Pair to serve time in prison for botched plastic surgery

November 11, 2011

Pair to serve time in prison for botched plastic surgery
Pair to serve time in prison for botched plastic surgery

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, "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 mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

Search by location (Zip, City, or Country)

Related Articles

Illegal buttock injections are more common than you think

September 19, 2013 - How many times have you read a story about illegal plastic surgery in the news?

How to get a top-rate plastic surgeon

September 4, 2013 - For the best results, do your research

Mother-daughters team arrested for illegal Botox injections

July 30, 2013 - You may have heard of a recent trend known as "couples’ surgery."

Two women share nightmare medical tourism tale

July 19, 2013 - Houston’s KHOU 11 News recently reported on a story of two women who took a trip to Mexico in hopes of saving on plastic surgery costs.

Terms to add to your plastic surgery glossary

July 11, 2013 - If you're in the early stages of planning a plastic surgery procedure, you've likely come across a few terms that have made you stop and scratch your head.

Latest Articles

Plastic lips to get rid of wrinkles?

September 25, 2013 - Remember those wax lips you used to chew on when you were a kid? Well, they seem to have inspired the latest fad in the anti-aging realm.

Illegal buttock injections are more common than you think

September 19, 2013 - How many times have you read a story about illegal plastic surgery in the news?

Yet another anti-wrinkle cream faces lawsuit

September 17, 2013 - It seems to be almost cyclical - every few months, a brand new, game-changing anti-wrinkle cream is introduced to the market, only to face lawsuits due to suggestions that the "scientific" claims made on the side of the bottle are absolute bunk.

Study: If you've got wrinkles, thank Mom

September 12, 2013 - Have you ever wondered why some people get wrinkles at a young age and others don't?

ABOUT The Aesthetic Society

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. The Aesthetic Society 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.


Copyright © 2009-2021 the Aesthetic Society. All Rights Reserved.