A 29-Year-Old Woman Died After Botched Butt Lift In Mexico

Woman Dies After Botched Butt Lift In Mexico

This couldn't be anymore tragic: Evita Sarmonikas, 29, traveled to Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, from Australia in March 2015 for a Brazilian butt lift, a procedure that involves augmenting the behind using fat taken from other parts of the body. 

She died shortly after the procedure. 

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Her sister, Andrea Sarmonikas, spoke to a local ABC affiliate about the horrifying phone call she received after the surgery. "At first, I thought it was a joke," she recalls. "Is it a lie? Is it really her? Maybe it's not her."

Andrea Sarmonikas said the clinic in Mexico attempted to persuade Evita's boyfriend to have her body cremated, but the family insisted on an independent autopsy. When the family arrived in Mexico, they discovered Evita's pre-surgery paperwork was incomplete. Furthermore, an initial autopsy listed cause of death as pulmonary embolism, but the family's independent autopsy cited lack of oxygen caused by internal bleeding as the cause of death. 

The doctor who performed the surgery — identified as Dr. Victor Ramirez — has been suspended by the College of Plastic Surgeons in Mexicali until an investigation has been completed. Marco Antonio Gutierrez, the president of the association, told reporters that Dr. Ramirez was certified, but that his membership with the college lapsed after he failed to attend meetings. 

Unfortunately, Evita Sarmonikas was not the first patient to lose their life after being operated upon by Dr. Ramirez. According to ABC, a 52-year-old American woman named Roseann Falcon Ornelas died a year earlier after a tummy tuck went wrong. 

Her sister, Belinda Munoz, said Roseann began complaining of shortness of breath about five hours after the procedure ended. "My sister sat there in a mess of fluids and blood just oozing out of her body, causing her to be soaked in bed," Munoz says. "And yet the clinic associates refuse to change her bedding."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that medical tourism can be "risky." On their website, they've posted a list of precautions potential medical travelers should take before making the decision to seek healthcare abroad. 

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