A well-known Brazilian plastic surgeon has been arrested and charged with murder after the death of one of his patients.
Dr. Denis Furtado carried out buttock enhancing injections on 46-year-old bank manager Lilian Calixto. She’d travelled over 1,000 miles from central Brazil for the procedure, which took place at his home in Rio de Janeiro. After she reacted badly to the injections, he took her to hospital, leaving her there with an abnormally high heart rate, according to local media. Her symptoms did not improve, and within hours, she’d died.
The doctor spent four days on the run before police finally caught up to him, proceeding to charge him with murder. According to his lawyer, it was panic that led him to not turning himself immediately. Posting online after his arrest, Furtado insisted the death was a “fatal accident,” and that he’d administered the same procedure 9,000 times before without issue. He insisted the injections are legal in Brazil, but there have been warnings related to the procedure.
According to the Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society, procedures should not be carried out in the home, and warns against the use of PMMA, a synthetic resin also known as acrylic glass filler, reportedly used by Furtado on Calixto, for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes.
Speaking to the BBC, Society president Niveo Steffen pointed out some major red flags. “You cannot perform plastic surgery inside an apartment,” Steffen said, going on to describe the appeal of such figures. “Many people are selling a dream, a fantasy to patients in an unethical way and people, weakened, are often attracted to low prices, without considering whether or not the conditions are adequate.”
Noting Furtado’s registered status as a doctor, but not a trained plastic surgeon, he added the industry was seeing a “growing invasion of non-specialists.”
And police have reason to believe he wasn’t working alone, with his mother Maria de Fatima Barros Furtado also arrested on suspicion of being an accomplice to the procedure. Rio police even took to Twitter to let us know of the double arrest:
— PMERJ (@PMERJ) July 19, 2018
Fertado’s girlfriend, Renata Fernandes, has also been accused of being an accomplice and placed under arrest.
Boasting a large social media following — ironically 666K Instagram followers at the time of publishing — Furtado previously shared that patients had affectionately nicknamed him “Dr. Bumbum,” being known in particular for carrying out the buttock-enhancing procedures.
It’s a stark warning that only specifically registered medical professionals should be trusted with any kind of medical procedure. Just earlier this year, rapper Cardi B shared her experience of having illegal buttock injections at the hands of someone who was later responsible for a death. No matter how tempting it may seem, the risk is never worth it.