US Warns About Low-Cost Dominican Plastic Surgeries After Woman's Death

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 06:43 PM

By Angela Deines

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The U.S. State Department has issued a warning about plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic after a 28-year-old New York woman died in February from what family members are saying were complications from surgery she received there.

The family of Beverly Brignoni wants answers after her death, which they were told was caused by a massive pulmonary embolism after receiving plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic, The Associated Press reported.

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Many other people are reportedly traveling to the country to get cosmetic surgery that is said to be about a third less expensive than it is the United States.

Brignoni had apparently gone to a clinic that was recommended to her by some friends to get a tummy tuck and liposuction.

Family members plan to file a formal complaint to have an investigation started to get answers about how Brignoni died at the Vista del Jardin Medical Center.

"We want to know exactly what happened," Bernadette Lamboy, Brignoni's godmother, told the AP. "We want to know if there was negligence."

Lamboy said her goddaughter had been looking forward to getting the cosmetic surgery, saying it felt as though Beverly “was going to have a better outlook on life, getting this done."

The Health Ministry in the Dominican Republic reportedly inspected the clinic where Brignoni received the surgery and ordered that the operating room be closed temporarily, citing the presence of bacteria and violations of bio-sanitary regulations.

Because of the growing number of U.S. citizens who want to get less expensive cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. State Department has posted warnings its website.

“Note that some plastic surgeons do not have proper credentials and continue to practice after patients have died during or after cosmetic surgery procedures, so the U.S. Embassy urges strong caution when considering cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic,” the warning says. “Please note there is no regulatory authority governing claims that some doctors or clinics make on their websites.”

While no deaths were reported, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a warning in 2004 when 12 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections after receiving cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic during the previous year.

"Clearly, the cost savings is certainly not worth the increased risk of a fatal complication," Braun Graham, a plastic surgeon in Sarasota, Fla., and past president for Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, told the AP.

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