A Tragic Loss: Beauty Queen’s Plastic Surgery Is Fatal
Someone who “has it all;” a beauty queen from Argentina, seems to have died in an effort to improve her buttocks. A life risked, and lost, for a “firmer behind.”
Our friends at Wikipedia (I never had a patient who went for one of these) call it a “Brazilian butt lift,” so I expect it is some kind of a South American “point of interest.” The procedure, however, seems to have little to do with what happened to the ex-beauty queen.
I was trained in general medicine and surgery a bit of a while ago. I remember memorizing figures in France prior to 1980 (when I graduated from medical school) that the odds were about 1 in 10,000 for simple mortality from general anesthesia.
I find it totally believable that things are a LOT safer now.
I also find a grain of truth in the suggestion that most of the risks of surgery are more procedure related. The first questions I wanted to ask after reading this report were what was injected and how they picked where.
I have done a bunch of intramuscular injections myself, generally of depot neuroleptics, and into the buttocks, mainly because there are less nerves there than there are in the shoulder and so things hurt less. I learned the procedures that all nurses learn.
I even had flashbacks to the time in medical school I practiced injecting needles into butter. My preceptors told me, and they were quite correct, that human skin is more like butter than it is like oranges. The mythology about medical students learning to inject oranges, injecting them with strong alcohol, and then eating the oranges, certainly did not exist in my medical school. I think French people respect oranges too much. I did read about this kind of orange abuse in books and I think see it in films. I explained it to my French colleagues.
Remember, these are the French colleagues who had seen “Animal House” in France, asked me about my fraternity/sorority experiences, and why I did not remain in America since higher education seemed to be so much fun.
Anyway, when making an injection into the buttock, I learned to inject in the superior and lateral quadrant. This was chosen to miss the anatomical places that were most likely to hold nerves and blood vessels. The “depot” or long-acting neuroleptics were generally oil-based, and created little “neopockets” between layers of connective tissue and fat and such, going on to seep into the blood stream only slowly. If I had hit a blood vessel, something I never did by the grace of God, it would have been Super Overdose from the medication itself and an Oil Embolism, as the base oil went in globules through a vein into the lungs. The same way that if people have “phlebitis,” blood clots in their legs, these clots need to be gently dissolved so they do not become a pulmonary embolus. The veins have “used” blood with carbon dioxide waste and have already given oxygen to be metabolized in other tissues. So they go to the lungs and get stuck in the vessels where blood goes to pick up more oxygen.
This can kill you.
I am an (unwilling) expert on this, because this is the condition that killed my brother Harry of blessed memory. Briefly, my brother was a psychiatric patient and received inadequate hospital care. Without even the most elementary precautions given most immobilized patients, blood clots formed in his legs, and one broke off and went to his lungs and killed him dead as a doornail.
Obviously I had a LOT of issues with this. I believe, among other things, his life was undervalued because he was a chronic psychiatric patient. They have life expectancies of about 25 years less than “normal” folks, and I believe this is because their life is undervalued.
At least people get unconscious and die pretty quickly from things that get to your lungs this way. That does not mean it is recommended. Death is never recommended.
People often get other people to inject into them “elastomers” which is short for “elastic polymers” in order to change things about their body and — well, make certain parts bigger or rounder or more elastic.
I have been over the road on this issue. At one place in my life, I did some pre-plastic surgery evaluations. Basically, the idea was to eliminate people with diagnoses like “Body dysmorphic disorder“, where potential patients were unlikely to be happy with any results and thus, very likely to sue the surgeon.
More recently, I have cared for transgendering folks, whose (understandable) preoccupation with physical characteristics of their body led them to get cheap illegal injections of various elastomer like substances, as they often could not afford the real thing. This sometimes led to death.
I remember someone in San Diego with a bucket of silicone and some syringes who went to jail. Me, I made some pamphlets at the time and tried to help warn the “alternative lifestyle” community. (It might be of historic interest — let me know if you want a copy.) Apparently, the same has happened in New York.
Some people seem to believe that injecting something is simpler than operating something, even less risky.
Not necessarily the case.
As for body image, this is a complicated biological, psychological, and social deal. We all know that male sexual response is at least in part a spinal reflex, so I can see the genesis of these concerns.
Deep down, I guess I figured out earlier in my life that I was NOT going to get by on my body, so I have focused on my brain. I would rather spend my life with somebody who is at a higher level of function than spinal reflex.
I found such a man. I love him. I strongly suspect there are several others.
Worry less about bodies and more about brains.