29-Year-Old Woman's Tragic Death Linked to Plastic Surgery

evita sarmonikasThis past March, a 29-year-old Australian woman named Evita Sarmonikas boarded a plane to Mexicali, Mexico, to have a routine Brazilian butt lift surgery that ended up costing the young woman her life. The initial cause of her death was thought to be a pulmonary embolism, but a second autopsy, ordered by her family, showed something else entirely.


Evita's real cause of death: a lack of oxygen caused by internal bleeding from the surgery. Understandably, Evita's family is now calling for the cosmetic surgery industry to be subject to tougher regulations.

The whole case has also launched a discussion about the dangers of traveling to developing countries for plastic surgery. Last year, a London woman died from the same butt implant procedure in Bangkok, and over a dozen women developed infections from cosmetic surgeries performed in the Dominican Republic.

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It's an important topic to be sure. But as cosmetic alterations have gained popularity over the last few decades (the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that the U.S. alone spent a whopping $12.9 billion dollars on cosmetic surgery in 2014!), we can't help but wonder what this means for our culture's definition of beauty. 

Plastic surgery used to be seen as something older women did to reduce wrinkles or fight the inevitable pull of gravity. But, now women in their 20s and even younger are signing up, which means plastic surgery isn't just about chasing the fountain of youth. It's about something else.

In a recent Time article, Joel Stein suggests that if we aren't careful, the pressure for women to get work done will become so intense that they won't feel they even have a choice. Getting breast implants and Botox will be as normal as applying lipstick and changing our hair color.

But does it have to? Couldn't the same logic lead to another conclusion? That if enough of us choose to embrace our "imperfections" and embrace our bodies as they are, that too could spread and spark a cultural shift all its own? 

For more information you can visit evitaa.com, a page created to keep "the public and especially future prospective liposuction patients informed about Evita's case."


Christy Krumm Richard is a freelance writer and creator of the blog, The Edible Life. She has written for LAmag.com, YourTango.com, and Foam Magazine. She can often be found checking out books at her local library and biking aimlessly through the streets of Long Beach, California where she lives with her husband.

Image via evitasarmonikas/Facebook

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