Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
Police Seek Two Women in Connection With Unlicensed Silicone Injections.
Los Angeles homicide detectives are seeking two sisters accused of operating a low-cost, unlicensed cosmetic surgery clinic in their San Fernando Valley home. The suspects fled the Los Angeles area after a patient died over the weekend. Police believe the accused, Guadalupe Viveros, 53, and Alejandra Viveros, 50, of Sylmar, CA may have fled to Mexico after the death.
Guadalupe Viveros reportedly said she was licensed as a physician in Mexico. There has been no confirmation of her medical credentials in Mexico. More importantly, she is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States.
22 year old Mayra Lissette Contreras of Pacoima, CA died Friday from apparent respiratory complications. Previously the unlicensed plastic surgeon sisters treated Mayra with silicone shot injections to enlarge her buttocks. Mayra is survived by her husband Gerardo Olvera and two young children.
The silicone injections were done in a private home in a residential neighborhood. This unlicensed clinic was advertised with flyers placed on cars and on walls in the area which touted a “revolutionary treatment.”
The two sisters had been arrested June 21, a month before the fatal procedure, on charges of practicing medicine without a license. They were released on $20,000 bail. Los Angeles police investigated the sisters last month after patients complained that they fell ill after being injected with unidentified fillers in the face or buttocks. Earlier, police said the “victims identified have complained of becoming ill as a result of being injected by these fillers. In some cases, these fillers have hardened into solid plastic and have developed infections in the victims.”
This event is a great tragedy and my heart goes out to the family of Mrs. Contreras. Unfortunately, her death may have been preventable.
Unforeseen complications can occur during any medical procedure. Physicians, surgeons, and licensed practitioners in the United States receive years of education and training and are regulated by strict guidelines to prevent unnecessary risk. Having an illegal (in the state of Nevada it is illegal to inject silicone for cosmetic purposes), and potentially dangerous treatment performed by an unlicensed plastic surgeon or practitioner eliminates all of the safety procedures established by state medical boards. In the case of Mrs.Contreras, silicone was not a good substance to use as liquid injectable silicone can be placed into the vascular system, causing breathing problems if it travels to the lungs.
Furthermore, having any cosmetic surgery procedure done at an unlicensed and unregulated clinic usually involves a lack of appropriate personnel and equipment. Professionally trained and experienced practitioners can identify patients who may have potential for problems. If the patient does have a complication, properly trained and equipped personnel can help to identify and resolve the issue.
This is why it is important to seek out a board certified plastic surgeon. They will evaluate your goals and come up with the appropriate plastic or cosmetic procedure that is safe and promises health and well being for the future. Any potential financial cost saved by seeing an unlicensed cosmetic practitioner is clearly not worth putting yourself at risk or compromising your personal health and safety.
Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.