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Recent Deaths Underscore The Potential Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery

March 22, 2017

A 25-year-old woman from Kansas City, MO died at a Miami-Dade cosmetic surgery clinic within the last week according to the Miami Herald. The woman traveled to the clinic to have a procedure known as the "Brazilian Butt Lift" performed on her. This woman is the second in a month to perish from complications due to cosmetic surgery in Miami-Dade County. She is also the second woman in a year to die after seeking cosmetic treatment at this particular treatment facility. While every surgery presents some risks, the Southeastern U.S. medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law advise their clients to thoroughly research the physician, the clinic, and the potential complications that could arise from cosmetic surgery.

The Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure whereby a physician removes cellulite from the patient's stomach and injects it into the buttocks. The transplanted cellulite is then given the desired shape. According to the Miami Herald, this particular surgical clinic, which was known by different names, markets its procedures to out-of-state clients with promises of remarkable physical changes with amazing results. Unfortunately, the elective surgery, although performed on an out-patient basis, is dangerous. This most recent tragedy is a reminder of that reality.

The young woman who died last week was reportedly appearing happy and healthy the day of the procedure. The situation took a turn for the worse when, around 9:00 p.m., medical personnel at the clinic called for emergency medical services because their patient stopped breathing and had fallen unconscious. EMS personnel transported her to a local hospital where she tragically died despite emergency medical intervention. The coroner's office has accepted the case, and the cause of death is pending a full autopsy and toxicology report.

This clinic and others associated with it have been involved in deaths and serious injuries to patients in the last three years. These incidents call into question the safety of the procedure itself as well as other issues relating to the medical staff performing them. Other incidents include:

  • the death of a 29-year-old woman who was the mother of two young children who died resulting from complications after receiving the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure; in 2016
  • a 32-year-old Ecuadorian mother died after her heart stopped during liposuction surgery;
  • the demise of a 51-year-old died from an embolism in her lung after having surgery at this clinic in 2013; and
  • substantial and life-threatening injuries such as damaged livers and other organs from cosmetic procedures.

The use of general anesthesia is called into question according to the news report. The clinic administers the general anesthetic instead of a local anesthetic. The general anesthetic is considered by some to be the riskier option. Patients must sign an informed consent before receiving the procedure and the anesthesia. The newspaper reported that the informed consent form signed by a woman who died showed information crossed out and written over, rendering the task of determining exactly what procedure the patient agreed virtually impossible. Health officials also found that the clinic used ineffective equipment and was cited for poor record keeping.

Another woman died in Miami-Dade County during the month of March 2017 from complications resulting from cosmetic surgery. That victim was a 32-year-old woman from Antigua who died during a liposuction procedure at a different clinic.

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.