Some New Mexico residents might be aware of what goes into a Brazilian butt lift. The procedure removes fat from a patient’s back or stomach and implants it into the backside in order to increase its size. Two women who underwent this procedure suffered serious surgical errors that required additional hospital visits and medical care.

The surgeon who performed the procedures apparently failed to properly use the instrument used to remove the fat. The cannula, which is a thin, long metal rod attached to a suctioning device, must be inserted at the right angle in order to avoid damaging a patient’s muscles and internal organs. In these two cases, the evidence is said to have showed that the doctor negligently used the device and caused significant injuries to both women.

One woman’s bowel was perforated and fluid leaked into her abdomen. She spent 28 days in a coma and approximately four months in the hospital. The other woman, whose procedure took place the same day, suffered punctures to her liver, abdominal wall and chest. A surgeon using a cannula is required to understand the difference between subcutaneous fat, muscles and organs. An administrative law judge determined that this surgeon failed to meet the appropriate standard of care, and these women suffered for it.

Regardless of the fact that most plastic surgeries are not medically necessary, the surgeons who perform them still owe a duty of care to their patients. New Mexico residents who suffer serious, life-threatening and debilitating injuries due to surgical errors retain the right to file medical malpractice claims against the physician deemed responsible, among other parties. Any restitution from a successful claim could help with current and future medical needs resulting from the mistakes.

Source: NBC Miami, “Judge: Plastic Surgeon Committed Medical Malpractice“, Mc Nelly Torres, Jan. 9, 2017