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Black Market Plastic Surgery: Risks and Tragedy

By Stephanie Guler - Senior Content & Social Media Developer | January 9th, 2012

Cosmetic surgery is often a great way to make people feel younger and more refreshed. Procedures like Botox and facelifts erase wrinkles like magic, and breast implants can give a woman the curves she’s always wanted.

According to a study from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of cosmetic surgery procedures has grown by 155% since 1997.

The ASAPS says that in 2010, 1.6 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the United States alone.

It’s clear that the quest for perfection through cosmetic surgery is becoming more popular and more accessible than ever.

There are thousands of accredited cosmetic surgery clinics worldwide, with doctors who pride themselves on their first-class medical expertise, but what happens when a patient looks elsewhere for cosmetic surgery?

That’s right, black market plastic surgery.

On April 10th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, two Colombian citizens were arrested in the death of Elena Caro after a botched butt augmentation procedure.

According to The Telegraph, Caro, 42, was hoping to achieve a younger look by enhancing and smoothing her curves with butt augmentation surgery. With a recommendation from a close friend, she secretly booked the surgery at a backroom clinic in Las Vegas.

The two “doctors” told Caro that she would be able to walk right out of surgery, and was later found wandering the streets of Las Vegas in total agony. Unfortunately, she died later at a local hospital.

Those arrested were Ruben Dario Matallana-Galvas and Carmen Olfidia Torres-Sanchez, and neither of them are licensed to practice medicine in the state of Nevada. Matallana-Galvas informed police that he is a homeopathic doctor in Colombia.

They are both now being charged with one count of murder each.

This isn’t the only story of black market plastic surgeries happening in the U.S. In February, a 20-year-old young woman lost her life after having buttock augmentation injections in a hotel room in Philadelphia.

This leaves only one question: Today with all of the amazing technology and thousands of reputable medical professionals worldwide, why are unnecessary tragedies like this happening?

Although officials are trying to crack down on black market plastic surgery, patients must take responsibility for their medical care as well.

Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez is adamant that all patients seeking out cosmetic surgery procedures do their research before making any medical decisions.  He recommends that patients double-check all medical licensing, qualifications, and the overall condition of the surgery clinic you choose, no matter if you are in the United States or abroad.

If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery, find a cosmetic surgeon in your area.

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