SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Thursday April 30, 2015 – Authorities in the Dominican Republic have shut down a plastic surgery clinic as they investigate the death of an American woman who went to the country to undergo a liposuction procedure.
The prosecutor’s office in Santo Domingo said on Sunday that the 23-year-old woman travelled to the Dominican Republic two days before her April 23 procedure, but did not disclose where she was from in the US.
The clinic is run by Dr Edgar Contreras, who has been the subject of three other probes by Dominican investigators in recent years following complaints filed against the clinic.
Last week’s death marks the fourth woman and the second American who has died so far this year at Dominican plastic surgery clinics, Yahoo News reports.
Others include a 35-year-old from Hawaii, who officials say died after a liposuction procedure, and a 24-year-old woman who died from an embolism in February after undergoing surgery to have implants removed from her buttocks.
Last year, a 28-year old woman from New York, who travelled to the Dominican Republic for a tummy tuck and liposuction, died from a massive pulmonary embolism during the procedure, according to The New York Post.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014 at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.
The Dominican Republic, like nations such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism, offering relatively inexpensive procedures in a resort atmosphere.