Why do people keep dying during buttock augmentation?

Last week, a high profile arrest occurred in Miami, the result of a young woman having died while having buttock augmentation performed at an illegal clinic. Feel like you’ve heard this before? The details are horrific. The young woman, Suyima Torres, was 28 year old, from West Virginia, and the married mother of two children.

In April 2013, Mrs. Torres underwent buttock injections as part of a butt lift procedure. Ten days after the initial procedure, she returned to the same clinic where additional injection was performed. Immediately after the procedure, she collapsed outside of the clinic and was taken to a hospital, where she died later that day.

According to the released police report, “The victim’s blood contained very large amounts of silicone, an element used for industrial purposes which includes electronics, as well as in glass, cement and ceramics.”

That’s right. Industrial liquid silicone. To be clear, on the list of soft tissue fillers the FDA has approved for soft tissue augmentation, silicone is not included.

The man who performed the injections, Jose Robusto, a 43-year-old Venezuelan national, fled to his native country. He remained there until last week, when he attempted to return to Miami and was arrested. Mr. Robusto was charged by homicide detectives with manslaughter and with illegally practicing medicine. Mr. Robusto is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States or in the state of Florida and, according to police, has confessed to his role in Mrs. Torres’ death.

This isn’t the first time that illegal silicone injections have resulted in arrests in Florida. In 2013 and 2015, individuals in Orlando and Miami were charged and convicted for performing buttock augmentation with industrial liquid silicone. Other arrests have occurred throughout the country for black market butt shots done in beauty parlors, fake clinics, hotel rooms and even private homes. One of the most notorious cases occurred in Miami, when a transgender woman (Oneal Ron Morris) injected patients with a mixture of Fix-a-Flat, cement, silicone, mineral oil and super glue. One patient died after receiving buttock injections with these materials.

What’s the take home message? Although any surgical procedure has risks associated with it, illegal procedures put at an increased risk for catastrophic, life-ending complications. Industrial grade materials belong in machines; not in your body.

If you are interested in buttock augmentation, the safe choice is finding a physician who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To learn more, please contact Dr. Jejurikar’s office at 214-827-2814.

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