Entries in Cosmetic Procedures (2)


Spa Cosmetic Procedures Can Be Risky

WPLG/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Florida woman's quest for more youthful skin turned deadly this past July when her face became dangerously swollen after she received vitamin injections at a day spa.

Isabel Gonzalez paid nearly $900 for "facial rejuvenation" injections at Viviana's Body Secrets Spa in Doral, Fla.  After receiving the treatments, her face started to swell and became infected, and she soon landed in the hospital for more than two months.  Doctors fear her face may be permanently deformed.

According to the Doral police department arrest report, the spa owner, Viviana Ayala, was arrested this past week on a slew of charges including aggravated battery and practicing medicine without a license.  Ayala wasn't trained or certified to deliver facial injections and has denied all charges through her lawyer, Milena Abreu.  She wasn't even a licensed massage therapist as she advertised on her website.

Experts are alarmed at how often this scenario has been repeated.  According to the organization Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Research, more than eight million people underwent cosmetic treatments to freshen up their appearance last year.  Treatments included Botox, chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing, and consumers might not be aware of the risks.

"Cosmetic procedures are now so mainstream there's a misperception that it's like getting your hair done," said Dr. Leo R. McCafferty, a board certified plastic surgeon who is president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  "They are inherently safe, but this is predicated on [their] being delivered by properly trained professionals in a properly equipped facility."

ASAPS recommends that cosmetic procedures be performed only by board certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists in an accredited facility, although some states also allow registered nurses and physician's assistants to deliver therapies under doctors' supervision.  Members of the ASAPS, and similar professional organizations, are required to operate only in certified centers or hospitals.

Some spas meet these criteria, but even if a facility brands itself a "medispa," that's no guarantee of proper oversight.  A clinic may claim it's affiliated with a board certified plastic surgeon, but a surgeon might only show up to check charts once a month.  Or a spa may try to pass off a practitioner who has no medical training as a cosmetic surgeon.  Although this is illegal in some states, McCafferty said, no one's really checking.

Dr. Nima Patel, a plastic surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., said spas can mislead consumers in other ways, too.

"Most people know they probably shouldn't get an injection from the same person who gives them a massage but don't think twice about letting a dentist or a physician who doesn't have intensive training in a cosmetic specialty give them an injection," she said.  "In some spa settings, this is who is delivering the services."

Patel also emphasized the importance of making sure the attending professional maintains privileges at a nearby hospital and remains on the premises when cosmetic procedures are done.  If there are side effects or complications, a patient can be transferred to the emergency room.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Arrested for Boosting Butts With Cement, Fix-A-Flat

Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation/Miami Gardens Police Department(MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.) -- Florida police on Friday arrested a man suspected of administering dangerous and illegal butt-boosting shots -- injecting at least one woman with a cocktail of substances including cement, glue and tire sealant.

And, believe it or not, that man is the person pictured.

The man is 30-year-old Oneal Ron Morris.

Police could not release an official report on the incident, noting that the case is still under investigation. However, Sgt. William Bamford of the Miami Gardens, Fla.,  Police Department said that the procedure took place in May 2010, after the as-yet-unidentified victim met with Morris to discuss the procedure.

“They agreed on the price of $700 for the procedure, which was intended for cosmetic purposes,” Bamford said.

What the woman got for her money was a series of injections containing a bizarre concoction of cement, super glue, mineral oil and Fix-A-Flat tire inflator and sealant, police said.

Bamford said that the procedure was conducted not in a clinic, but in a residential setting in Miami Gardens, and that shortly after the substance was injected into the woman’s body she developed what Bamford termed “severe complications.”

“[A] short time later, she develops very serious pains, abdomen, throughout her body,” Bamford told ABC affiliate WPLG. “She knows something’s wrong.”

Bamford said the woman went to two different local hospitals, finally heading to Tampa General Hospital, where she received treatment, he said.

Bamford said the woman had an infection at the wound site with the drug-resistant bug MRSA, and she had also developed pneumonia. Even then, Bamford said, the woman was not forthcoming with doctors regarding the source of her symptoms.

But doctors at the hospital, suspecting the work of an unlicensed practitioner was to blame, contacted the Florida Department of Health.

Unfortunately, before health officials could learn more about the case, the woman had left the hospital.

It was not until March 2011 that investigators in South Florida were able to piece together enough of what happened to track down Morris and arrest him in North Lauderdale, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was charged with practicing medicine without a license and causing bodily harm.

As odd as the idea of cut-rate, illicit, butt-boosting injections may sound, this case is far from the first that has made headlines -- and in some cases, the outcome has been deadly.

In February, 20-year-old British woman Claudia Aderotimi died following a cosmetic buttocks injection administered in a Philadelphia hotel room.

In January, Whalesca Castillo, an unlicensed practitioner in New York City, was arrested for running an illegal business out of her home injecting women with liquid silicone in the buttocks and breasts.

And in 2010, a Miami woman, Ana Josefa Sevilla, was charged with a similar crime after one of her clients ended up in the emergency room with complications.

“We’ve heard of people having caulk or industrial-grade silicone, neither of which is approved for use anywhere in the body, injected into their buttocks,” Dr. Felmont Eaves, a North Carolina-based plastic surgeon and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, told ABC News at the time of Aderotimi’s death.  “There are safe ways to augment the buttocks. Fat grafts usually work extremely well, but obviously you want someone who is board-certified to do that procedure.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio