Plastic surgery is no longer the taboo it once was—everything from liposuction to rhinoplasty is becoming somewhat run-of-the-mill. However, there are some individuals who resort to going under the knife in illegal and unsafe clinics.
In these particular cases, one often finds that the patient is completely unaware of the risks involved. The safety of patients should be every plastic surgeon’s main concern. Unfortunately, in the case of unlicensed practitioners, the surgeon is more concerned with raking in money than getting the job done properly.
Minerva Rodriguez signed herself for a buttock augmentation by an unlicensed practitioner in an apartment in the Bronx. She received the injections, and immediately began to vomit uncontrollably. After being rushed to the hospital, she was pronounced dead a few hours after the initial injections.
Lidocaine Poisoning Marked as the Cause of Death
According to medical professionals, the cause of Rodriguez’ death was acute lidocaine poisoning. This substance is generally used to numb the area in which the augmentation procedure is being performed. In most cases, 50ml is enough to kill a person. Therefore, it is imperative that a licensed anesthetist in a professional medical setting administers lidocaine carefully.
12 Incisions Seem a bit Excessive
An area plastic surgeon noted that the large amounts of lidocaine in Minerva Rodriguez’ system were not the only indicator that an unlicensed, non-medical person was the culprit. Most plastic surgeons will complete a buttock augmentation with one single incision (two or three at most). The twelve incisions found on Rodriguez’ body are completely unheard of.
Trust is a Contributing Factor
Trust is a huge issue among the Latin American community. In many cases, people prefer to go under the knife of a surgeon who has similar cultural ties. Unlicensed plastic surgeons prey on this; convincing the patient that they are licensed in their home country and that they have completed the surgery many times over. More often than not, the simple thought that the surgeon is qualified in their home country is enough to sway the patient’s opinion.
Guilty Surgeon Wanted for Reckless Endangerment
The woman who performed the procedure has a warrant out for her arrest after empty syringes, hypodermic needles and vials of lidocaine were found in her apartment where the procedure was performed. According to her son, she had been performing buttock augmentation surgery for over 20 years. Although she is not licensed to perform this particular procedure, her son claims that she does have some form of medical license but he is not sure of what that could be.
This incident is a reminder that plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments of any kind need to be performed by licensed practitioners. It is necessary for patients to do their due diligence prior to undergoing any operation and to ensure that the doctor performing the procedure is properly qualified and working in a sanitary medical environment.