to break, a spokesman for the coroner who conducted the autopsy today on Kanye West's mom, Donda.


CAPT. ED WINTER, L.A. COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE: Dr. West reported to the coroner's office on November 12th as resulting from possible complications from cosmetic surgery. Surgery had been performed on November 9th at a surgical center. Dr. West was released to her home following the surgery. On November 10th, she was found unresponsive after being in respiratory distress. She was taken to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus, where efforts to preserve her life were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at 8:28 p.m.. The autopsy was performed.

However, the final causes of death have not been determined, pending further toxicology.



KING: We're back.

And we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Dr. Glenn Vallecillos. He is a plastic surgeon specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Linda Li, board certified in plastics and reconstruction. She does breast, lipo, tummy tucks and reconstructive surgery. She's on "Dr. 90210" on the E! Network.

And remaining with us is Dr. Pearlman Hicks, uncle of Dr. Jan Adams. He is also a plastic surgeon.

All right, what do you require of your patients, doctor, before you do any surgery?

HICKS: They have a -- they have a general workup. If you're over the age of 45, we insist that they see their -- either their primary physician or we refer them to one. And at that point, they'll have the appropriate labs, an EKG. And then we -- we mandate that they have medical clearance before we undergo any significant surgical procedure.

KING: So like an internist or some doctor would have to say, OK?

HICKS: Correct.

KING: That's only over 45?

HICKS: In general, yes, unless they have a significant medical condition, in which case that -- that rule no longer applies to them. And, you know, if you have diabetes, pulmonary disease, cardiac disease, then that would mandate an evaluation, as well.

KING: Is a person over 45, then, generally in greater danger?

HICKS: Yes, sir. I would say so.

KING: You would say that.

OK. Dr. Li, do you follow the same criteria?

DR. LINDA LI, PLASTIC SURGEON, BOARD CERTIFIED IN PLASTICS AND RECONSTRUCTION: Yes. Basically what we're looking for is for a healthy person. This is elective surgery. Nobody needs this. But people want it. And so we really want to make sure that they come out on the other side and in great condition. So, if there's anything that causes us to, you know, worry about them being able to successfully go through the surgery, then we want to make sure that everything is cleared.

KING: Is that mandatory or is it individual practitioner?

LI: It should be mandatory, but I think each practitioner needs to take into consideration...

KING: It's not a rule?

LI: There are no hard and fast rules. We all take a look at the risks and benefits. And if the patient understands the risks and benefits, then some plastic surgeons may be willing to bend things more than others.

KING: Dr. Hicks, what do you want to know about a patient?

HICKS: I want to know as much as I can about their past medical history and what medications they're taking, Larry. Also, I want to get a general idea about their health. And one question I always ask my patients are do you exercise? How do you feel about your weight?

Because, oftentimes nowadays particularly, with the advent of liposuction and other procedures, patients come to us wanting to lose weight -- wanting to have liposuction and procedures like that done, and they're not healthy enough to undergo them. And if you're obese, it's not going to really make a difference.

KING: All right, what should the patient look for in the surgeon, Dr. Vallecillos?

What should he or she want?

DR. GLENN VALLECILLOS, PLASTIC SURGEON, HAWORTH SURGICAL INSTITUTE: They should be board certified or board eligible. They should -- you can look up their history in the California Medical Board, for example. And you can see...

KING: Do they know about lawsuits? VALLECILLOS: Absolutely. You can look that up. That's -- that information is available to anybody. You should look that up and see if they've had any pertinent cases. And if they have, you can even discuss it with them, because there are -- there are times when, you know, complications do happen with everybody. And they should be more than willing to be forthright about that.

KING: Have you ever lost a patient?


KING: Dr. Li, have you lost a patient?

LI: I've never lost a patient in cosmetic surgery.

KING: Dr. Hicks?

HICKS: I've never lost patient in cosmetic surgery, either.

KING: Are you, therefore, all shocked by this, doctor?

VALLECILLOS: Am I shocked by this?

I don't know the exact details, so I...

KING: Well, we don't know the cause of death yet so I mean...

VALLECILLOS: Right. But even, I think under the best of circumstances, complications do happen, even in the best of hands. So I think it would be preliminary to prejudge Dr. Adams oblivious if -- you know, before we know all the -- before we know all the facts. It's just not -- it's not right. I've seen people die under the best of care. So to prejudge it at this point is a little bit preliminary.

KING: Do you agree, Dr. Li?

LI: Absolutely. Any plastic surgeon -- any physician who says they've never had a complications is a liar. We all have complications and even in the best of circumstances. Nobody wants them and it's always a tragedy when something happens.

However, it really comes down to how do you deal with the complication?

KING: Dr. Hicks, it's your nephew, right?


KING: So you obviously say let's withhold judgment.

HICKS: Absolutely. But I do want to add, though, that I feel that patients really need to investigate their doctor thoroughly. I mean I see some patients that spend more time investigating a new car on the Internet than they do their physician. And, also, I want to -- I want to give this as -- to our audience, Larry, that this is an educational thing. We're here to educate the public. And people need to realize that plastic surgery is surgery. Sometimes on TV shows, we see it's sort of glossed over, that it's just an extraordinary mind or body changing event that they have done. But these shows never show the real complications. They never show the agony, sometimes, that the patients have to go through. They have a procedure and three weeks later they're up and about and everything is perfect. But it doesn't always go that way. And I think that the public is being given being given a disservice by some of these shows, which are purely entertainment. They should be more educational and they're not.

KING: Well said.

We'll be right back with more.

Don't go away.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can see it in Sharon Osborne's face and Pamela Anderson's cleavage -- medical science doing what no diet, no exercise, no makeup could ever hope to accomplish.

But not everyone emerges from plastic surgery ready for their close up. "D-Lister" Kathy Griffin claims she had life-threatening complications after failed liposuction in 1999.

"First Wives Club" author Olivia Goldsmith actually died about a week after her surgery to remove loose skin from her chin.

Experts cannot stress enough how important it is that your doctor asks a lot of questions.



KING: Our guests are Dr. Glenn Vallecillos, Dr. Linda Li and Dr. Pearlman Hicks.

We're discussing the tragedy that occurred earlier and getting your thoughts on plastic surgery.

Let's take a call.

Townsend, Delaware, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. What I'm calling -- I have a 19-year-old daughter and she's in her second year of college. And she's been complaining about her back. She's like a 42-DD. I was wondering if I should have surgery -- you know, let her have surgery done?

KING: Dr. Li?

LI: You know, this is really about her and what she wants to do. It is safe to have breast reduction surgery and it can often make a huge change in a person's life, because people who have large breasts complain of back pain, shoulder pain, skin rashes. And it can make a big difference in their quality of life.

So if she's healthy, she has no medical problems, she understands the risks and benefits, the scars associated with breast reduction surgery, she goes into the surgery with open eyes and the possibility of complications, then, yes.

KING: Do you notice, Glenn, personality changes when people change the way they look?

VALLECILLOS: Absolutely. Sometimes it's very true -- especially people -- there are people that, at times, come in wanting surgery for the wrong reasons. We try and push those people away. We really want to try and make a psychologic evaluation.

KING: What's a typical wrong reason?

VALLECILLOS: Improve your life, improve your relationship with your partner. You know, there's outside issues that people come in for you. You really need to delineate those people out because that can be a danger to them because performing a procedure won't necessarily change your life or your relationship.

KING: Dr. Hicks, do you think this incident will keep some people away from the office?

HICKS: Oh, it certainly will. I certainly do think that it will. I hope that tonight we can help allay some patients' fears, though, and so that they realize that certainly plastic surgery is safe and that it can be done as long as it's done in a controlled environment, that patients -- nine times out of 10 their outcomes are perfect, are good.

KING: Alexandria, Virginia, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the difference between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery?

I tend to hear those terms interchangeably.

KING: Linda?

LI: They really are one in the same. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery -- you can call it by the same thing. So I think the only delineation I would make is with reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgery, we use that terminology for people who have suffered some sort of deficit, either due to cancer or a car accident or something...

KING: Injury.

LI: Injury.

KING: There's a lot of that done, right?

LI: There's a lot of cancer out there. There are a lot of accidents out there. KING: What is plastic about plastic surgery?

HICKS: I know that one.


HICKS: Plastic is brought -- it comes from the Greek word "plasticose". And it means to fold, to fashion, to make. And when plastic surgery was developed back in -- when it sort of got its -- when it was first founded, back in the -- at the end of World War I, plastic surgeons developed a specialty to make prostheses for soldiers who were injured in the war, who had facial injuries that had to be -- had to be taken care of so they could go back into society. And that's where the name plastics came from.

KING: How do you find somebody good, Dr. Glenn?

Is it a recommendation?


KING: How do you know who to go to?

VALLECILLOS: You can go to the American Board of Plastic Surgery Web site and there you will have a long list of surgeons in, you know, your area. You can look them up -- usually by recommendation. That's a pretty good resource as your first source. But then from there, you've got to make sure. You've got to interview them. Make sure they have an accredited facility and they're -- they have met all of their credentialing.

KING: Are there many women in plastic surgery?

LI: There are quite a few, but not as many as there -- as one would think. I would say of the 7,000 board certified plastic surgeons, maybe 650 of us are women.

KING: Are you going to talk to your nephew?


KING: I mean you're obviously disappointed. One would think you'd have been there this morning.

HICKS: Excuse me?

KING: One would have thought you might have been there this morning.

HICKS: Well, I came into the office at 9:00 and I had about 30 patients there waiting for me.


HICKS: So it was very difficult for me to drop them and rush off to see him. And it's been difficult to get a hold of him at this point.

KING: Is -- to your knowledge -- and I know you don't speak to him every day and you haven't seen him in a while -- is he a good plastic surgeon?

HICKS: Yes. I mean my experience with Dr. Adams is that he's been a very good plastic surgeon and he's done excellent work. He was my partner for two years when he first started in the practice.

KING: Do you know him, Glenn?

VALLECILLOS: No, I don't. No.

KING: Do you know him, Linda?

LI: No.

KING: When we come back, our reporters return and we'll find out how Kanye West is coping.

Don't go away.


KANYE WEST: My favorite thing is when she said -- you know, I was working on music and I was still living at home. And this is what I'm doing with my life. And she said, you know, Kanye, you know, until you get paid for it, it's still a hobby. And she just worded it so eloquently in comparison to some of my friends' parents that said, "You ain't never going to make it," you know?


You can't be a good parent if you're not a good person. And you're not a good person if you don't get your ego -- at least try to get that in order and realize that there's always something that you can learn, even from the child.



KING: All of our guests are now together. Harvey Levin, I understand, has a clip on your Web site of Dr. Adams, right?

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, no, we didn't put a clip up but I did speak with him, Larry.

KING: Well, we have a clip of you maybe prior...

LEVIN: Oh, no, we have a clip of him on prior shows, correct.

KING: Let's watch a little of this mystery man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you participate in something like that if you were asked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, like I said, for me again, I don't want to do surgery on people I won't see later, OK? And things that go wrong, don't go wrong that day. They generally go wrong two weeks after, a month after when things start to heal. So I want to see people for a good six-month period.


KING: Shaun (ph), we understand that you interviewed the doctor who refused to see...

SHAUN ROBINSON, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" CORRESPONDENT: One of our producers at "Access Hollywood" interviewed Dr. Aboolian yesterday. What's so interesting is that he said he met with Dr. West back in June and she wanted to come to him for a tummy tuck and a breast reduction. And at that time he said because of her pre-existing medical condition, which he described as a thyroid condition, that he would not do the surgery unless there was some medical clearance.

He then said that he referred Dr. West to an internist that she was supposed to see to get medical clearance for this surgery. He said that she never followed up. He actually kept in contact with her and said he talked to her two weeks ago. And at that time still confirmed that she had not seen this internist that he had referred her to.

KING: Would you -- Dr. Vallecillos, would you have given out to the press if you had turned down a patient?

DR. GLENN VALLECILLOS, HAYWORTH SURGICAL INSTITUTE: I myself wouldn't. I think that violates HIPAA regulations. Our interaction is sacred and should not be discussed with anybody.

KING: So therefore, if someone comes to your office and you turn them down, that's still sacrosanct?

VALLECILLOS: If I meet them and interview them, they're my patient technically. I can't speak with anybody about them.

KING: And the same if they pass away?

VALLECILLOS: Absolutely.

KING: You don't talk about them afterwards?


KING: And, Dr. Li, you are the same way, right?


KING: So are you surprised that this doctor did talk to the press?

LI: Yes. Basically, if I had met with the patient, I would take it with me to the grave.

ROBINSON: Yes, and, Larry, I think that one of the things Dr. Aboolian wanted to do, that was so shocking to so many people, you know, this woman who was otherwise very healthy, for her to pass away, Dr. Aboolian was very shocked. And he, I think, was wondering who would have done surgery on her without getting clearance for this particular procedure as he wanted to do.

KING: Harvey, what do you make of this story? Don't jump at the conclusion. We don't know the autopsy.

DR. PEARLMAN HICKS, UNCLE OF DR. JAN ADAMS: Do we know he didn't give clearance? Another doctor could have seen her. Do we have that?

KING: How do we know that?

: According to Dr. Aboolian, he talked to Dr. West two weeks ago and asked her if she had gotten the -- had seen the internist and her answer to him was, no, she had not at that time.

KING: What do we...

LEVIN: What I make of this is, this is a doctor with a very troubled past. And nobody knew it. People were putting him on TV. They were calling him the doctor of choice. They are making him a star. And in three hours we turned up DUIs. We turned up possible revocation of license. We pulled up malpractice cases, all sorts of things and information in this case.

She should have gone to a recovery center. I doubt anybody would disagree here. She should have gone to a recovery center. And he just sent her home.

KING: She just went home.

LEVIN: She just went home after eight hours of surgery. So it's amazing that somebody could fly under the radar that long.

KING: How soon after did she die?

ROBINSON: She passed away on Saturday. So about, what, 24 hours after...

LEVIN: Yes, 7:30, she -- then the 911 call. And the surgery went from the morning until about 6:00 at night on Friday.

KING: Let's take a call from Beverly Hills. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hello, Larry. How are you? As a practicing physician for 25 years in Beverly Hills, a plastic surgeon, my question to my colleagues, what is it going to take to require mandatory health screening for our patients? When will we decide that it's time to say, before we pick up a scalpel that perhaps we want to know everything about our patients and make sure that what it is we're about to do is the right thing?

KING: And you always do that, Doctor?

CALLER: Absolutely, without a doubt. I would have turned down this surgery in this case. Without a doubt, I would have not done the surgery.

KING: Dr. Hicks, when is it going to happen?

HICKS: Well, I think when the public finally gets upset with this and they realize there are a lot of problems that are there in medicine. One thing you may not be aware of, but anyone can say that they are a plastic surgeon. All you have to do is have a medical license.

I could, if I had not been trained as a plastic surgeon, open up a place in Beverly Hills, advertise everywhere and do surgery. There's no law against that.

KING: When is it going to happen, Dr. Li?

LI: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the question.

KING: The question was, why isn't it mandatory that there be a complete workup on every patient before any surgery period?

LI: I think that in most cases -- in our young, healthy patients, there's no real indication that they have to have a full medical workup. It's redundant.

KING: Why not do it just as a precaution?

LI: Because it's redundant. It's not a necessary thing. If you're a 21-year-old female who has no past medical history, no past surgical history, no medical problems, the likelihood of having a complication is very small.

KING: Dr. Vallecillos?

VALLECILLOS: I don't think it will ever happen either. I think the costs that would be incurred would be so high in the medical community, that's just precluding what happened. And as Dr. Li was saying, if your past medical surgical history are normal, your likelihood of having a complication are really pretty low.

KING: Do you know how Kanye is doing?

ROBINSON: No, we have not talked to Kanye. But once again, he was just so close to his mother. I know he was supposed to be performing at a fashion show on Friday. We kind of assumed that that has been cancelled for him. But...

KING: Where is he?

ROBINSON: Well, we are not exactly sure where he is right now. And we have definitely respected the privacy of him and his family because they are going through this very tough time right now. But also, Larry, I think that, you know, we -- as the media, we make plastic surgery look so incredibly easy. We have so many shows that say within an hour's time show you before and after. And I think there is the problem that we all have to address is how -- what messages are we sending to people when we say, you can have it just like this. You can transform yourself within an hour.

KING: We have not heard the last of this. Thanks to all of you.

Kanye West, his family and friends would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words that have come in from across the country since the death of his mother, Dr. Donda West.

And when we come back, tragedy and sadness, actress Hunter Tylo on her son's recent death. We will find out what happened next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, the beautiful and talented Hunter Tylo. The actress, one of the stars of "The Bold and the Beautiful." Her 19-year-old son Mickey died last month in an accidental drowning in Nevada.

The worst thing in life is a loss of a child, correct?

HUNTER TYLO, ACTOR: I thought the worst thing in life was having a sick child and then having a child that might be blind. But there's really nothing more painful than losing a child.

KING: Can you tell us the circumstances, what happened to Mickey?

TYLO: When he was about in his late year -- at his 15th birthday, he began to have some symptoms where he would just walk and be blinking and staring off into space and slowly these turned into some seizures, where literally he would be tremoring and fall into the ground.

KING: Like epilepsy?

TYLO: His was called complex partial seizures. And I didn't find out until much later what it was exactly. But he had been seeing a therapist, who originally was seeing my daughter Katya for some of her issues with -- her medical issues and the trauma that she had been through.

And then this therapist told my son that he didn't really have seizures, per se. That this was some kind of stress disorder. That if she treated him weekly and talked to him, that this would stop these seizures. And they didn't stop. And this went on for 18 months.

KING: What was he doing in Nevada?

TYLO: We were living there and I would commute to come into the "The Bold and the Beautiful" or I would do films.

KING: So you were in L.A. and he was in Nevada?

TYLO: Actually, this last five months, he was with me here in L.A., because I was seeking proper medical treatment.

KING: But he died in Nevada?

TYLO: Yes.

KING: And he died how? What happened?

TYLO: He had driven out to see his girlfriend, and then he went to our home in Nevada, and he was trying to call his girlfriend that morning. They were going to meet up for breakfast. So about I guess 6:15, 6:30, he had called her and then she was going to call him back. And he never picked up again. He was standing out by the pool to get reception, and then a seizure occurred and he fell into the water.

KING: So they know he had a seizure at the pool and he fell into the water and drowned. Did they do an autopsy?

TYLO: Yes. There wasn't -- no toxicology. I mean, he did not do anything. He was actually trying to work on taking his medications and get better.

KING: How did you find out?

TYLO: My oldest son, Chris, his older brother, called and told me that...

KING: Said what?

TYLO: It's like what you never want to hear. He said, mom, are you sitting down? And, you know, you don't want to hear that. I said, oh quite, what do you want? He said, mom, I'm not kidding, are you sitting down? And there's just this hot rush of blood that just envelopes your whole face and your chest and you just begin to know that there's something terribly wrong.

And he said, it's about Mike. And I don't know if it was just my body language or just what was happening, and even though I was trying to cover because my two daughters were sitting at the table where this phone call came, my daughter, who is 11 years old now, she immediately said, is Mike dead? I looked at her and I went -- you know, and was like, let me get on the phone here.

So I walked further away from the table. And the next thing my son said is, I found Mike in the pool. He's dead. And it was the worst thing I have ever heard in my life.

KING: We will be right back. But first let's check in with Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, coming up on the top of the hour on the program, "get some heat." That's what a former friend of O.J. Simpson's testified today, that Simpson told him before barging into that Vegas hotel room. The prosecution is trying to prove Simpson not only knew guns were present but that he actually told his, I guess you would call them his posse, to bring them. You will never guess how Simpson's team responded to that charge. We will have details.

Plus, the governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, today standing on the steps of the capital trying the power of prayer to bring some rain to a state. Will it work? That's an interesting tactic. How powerful is prayer when it comes to curing illness? That is where we are going to talk to Deepak Chopra as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz. We are going to take your calls, answering about the power of prayer. All that and more and top of the hour -- Larry.

KING: Thanks, Anderson, that is "AC 360" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. And we will be right back with Hunter Tylo right after this.


KING: We're back with Hunter Tylo.

How are Mickey's two sisters and brother taking this?

TYLO: Well, of course, my oldest son is the one who found him in the pool. And he just has a tremendous amount of guilt because apparently his brother fell in the pool before he even went to work. He was still asleep. Got up...

KING: Guilty, meaning, should have been up, should have saved him?

TYLO: Yes, I don't know where his mind may wander, but all I know is he can hardly go near the pool. We were trying to clean out the house, but nobody can even live there right now. So he is devastated.

KING: I have heard that you have been helped by Rick Warren, the author of "The Purpose-Driven Life." Helped how?

TYLO: Well, it's interesting because I had gone out to his church. My boyfriend is playing in a band there, bass player. And so I had gone out there a few times, I had taken Mickey. And then interestingly enough, everybody was trying to convince me, you need to start getting out after the funeral, get out, let's get you moving and there's only so long you can cry.

And so they took me to Rick Warren's church and the sermon that day was just, I mean, right on with what I'm going through. And the encouragement was there. And he's an amazing pastor.

KING: Yes, he is.

TYLO: And just great words of faith.

KING: How is Mickey's father, your ex-husband Michael, taking it? TYLO: It has got to be very difficult. I mean...

KING: Were they close?

TYLO: Yes. For me, I have two sons, my first son is from another marriage. This was Michael's only blood son. So I'm sure it has got to be devastating to him.

KING: We have an e-mail from Debbie in Georgetown, Indiana: "I'm a big fan and am keeping you in my prayers. How do you manage to keep your faith in the face of terrible loss?"

TYLO: I think you couldn't handle terrible loss if you didn't have faith. That's my experience. There's no way to tell someone, you know, if you have faith, you're going to be able to handle everything.

Unless you take a leap of faith and you're willing to take the pain that life throws at you and try to find what God is trying to do with your life, and that pain, then I think people do -- they lose hope. I mean, there's a lot of broken-hearted people. There's a lot of people that go off the deep end. They start doing drugs. They start resenting and becoming bitter. If I didn't have my faith, I wouldn't be able to handle it.

KING: An e-mail from Meagan in Thunder Bay, Ontario: "Will you continue playing Taylor on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' after experiencing this tragedy? If so, how difficult do you think it will be?"

TYLO: As an actress, I use my pain to work. It's my work, it's what I do. I don't think Mike would want me to not be acting. I think he would want me to go on and not let his loss in my life right now interrupt who I am, what I do.

KING: You think about him every day?

TYLO: Every day. Every day.

KING: And the hurdle is -- now some say you never forget, you will never forget your whole life.

TYLO: Yes. I don't see how that, you know, gaping hole in my life is ever going to be healed. I don't think that's the point because I don't ever want to forget him. What I want to do is find out what I can do to turn his unfortunate situation around for other people, just like I did with Katya.

KING: We will be back with Hunter Tylo. We will also meet her attorney. They have got a particular lawsuit which we will hear about right after this.


KING: Hunter Tylo remains. We are joined by Patricia Vaccarino, the attorney for Hunter Tylo. And we understand you represent her and her children in a lawsuit, the lawsuit filed prior to Mickey's death.


KING: We do not have a lot of time, so break it down for me. What is the case?

VACCARINO: It's basically a malpractice case. There are two defendants involved. One was the clinical -- licensed clinical social worker that actually did most of the hands-on treatment for the Tylo family. The other defendant that's involved is the entity where they practiced social work. There's another person that actually was involved in the treatment of the family.

KING: The treatment of the whole family?

VACCARINO: Well, the only person that really wasn't treated was Christopher Tylo. However, the other -- the rest of the family was.

KING: Hunter was treated?

VACCARINO: Hunter was being -- mistreated, basically, is what we say by these individuals.

KING: Mickey was treated, too?

VACCARINO: Mickey was brought in to -- first Katya was brought in but Mickey was brought in after. And she basically -- which basically is a violation of the code of ethics, crossed the boundaries and had the conflict of interest and was treating and acting in multiple capacities.

KING: Where along is the lawsuit?

VACCARINO: The lawsuit is from far trial. And there are many things that have to go on now upon the death of Mickey. The case will be converted into a wrongful death case and there are other issues involved.

One of our biggest concerns is the Nevada State Board of Social Workers has not acted on investigation. And what I have recently learned is that they -- my assistant, Deb Culpainter (ph), had called and found out directly that when a civil case is pending, these boards that license these individuals do not want to investigate because they think it's going to give possibly the plaintiffs a leg up in a case, which is of great concern, especially with what you have just seen on the first segment of your show.

KING: Hunter, why were you using social workers rather than psychiatrists or psychologists?

TYLO: Well, it started out with my daughter, dealing with her cancer and the loss of her eye and she's disfigured to where children sometimes would aggravate and tease her at school. And she was having behavioral problems.

KING: Why a social worker? TYLO: Well, the school had been given flyers by this person, this LCSW, that she specialized in treating children. So now my daughter Katya became a patient and this person proceeded to pull each one of us in, which is also against ethics, but I didn't know that, and began to diagnose people and misdiagnose people and saying that no one had a diagnosis, that it was all so-and-so's fault. And it was just...

KING: This was all in Nevada?

TYLO: ... a disaster.

VACCARINO: This case is pending in the 8th Judicial District Court of Clark County, Nevada. The concern is that, again, we have these issues where if you have a civil case pending and you have a statute of limitations in which you have to bring that case, but then the board that licenses these individuals, they do not go ahead and investigate the claims.

I mean, there needs to be new federal and state guidelines that force these entities to immediately investigate, despite a civil claim.

KING: Seems like catch-22.

TYLO: It does.

KING: Thank you very much, Patricia. And you keep us posted as well.

VACCARINO: Thank you for having us.

KING: And, Hunter, what can we say? The best of luck to you.

TYLO: Thank you.

KING: Be strong. You're quite a lady.

VACCARINO: Thank you.

KING: You have all of our warmth and wishes.

By the way, LARRY KING LIVE contacted the attorney representing Shanna Downing (ph) for a response to Hunter Tylo's lawsuit. He said there was no comment at this time. We also contacted the attorney representing Horizon (ph) Family Therapy and Wellness, he said it would be inappropriate to comment about ongoing litigation.

Finally tonight, we want to tell you about Kyle Fleischmann. He's missing and we hope you can help. Kyle lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. There you see his picture. He was last seen Thursday night at the Buckhead Saloon in Charlotte's Uptown area. He got in the cab at about 2:15 a.m., made some unanswered calls from his cell phone around 3:30 that morning. That's all we know. To learn more or to help, go to Also check out our Web site, You can download our current podcast or e-mail upcoming guests, all on

Tomorrow night, Donnie and Marie plus five other Osmond brothers. ANDERSON COOPER 360 starts now -- Anderson.