The OC Register Blog posts on the tragic death of Solange Magnano, a former beauty queen in Argentina. The details are scant at present, but reports indicate that she had a procedure that she felt was low risk as a friend said, ‘She only underwent the procedure because she thought it was no big deal.'” A day later she had a pulmonary embolus and passed away.
Reports indicate that the woman was injected with polymethylmethacrylate microspheres (PMMA) with the purpose of enhancing her rear end. PMMA is a particulate substance (like small glass beads.) The US supplier of PMMA is based in San Diego. Artes Medical interestingly enough filed for bankruptcy last year. PMMA was originally approved for use in making facial wrinkles less apparent. Like most soft tissue fillers, it was designed to be used in small amounts in the face for the most part. This patient had injections for buttock enhancement presumably in much larger amounts which is probably where the potential for embolism became realized.
How does embolism happen?
The process of embolism involves a substance finding its way into a blood vessel (usually a vein) and moving within that vessel towards important structures, usually the heart, brain and/or lungs. Certain substances injected into certain places are more likely to do this than others. Lack of skill or training in the injecting makes the process even more likely.
When a thrombus (a blood clot) or a foreign substance such as silicone does so, it frequently lodges itself in a critical spot and stops blood from flowing. When blood stops flowing organs stop working. When important organs stop functioning even for short periods of time, the patient dies.
We have discussed other injection stories like this before. Large scale surgery can also lead to pulmonary emboli however. I am not sure I would even call this case a “plastic surgery death” as we are unsure as to whether the practitioner was a plastic surgeon and we know that this was injection therapy as opposed to “real” surgery. Suffice it to say we have discussed the danger of some injection therapies before and those who frequent this blog know to ask questions before an injection procedure.
You need to educate yourself before having any cosmetic procedure performed and have it done by the most qualified practitioner you can have.
John Di Saia MD