Another Death Caused By Back-Alley Silicone Injections Reminds Buyers to Beware

Posted on July 20, 2010 | by

The Orange County Register recently reported the death of 22-year-old Mayra Lissette Contreras who died after receiving silicone injections for buttock enhancement from a pair of unlicensed practitioners operating out of their San Fernando Valley home.

Like so many others, Contreras fell prey to unqualified back-alley practitioners promising cosmetic enhancement for prices that proved too good to be true.

It is probable that Contreras was so focused on the “great deal” she was offered for the procedure that she did not realize the women who administered her buttock enhancement injections were non-medical personnel with no valid medical licensure or training.

Unfortunately, cosmetic medicine is a lucrative, cash-only industry that attracts a number of untrained, unscrupulous practitioners hoping to make a few quick bucks at the expense of unwary consumers.

In Contreras’s case, sisters Guadalupe Viveros, 53, and Alejandra Viveros, 50, proved to be two such practitioners and have fled to Mexico to escape arrest for their alleged involvement in Contreras’s death.

It is important to research both your medical practitioner before seeking body contouring, facial plastic surgery or any other cosmetic procedure to ensure that you are in good hands and help you avoid a plastic surgery nightmare.

  • Confirm your doctor’s state medical license is active and unrestricted
  • Verify your doctor’s medical specialty certification with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • View before and after photos and speak to a few of your doctor’s past patients
  • Find a variety of online resources to read about your desired cosmetic treatment(s)
  • Ask your doctor how much experience he or she has performing your desired procedure
  • Ensure your doctor answers all questions to your satisfaction during consultation

Dr. Fouad Samaha is a highly experienced, board certified Boston plastic surgeon with nearly two decades of experience performing cosmetic surgery and skin care procedures.

Cosmetic surgery and other procedures performed by plastic surgeons of considerable skill and training will generally cost more than it would performed by non-medical personnel practicing illegal or a licensed doctor practicing outside his or her specialty.

However, remember that when it comes to cosmetic medicine, you typically get what you pay for and making decisions about your health and safety based solely on price is not only dangerous but may cost you more in the long run.