iLocal News Archives

Cut price Dominican Republic plastic surgeries prompt warnings by US

images-Caribbean-liposuction_787537752From Caribbean360

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Beverly Brignoni, a 28-year-old New Yorker seeking a cheaper way to enhance her appearance, flew to the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery on February 19.

She didn’t come back.

The young mother died the following day from what her family was told was a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction at Vista del Jardin Medical Center, a supposedly high-end clinic in Santo Domingo.

The doctor who performed the surgery, Dr Guillermo Lorenzo, didn’t return calls for comment, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

“I’d really like to speak to him, I have a lot of questions to ask,” said Brignoni’s godmother Bernadette Lamboy, who reportedly last spoke to the doctor on the afternoon of February 20 when he called to say that Brignoni was dead.

The Dominican Health Ministry inspected the clinic shortly after Brignoni’s death and ordered the operating room temporarily closed, citing the presence of bacteria and violations of bio-sanitary regulations.

While the sudden death of the young Bronx woman is unusual, it is not unique.

The Dominican Republic’s booming plastic surgery business has become enough of an issue that the American State Department has posted a warning on its page for travel to that country, indicating that in several cases US citizens have suffered serious complications or died

Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an alert after health authorities in the US reported that 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.

Although there were no reported deaths in those cases, treatment for those types of infections usually involves long courses of antibiotics and can require new surgery to remove infected tissue and drain fluid, according to a CDC medical officer.

The main allure for foreigners choosing cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic is much lower costs and the assurance that conditions will be on par with what a patient would encounter at home. Prices are usually about one-third of the cost of similar procedures in the US.

Last year, 60 percent of cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic were performed on foreigners, according to the country’s Plastic Surgery Society.

The numbers don’t appear to have been affected by negative reports, including a previous CDC warning about a cluster of infections in 2003 to 2004.

In February, the Dominican government shut down a widely advertised clinic known as “Efecto Brush,” for operating without a license. A criminal case was opened after at least six women accused the clinic of fraud and negligence.

Other cases included that of Dr Hector Cabral, who New York prosecutors accused of examining women in health spas and beauty parlours in that state from 2006 to 2009 without a license, then operating on them in the Dominican Republic, leaving some disfigured.

Cabral pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized practice of medicine in October 2011 and returned to the Dominican Republic, where he still practices.

The most recent tragedy involved a young mother from New York who died while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction. (File photo –

For more on this story go to:

See also iNews Cayman story published April 1 2014 “Low-cost Dominican surgeries spark warnings by US” at:



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *