29-Year-Old Woman Died After Botched Butt Implant Surgery

The family of a 29-year-old woman who flew to Mexico for plastic surgery and died shortly after the operation is calling for more stringent regulations and warning people against traveling overseas for plastic surgery, News7 reports.

In March, Australian resident Evita Sarmonikas traveled to Mexicali, Mexico, to get butt implants and died shortly after the procedure, according to ABC News. An initial autopsy report listed the cause of death as a pulmonary embolism, but Sarmonikas’s sister Andrea says her family insisted on getting an independent autopsy, the results of which show that Sarmonikas died from a lack of oxygen caused by internal bleeding.

“We wanted to believe it was a natural death, but we knew something wasn’t right,” Andrea told News7.

According to ABC in Australia, Sarmonikas is the second patient to die after surgery performed by this surgeon, after a U.S. woman who saw him for a tummy tuck last year.

Although Latin America and the Caribbean are popular destinations for “medical tourism,” the CDC issued a travel advisory in 2014 after at least 19 women developed infections after having plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic, and in April, the Dominican government shut down a clinic after four women died following plastic surgery. It’s not just Latin America though: Last October, a 24-year-old London resident who traveled to Bangkok for butt implants died after the surgeon administered intravenous anesthetics he wasn’t qualified to give.

Now Sarmonikas’s family, along with the Australian Medical Association, is warning people against traveling to developing countries for plastic surgery.

“What I can say with authority is that in Australia we do have what I would call a world-class level of care and regulation,” Dr. Stephen Parnis, vice president of the Australian Medical Association, told ABC News.”We prosecute people who don’t fit the standards and we audit and collect important data about these sorts of things … that often does not occur in other parts of the world.”