A mother of five who decided to have a buttocks lift is dead after she developed a blood clot. We tend to forget about how risky surgery can be. Of course, everything carries a risk -- and surgery is still incredibly safe overall. But we're so bombarded with images of celebrities who have willy-nilly had their whole face and entire body restructured that we tend to forget there are any risks at all. The real tragic part here is that this mom of five had changed her mind about the surgery, but then went through with it at the last minute because of something totally avoidable.

Maribel Cardona of Naples, Florida had arranged for a butt lift surgery through a clinic in Miami. She apparently had decided on this particular clinic because it was cheaper than the others. Right there is a red flag.

But it seems her son talked her out of the surgery, worried about the risks. Brazilian buttocks lift surgery requires a transfer of fat from one part of the body to another and there is a risk of clotting. Cardona reportedly tried to cancel the surgery -- but she couldn't get her $4,000 deposit back, so she decided to go through with it. That was the last decision she would ever make.

An autopsy concluded she had died from a lung embolism, or clot, caused by fatty tissue that had reached her bloodstream.

The surgeon who performed the lift, Dr. Anthony Hasan, was reportedly already on probation when he performed the surgery and had to be under the supervision of a doctor. In fact, Dr. Hasan, although he had performed many plastic surgeries, was not a licensed plastic surgeon but a dermatologist. However, in Florida, dermatologists can perform plastic surgery.

There's no way to not have any risk during a surgery, but if you are considering plastic surgery, make sure you get a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can check this on the American Board of Medical Specialties' website.

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You should check to see if there are any malpractice judgments against the doctor. You can find this through your state's medical board. Hasan was sued for malpractice in 2007 but settled with the patient.

While it's tempting to want to shop around for the best price -- or even fly out of the country for it -- remember that you might get what you pay for. If someone suggests surgery in a hotel or anywhere other than a hospital or doctor's office -- run!

And never be afraid to ask tough questions. Go back several times to the surgeon if you must. Also, ask for references. And simply doing a Google search can get you a lot of information.

It's totally worth it to do your research, and if you have any doubts, then listen to them.

Have you ever had or considered plastic surgery?

 

Image via StarAlex1/Flickr