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Beverly Brignoni traveled to the Dominican Republic to get a tummy tuck and liposuction. Her actions were not out of the ordinary. Many young people seeking a less expensive way to enhance her their physical appearance go under the knife overseas. However, the unexpected happened for the 28-year-old New Yorker – she suffered a massive pulmonary embolism and died.

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As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an alert on their website, warning Americans who wish to take advance of the booming cosmetic surgery business in the DR that several people have suffered serious complications or died in the Caribbean country. According to reports, “at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous 12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.”

In 2013, there were more than 1,000 cosmetic procedures performed in the Dominican Republic, and according to the country’s Plastic Surgery Society, 60 percent of them were on foreigners. “Clearly, the cost savings is certainly not worth the increased risk of a fatal complication,” said Dr. Braun Graham, a plastic surgeon in Sarasota, Florida, and we agree. This unfortunate story should be a wake-up call for anyone interested in medical tourism.

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Now, Beverly’s family members are searching for answers. “We want to know exactly what happened,” said Bernadette Lamboy, the young woman’s godmother. “We want to know if there was negligence.”

According to the district attorney’s office in Santo Domingo, an investigation will being after the family files a formal complaint. Beverly’s relatives say they plan to do so soon.

Ask yourself: is it really worth it?


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