You may have read the news that an aspiring actress and singer recently died following buttocks augmentation. Claudia Aderotini, a part English, part Nigerian young woman, passed away last week after receiving illegal butt injections in Philadelphia.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the medical examiner with jurisdiction over the case said it will take weeks to sort out exactly what happened. Apparently a New Jersey woman arranged the procedure for Aderotini and another woman, an unlicensed practitioner, actually injected the foreign substance.
It’s not yet known what substance was used. In these black market operations, leading candidates are industrial silicone or a material called hydrogel made from protein and water. Neither of these is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Another Philadelphia news source reported that even caulk and petroleum jelly are sometimes used.
It’s a pretty safe bet that most EmpowHER readers would never consider having a cosmetic procedure in a hotel room with an unlicensed practitioner using unknown substances. Still, there are things you can learn from a sad case like that of Aderotini.
First, it’s not enough to make sure your doctor is actually licensed. For most procedures, and certainly for surgery, you should consider only a board certified plastic surgeon. That’s the only way to ensure you’re working with someone who has been specifically taught, trained and tested in the field of plastic surgery.
You should also know something about staff credentials. In most cases, your plastic surgeon should have a surgical R.N. by his or her side in the operating room. They should use a nurse anesthetist at least, or, better, an M.D. anesthesiologist. If your procedure doesn’t require general anesthesia, ask what happens if something goes wrong and you suddenly need to be “put under.”
Learn about your doctor’s surgical suite. It’s common these days for plastic surgeons to perform procedures, even relatively complex operations like abdominoplasty, in an outpatient setting. Nevertheless, the facility should be accredited by an appropriate organization. And it goes without saying that a variety of modern technology should be on hand, including lifesaving equipment.
Finally, ask where your prospective cosmetic surgeon has hospital privileges. Very few plastic surgery patients need to be whisked off to the hospital, but it does happen occasionally. You’ll want to know that you can be transported to a reputable, facility nearby and that your plastic surgeon can be part of the team that cares for you there.
It’s terrible tragedy when someone like Aderotini loses his or her life to an illegal procedure. But occasionally patients pay the ultimate price even when their treatment isn’t exactly illegal, perhaps simply ill advised. Do your homework and make sure you aren’t one of them.