New York spa owner pleads guilty to botched surgery

June 22, 2012

New York spa owner pleads guilty to botched surgery
New York spa owner pleads guilty to botched surgery

A New York salon owner has admitted she performed the illegal liposuction surgery that nearly cost a woman her life.

According to The Metro, 29 year old Barbara Nieto, who owned Perfect Image Stethics, performed a liposuction surgery in 2010 in which fat was removed from the stomach and injected into the buttocks.

The New York Post reports that the victim, Augusta Velez-Jimenez, 25, paid $500 for the illegal procedure. Within days of undergoing it, she was hospitalized for a severe infection that required surgery to save her life. She was hospitalized for five days.

"The defendant held out the false promise of being able to provide her victim with a more attractive appearance," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told The Metro.

"Instead, she nearly caused the death of the young woman."

Brown said that records seized from the salon show more than 100 others had similar procedures performed by Nieto but did not experience any negative side effects.

In a recent court appearance, Nieto pleaded guilty to the charges of practicing without a license. She will pay $180,000 in fines and serve up to two years in prison.

This is one of several cases in recent months in which unlicensed individuals have nearly killed or maimed patients after performing illegal plastic surgery procedures on them. One of the most notorious cases involves a transgendered woman in Miami who is accused of injecting patients with various chemicals to improve the appearance of their bodies. Authorities say that the $700 illegal buttock augmentation procedure involved injecting a patient with cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant. 

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, individuals interested in enhancing their appearance through any surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure should contact a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure they reach their desired outcome as well as maintain their safety.

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) 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 ASAPS, 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

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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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