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Woman Dies After Miami Tummy Tuck Goes Wrong

Plastic surgery continues to be among the most popular elective surgeries in the United States. According to Forbes, Americans underwent 1.7 million cosmetic surgery procedures in 2015, up 2% from the year before. Breast augmentation continues to be the top choice for plastic surgery options; however, butt lifts are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately for many young patients, when something goes wrong, an elective surgery can lead to an early death.

If Maria Christian was at all uncertain about whether to go under the knife for a tummy tuck and Brazilian butt lift, her friends reassured her. According to Christian’s sister, Carolina Flor, they told her, “just do it with her, she’s really good. She’s really good, and you’re going to be fine.”

A Brazilian butt lift is a surgical procedure that adds a little augmentation over the traditional butt lift. A surgeon can take fat deposits from areas such as the hips, and re-deposit the fat back into the buttocks for patients seeking a lifted appearance. Complications can include uneven contouring, serious infection, as well as reactions to anesthesia drugs.

The 32-year-old Florida woman went to the Vanity Cosmetic Surgery clinic in Westchester, near Miami. She was opting to undergo the procedures at the hands of Dr. Camille Chavez. Christian was in good health, but at some point during the surgery, something went wrong. Christian went into cardiac arrest.

Christian was taken to the nearby Kendall Regional Medical Center. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to revive the young woman. Christian leaves behind two children, aged 12 and 2.

The death of her sister is even more tragic for her sister who said that she did not need the procedure and did not need any augmentation. “If there is no need to do something, just, there’s no reason,” said Flor, “because she was just beautiful the way she was.”

The clinic is being investigated by the Miami-Dade Police Department. According to police, she suffered a “medical episode.” No violations were found by police in the operating facilities or surgical rooms. Dr. Chavez has an active license, is in good standing with the state, and a clear record with the Florida Department of Health. According to news reports, Chavez has over 30 years of experience; however, she was sued in 2001 for malpractice for allegedly failing to identify a cancerous mass in a patient’s breast.

Previously; however, the clinic was investigated by the Consumer Protection Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, but only as to their refund procedures. The Better Business Bureau gives the clinic an F-rating, with over 100 complaints, mostly for problems with products and services.

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.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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