Pair to serve time in prison for botched plastic surgery
November 11, 2011
A Colombian husband and wife convicted in the death of a Las Vegas woman stemming from a botched plastic surgery will serve the maximum sentence for their crime.
Ruben Matallana-Galvas, 56, and Carmen Torres-Sanchez, 47, pleaded guilty in August to felony involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy, and to misdemeanor practicing medicine without a license.
The pair apparently set up a make-shift plastic surgery center in the back of a tile store and performed various surgical procedures.
Elena Caro, who was 42-years-old, died after an apparent allergic reaction to the anesthesia she received before a buttock augmentation using an injectable gel to reshape her rear end. A week earlier, she received facial injections without side effects, according to the Associated Press.
"It was not my intention to cause her death," Matallana-Galvas said through a Spanish-language court interpreter. "We have reflected, and we have seen that it was a mistake. I accept 100 percent responsibility. But we are not bad people. We have helped the health and welfare of a lot of people."
Matallana-Galvas and Torres-Sanchez tried to drive Caro to the hospital, but she died en route and was left on a nearby street. They were arrested at the Las Vegas airport as they prepared to board a flight for Colombia, just hours after her death.
Experts say cases like this highlight the need for patients to thoroughly research a plastic surgeon's credentials before having him or her perform any surgical or non-surgical procedures.
Patients should ensure that their plastic surgeon is licensed and board-certified. According to NoseResources.com, "board certification means that the doctor successfully completed an approved educational program and met certification requirements, including an examination to determine his or her ability to provide quality medical care."
A surgeon that is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) will not only be board-certified, but will most likely have significant experience performing cosmetic procedures.
Other things to consider include where the procedure will be performed and at which hospital the doctor has privileges.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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