Woman From Dallas Dies After Multiple Cosmetic Surgery Procedures In Mexico

The death illustrates the dangers of cross border discount surgery.

Pre-operative medical equipment in operating room.
Rungruedee / Shutterstock

The death illustrates the dangers of cross border discount surgery.

A Texas real estate agent that CBS News reported was on life support after she received multiple plastic surgery procedures in Juarez, Mexico has died. Days earlier, the 35-year-old woman from Dallas had been moved to hospice care by her family, after she was placed into a medically-induced coma.

During surgery for both rhinoplasty — commonly referred to as a “nose job” — and breast implant replacement at the Rino Center in late October, Avila reportedly suffered complications from the anesthesia before the surgeries were underway. The complications caused her brain to swell, and Fox News reports that the injuries led to severe brain damage for the Texan.

Her sister, Angie Avila, said that after those initial injuries, Laura suffered a heart attack and was put into a medically-induced coma to prevent the brain damage from worsening.

Angie Avila added that the traumatic injuries occurred because the surgeons administered the anesthesia in an incorrect location in her sister’s spine. The error led to Laura Avila’s brain swelling, her kidneys failing, and the subsequent heart attack, the sister said.

The Texas woman’s fiancé, Enrique Cruz, said when he arrived at the clinic at 3:30 p.m. to pick her up from the procedure that started a few hours earlier, the doctors told him they were waiting for the “anesthesia to wear off.”

He additionally said that hours went by before the Rino Center called a local hospital to help her. Enrique Cruz added that he conducted research on the center and found online reviews about it to be positive.

Some in the United States opt to travel to Mexico for plastic surgery because it is often less expensive. As detailed by Medigo, the average cost of rhinoplasty procedures in Mexico is just over $3,000 USD, though some clinics offer the procedure for under $2,000.

On the other hand, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), the average national cost of a rhinoplasty procedure in the United States last year was about $5,125 USD — and that doesn’t include costs for anesthesia, the operating room or other related expenses, according to the website.

In a nutshell, the costs for the rhinoplasty procedure is significantly lower between the two.

The Dallas woman’s attorney, Larry Friedman spoke out about the dangers of discounted plastic surgery in a statement.

“So that her death is not in vain, people should think of Laura before they look for cross border discount surgery. They should do their homework and investigate the experience, training and track record of anyone BEFORE they sign up.

Always LOOK before you leap, he added!”

Laura Avila’s sister said they have relatives across the border, and that they visited Mexico quite a bit growing up. She said that it may sound crazy to others when you go to another country. She added, “But to us, you know, it’s home. It’s familiar.”

Patient education forums often recommend that you seek out doctors that are board certified within the field in which they practice, including plastic surgeons. Patients thinking of undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery procedures should look for doctors that are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.