Plastic surgery always comes with risks, but one would hope if something goes wrong, the doctors know how to take appropriate action. That was sadly not the case with this young Colombian woman’s botched buttocks enlargement procedure.
Angie Carolina Mendoza was just 23 years old when she went under the knife to get her buttocks enlarged. While she is young, this type of plastic surgery is far from atypical these days. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report, over 10,000 butt augmentations were performed in the United States in 2014. That’s up 16 percent from just two years earlier. However, with the rise of surgeries comes a comparative rise in illegal procedures that have led to a number of women dying as a result.
Mendoza was one of these unfortunate women who took the chance on an illegal plastic surgery and paid the ultimate price. She went in for the procedure in Barranquilla, in Atlantico, northeast Colombia unbeknownst to her husband. In the middle of the surgery, she suffered a massive heart attack, but rather than perform resuscitative procedures (which are standard practice for most licensed surgeons), the doctors left her with emergency care at another hospital.
Mendoza was reportedly seen being carried into the hospital by a man and woman dressed in nurses’ uniforms, who quickly left the scene after she was inside. They claimed they were going to retrieve notes on the patient, but never returned. Obviously, they were afraid of their “practice” being linked to a malpractice case, and thus thought it better to leave her in the hands of actual, qualified physicians. However, the act was too little too late. She was pronounced dead minutes after the unidentified doctors dropped her off.
Ms. Mendoza left behind her loving husband, James Jimenez Polo, and their 1-year-old daughter. Her husband told the Daily Mail, “I went to the hospital with the idea that she had just passed out. What makes me most sad is that they just abandoned her.” He said his wife had been taking issue with her body for a while now, especially after their daughter was born. He had gotten her a gym membership to help her get over her negative body image but had no idea she had been planning surgery instead.
And it wasn’t even her first surgery. According to investigative reports, Mendoza had gone to the same clinic several times before for other enlargement procedures. However, according to investigative reports, the clinic was not performing these procedures legally and mainly catered to friends and family of the owner.
Mendoza’s family is pressing charges against the clinic for medical malpractice. However, despite this case of illegal augmentation, and many others like it, women are still seeking out these illegal procedures because they’re less expensive and more covert.
Illegal silicone injections for achieving that “Jennifer Lopez effect” are most widespread in Latin America. According to NBC News, South America has been at it for decades, and women who thought their procedures went well are just now starting to experience adverse side effects.
Surgeons, especially in Colombia, are seeing women’s bodies rejecting the silicone after about 10 years. Dr. Lina Triana, a plastic surgeon in Cali, Colombia, says she’s seen women injected with everything from silicone to kitchen oil, and calls the situation in Colombia “an epidemic.”
While dying from such augmentations may not be common, these adverse reactions seem to be becoming more and more prevalent. It should definitely make you think twice before you put anything synthetic into your own body.