According to The Independent, the U.S. and Brazil lead the world with the overall number of plastic surgeries performed. In 2013, each country performed about 1.4 million cosmetic surgery procedures. Coming in 3rd was Mexico, with almost 500,000 cosmetic surgeries. Many of those customers going to Mexico for plastic surgery are looking for treatments that cost half as much as in their home country. However, in any country where a patient is undergoing surgery, medical mistakes can lead to tragic results.
An Australian family is grieving after their daughter went on a trip to Mexico for plastic surgery and never came home. Evita Sarmonikas, 29, went to Mexico to undergo a “Brazilian butt lift” but never told her family about her secret plastic surgery trip. Needless to say, it came as a shock when her mother, Maria, answered the phone one day only to be told that her daughter was dead.
The young woman from Gold Coast, Australia was traveling to Mexicala, the so-called plastic surgery capital of Mexico. Sarmonikas went to seek Dr. Victor Ramirez for the butt lift procedure that takes fat deposits from other areas of the body and re-deposits the fat into the buttocks. The procedure is supposed to give the buttocks a fuller and lifted appearance.
However, instead of returning home with enhanced buttocks, Sarmonikas died after bleeding to death on the operating table. Her sister, Andrea, has made it her mission to bring the doctor to justice. After receiving word that her sister died from a “blood clot” that led to a heart attack, Andrea thought something was wrong, and ventured to Mexico to investigate what really happened.
The family got a second, independent autopsy. According to that report, her lungs were perforated in at least four places, likely caused by the liposuction cannula being driven through the young woman's body and into her lungs.
“He punctured her lungs. The holes couldn't hold the air,” said Andrea. “He killed my sister. My only sister. And they just wanted me to forget.” After Andrea continued knocking on doors and asking questions of other patients, she believes she has found at least 6 other people who died after undergoing surgery with Dr. Ramirez.
One of those women who died under Dr. Ramirez's knife was a 52-year-old American named Roseanne Falconer. She went to Mexico for a liposuction procedure. After the operation, she complained of pain and difficulty breathing for the next 36 hours. Instead of treating Falconer, she was given anti-anxiety medication as she died.
Eventually, Andrea was able to get authorities to pursue homicide charges against Ramirez. Far from admitting his errors, he blew the dead woman's sister a kiss in court. Yet Ramirez continues to operate his plastic surgery clinic.
If you or a loved one was injured because of a medical mistake during plastic surgery, the Gilman & Bedigian team is here to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of your medical malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensation, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.