According to recently released reports, the former Miss Argentina, Solange Magnano, died of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that blocks the blood supply to the lungs. A pulmonary embolism is a known risk of undergoing silicone injections. As many news reports have revealed Magnano was going to a plastic surgeon to receive buttocks injections to give her a firmer, higher rear end. However, silicone injections are not an approved procedure for “butt lifts” in Argentina or the United States. Since Magnano’s death on November 29, Dr.Guillermo Blugerman, the President of the Argentina Association for Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery, has come forward to share his suspicions of what went wrong. Specifically, he claims that Magnano went in search of a different doctor that would give her the silicone injections after he refused to do the procedure in 2004.
This tragic incident reminds us that plastic surgery is not to be taken lightly. While plastic surgery complications are not common, they still do occur. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, for every 100,000 liposuction surgeries, there are between 3 and 100 deaths. If you can’t resist having surgery, remember that plastic surgery is not to be taken lightly. As Dr. Angelo Cuzalina, president-elect of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery shares: “[s]ome people think of cosmetic surgery as not real surgery. They get the impression they are going to a spa…it’s still surgery. You get cut. You bleed.”
The best advice that Dr. Cuzalina can offer is to be your own investigator prior to receiving surgery. Specifically, he urges patients to ask their doctors the following questions before going under the knife:
- 1. Doctor, are you board certified? You definitely want a doctor who is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. You can view a list of certified doctors by visiting the American Board of Medical Specialties website.
- 2. Doctor, what’s your plan for deep vein thrombosis? Deep vein thrombosis is one of the more common complications of plastic surgery, where a blood clot forms in a deep vein. The clot can then break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism such as that suffered by Miss Argentina. Doctors can take preventative measures such as having a patient wear tight-fitting special stockings during surgery. Furthermore, doctors may urge patients to begin walking as soon as possible after surgery.
- 3. Doctor, do you have privileges at this hospital to perform this surgery? Even though you probably won’t be staying in the hospital, you want to make sure that the hospital has deemed your doctor skilled enough to perform the plastic surgery procedure. If your doctor says they have privileges, call the hospital to double-check.
- 4. Doctor, how many of these procedures have you performed? You want an experienced doctor. Good surgeons won’t be offended if you ask them tough or personal questions about their background.
In addition to these questions, Dr. Cuzalina also suggests not having too many procedures done at once. The more surgeries you have done, the longer the recovery time and the higher the chances for complications. Finally, make sure you talk to your doctor about any medications you are currently taking—before and after surgery. Some prescription medications can cause more bleeding or an increased risk of a blood clot.
Magnano left behind 7-year-old twins. As her good friend, Robert Piazza, stated: “[a] woman who had everything lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind.” Please consider the risks of plastic surgery, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. It’s hard to believe Magnano would’ve made the same choices if she had known the ultimate price of a dangerous procedure.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.