Cosmetic surgery is often a great way to make people feel younger and more refreshed. Procedures like Botox and facelifts erase wrinkles like magic, and breast implants can give a woman the curves she’s always wanted.
According to a study from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of cosmetic surgery procedures has grown by 155% since 1997. The ASAPS says that in 2010, 1.6 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the United States alone. It’s clear that the quest for perfection through cosmetic surgery is becoming more popular and more accessible than ever. There are thousands of accredited cosmetic surgery clinics worldwide, with doctors who pride themselves on their first-class medical expertise, but what happens when a patient looks elsewhere for cosmetic surgery?
In Las Vegas, two Colombian citizens were arrested in the death of Elena Caro after a botched butt augmentation procedure. According to The Telegraph, Caro, 42, was hoping to achieve a younger look by enhancing and smoothing her curves with butt augmentation surgery. With a recommendation from a close friend, she secretly booked the surgery at a backroom clinic in Las Vegas.
The two “doctors” told Caro that she would be able to walk right out of surgery, and was later found wandering the streets of Las Vegas in total agony. Unfortunately, she died later at a local hospital. Those arrested were Ruben Dario Matallana-Galvas and Carmen Olfidia Torres-Sanchez, and neither of them are licensed to practice medicine in the state of Nevada. Matallana-Galvas informed police that he is a homeopathic doctor in Colombia.
They are both now being charged with one count of murder each.
This isn’t the only story of black market plastic surgeries happening in the U.S. A 20- year-old young woman lost her life after having buttock augmentation injections in a hotel room in Philadelphia. And the list goes on and on.
With all the amazing technology and thousands of reputable medical professionals worldwide, why are unnecessary tragedies happening? Although officials are trying to crack down on black market plastic surgery, patients must take responsibility for their medical care as well.
Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez is adamant that all patients seeking out cosmetic surgery procedures do their research before making any medical decisions. He recommends that patients double-check all medical licensing, qualifications, and the overall condition of the surgery clinic you choose, no matter if you are in the United States or abroad.
If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery, find a cosmetic surgeon (http://www.whereismydoctor.com/plastic-surgery) in your area.
Illegal plastic surgery and its obvious risks made headlines again last week. Morris “Tracey Lynn” Garner – who dresses and lives as a woman – was charged with depraved-heart murder in Mississippi. He allegedly injected a woman’s buttocks with so much of a silicone-like substance, which is not approved or recommended for butt injections, that she later died of complications. The number of illegal surgeries is hard to track because they so often go unreported, but many surgeons assert that underground and procedures are on the rise – presumably due to the number of revision patients they see as a result.
You don’t even have words to speak about what a horrible thing it is when somebody who is trying to improve their appearance and self-confidence only ends up, not only potentially unhappy, but dead,
Dr. Malcolm Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, told ABC News, “We’re hearing more and more about deaths when non-physicians are doing injections, and patients just aren’t informed.
Investigator Lee McDivitt testified that the deceased patient, who reportedly payed $700 under the table, became ill within 30 minutes of leaving Garner’s Jacksonville house where she received the injections, but decided to try to make it home to Georgia before seeking medical treatment.
Illegal surgeries range from such fatal silicone-like injections, to seemingly less risky underground procedures involving Restylane and Botox injections. Though not illegal, Dr. Roth has also seen patients in need of corrective surgery because they originally went to a doctor without the six to eight years of plastic surgery education required for certification. A general practitioner can decide to do facelifts, buy the equipment, take a weekend class and perform them in his office, Roth said.
Many people seek non-board-certified doctors due to the lower costs, but in cases where revisions are needed, patients often end up spending substantially more money and potential risks far outweigh a dollar amount. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – plastic surgery is no place to bargain shop, and everyone considering anything, whether invasive or non-invasive, needs to do their homework.
What do you think are motivators for people to seek out these underground surgeries? What steps need to be taken to shut them down? We’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions.