Some women seeking enhancements of their buttocks are flocking to storefront clinics in the Miami-Dade area of Florida that advertise reduced-price Brazilian butt lifts (fat grafting to the buttocks), in which a metal rod is thrust repeatedly in and out of the body through a surgical incision in order to suction fat from one part of the body (often the abdomen), which is then introduced into the buttocks to achieve a larger or different appearance. If improperly performed, a Brazilian butt lift can result in unexpected results, such as disfigurement or even death.
A cottage industry of storefront clinics have been popping up to meet the increasing demand for such procedures not only from Florida women but also from women who come to the Miami-Dade County area from other U.S. states who are seeking Brazilian butt lifts at low-cost. We have blogged in the past regarding women who have been severely and permanently injured, or worse, as a result of Brazilian butt lifts that have gone terribly wrong in Florida.
In this recent case, a 40-year-old woman from Louisiana traveled to a Miami-Dade area storefront clinic where she underwent a Brazilian butt lift on December 14, 2017 that went horribly wrong; she was at least the sixth person to have died in the Miami-Dade area since 2013 as a result of the same complication during a Brazilian butt lift.
What killed the Louisiana Woman? The Miami-Dade medical examiner determined that her cause of death was “Fat Embolism Associated with Liposuction and Fat Transfer.” An examination of the woman’s heart, lungs, and circulatory system during the autopsy found “A 2.5 x 2 x 1 centimeter fat embolus is within the supraphrenic inferior vena cava, and numerous several-millimeter globules of fat are admixed in the blood within the heart. A 3 x 2 x 1 centimeter fat embolus is within the right atrium. Fragments of adipose tissue are within the right ventricle and pulmonic valve” and “Multiple fat emboli are within the small vessels of the lung parenchyma. The lumina of the right and left pulmonary arteries have small amounts of fragmented adipose tissue.” Source
The “Hemorrhage of right inferior gluteal vessel” found during the autopsy probably explains the manner of death: the inferior gluteal vein was injured during the Brazilian butt lift procedure that allowed fat that was injected in the area to enter the vein and travel to the woman’s heart and lungs, leading to her death.
The uninsured family doctor who had performed the Brazilian butt lift on the Louisiana woman reportedly was not Board-certified in any medical specialty.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons warns about the risks associated with buttock augmentation by fat transfer that include:
Excessive loss of blood
Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
Possibility of revisional surgery
Numbness and pain
Fat embolism, injection of fat into the bloodstream that causes inflammation in the lungs
Fluid shifts and lidocaine toxicity
Complications of liposuction
Complications of anesthesia
Swelling and bruising
Possible need for a revision surgery at a later date
Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cautions: “Buttock augmentation involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).”
If you or a loved one suffered unexpected injury or death as a result of a Brazilian butt lift or other cosmetic surgery in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.