Anytime that someone undergoes surgery, no matter how serious the procedure is, there are associated risks. Though rare, in the case of liposuction and nose jobs, a model undergoing plastic surgery in a Mexico clinic has paid the ultimate price for elective surgery. Elena Carolina Estefania Sada Sandova, 32, went into the Obispado Specialist Medical Center for what would be routine procedures but was pronounced dead only hours after its completion, having suffered cardiorespiratory failure. The exact reasons for the model’s death are now under investigation.
While it is believed that the model died due to cardiorespiratory failure, what led to that point is not clear. The family is awaiting the autopsy report to get a more accurate idea of how this tragedy occurred. Regardless of what’s in the report, they do intend on seeking charges for murder against the surgeon who completed the procedure. Sandova leaves behind two children. This latest incident of a lethal plastic surgery procedure is just another in the long line of botched surgeries in Mexico.
Just last year, a real estate agent from Dallas, named Laura Avila, traveled to Mexico for plastic surgery and also did not make the trip home. In this case, Avila died of a heart attack and subsequent brain damage that was believed to have been caused by anesthesia being injected into the wrong place within the spine. According to Avila’s family, she was very healthy prior to undergoing surgery and do not think that any pre-existing health conditions contributed to her ultimate death. They, too, are pressing for murder charges to be levied against the surgeon.
In 2017, a study was conducted to determine the number of people who traveled outside of the United States to undergo surgery. It has been estimated that approximately 1.5 million people do so every year, primarily due to the cost of the procedures. Specifically, in Mexico, plastic surgery can cost forty-five to sixty percent less than in the United States, providing an attractive option for those on a smaller budget. Unfortunately, this came at a much higher cost for Sandova and Avila.
While the cost for the procedures is undeniably cheaper than in the United States, the trend that is being developed shows that there are much larger risks, even for simple and routine procedures. The take-home message from these cases is that cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better, and with the livelihood, well-being, and health of a person on the line, the risks don’t outweigh the rewards, especially with the carelessness that seems to be in play at a handful of Mexican plastic surgery clinics.