You may have read the news that an aspiring actress and singer recently died following buttocks augmentation. Claudia Aderotini, a part English, part Nigerian young woman, passed away last week after receiving illegal butt injections in Philadelphia.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the medical examiner with jurisdiction over the case said it will take weeks to sort out exactly what happened. Apparently a New Jersey woman arranged the procedure for Aderotini and another woman, an unlicensed practitioner, actually injected the foreign substance.
It’s not yet known what substance was used. In these black market operations, leading candidates are industrial silicone or a material called hydrogel made from protein and water. Neither of these is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Another Philadelphia news source reported that even caulk and petroleum jelly are sometimes used.
It’s a pretty safe bet that most EmpowHER readers would never consider having a cosmetic procedure in a hotel room with an unlicensed practitioner using unknown substances. Still, there are things you can learn from a sad case like that of Aderotini.
First, it’s not enough to make sure your doctor is actually licensed. For most procedures, and certainly for surgery, you should consider only a board certified plastic surgeon. That’s the only way to ensure you’re working with someone who has been specifically taught, trained and tested in the field of plastic surgery.
You should also know something about staff credentials. In most cases, your plastic surgeon should have a surgical R.N. by his or her side in the operating room. They should use a nurse anesthetist at least, or, better, an M.D. anesthesiologist. If your procedure doesn’t require general anesthesia, ask what happens if something goes wrong and you suddenly need to be “put under.”
Learn about your doctor’s surgical suite. It’s common these days for plastic surgeons to perform procedures, even relatively complex operations like abdominoplasty, in an outpatient setting. Nevertheless, the facility should be accredited by an appropriate organization. And it goes without saying that a variety of modern technology should be on hand, including lifesaving equipment.
Finally, ask where your prospective cosmetic surgeon has hospital privileges. Very few plastic surgery patients need to be whisked off to the hospital, but it does happen occasionally. You’ll want to know that you can be transported to a reputable, facility nearby and that your plastic surgeon can be part of the team that cares for you there.
It’s terrible tragedy when someone like Aderotini loses his or her life to an illegal procedure. But occasionally patients pay the ultimate price even when their treatment isn’t exactly illegal, perhaps simply ill advised. Do your homework and make sure you aren’t one of them.
Add a Comment6 Comments
Thanks to all who have written to me about CRNAs. I've looked at some documents covering the standards of education, care etc that the profession ascribes to and they are indeed admirable. I have no trouble believing that CRNAs are as qualified to administer anesthesia than MD anesthesiologists.
What influenced me to write what I did is that every surgeon I know has expressed a preference for physician anesthesiologists. Not one surgeon has said anything negative about CRNAs; what they have mentioned to me is their belief that in an emergency situation, an MD may have a broader skillset and additional training that would be of use.
Now, you may very well disagree with that too! And I'm not saying it's true. I don't know that there are any absolutes here.
Having heard from "the other side," and read more, and realizing that this issue is perhaps somewhat political, I will take care with my phrasing in the future.May 11, 2011 - 10:51am
As a writer on a health-related site, I am sure you realize that anecdote does not equal data. That means that speaking with a few surgeons doesn't replace actual, peer-reviewed research. I am sure that accuracy and integrity are very important to you, as they are to me. The truth is that there are many areas of the country where CRNAs are the only providers - if we were less safe than our physician colleagues, that would very quickly become apparent. I'm afraid that do your readers a disservice by suggesting otherwise.
I would suggest to your readers that they ensure that an appropriately educated anesthesia provider is providing their care when they are discussing the procedure with the surgeon. The anesthesia provider should meet with the patient at some point in the preoperative period and perform a complete preoperative assessment and answer any questions the patient may have.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to our concerns!May 11, 2011 - 10:55am
Ah, Cathy - you're probably going to have a number of individuals post here about CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) and physician anesthetists/anesthesiologists. For brevity, know that these two proud and qualified professions hold themselves up to the same high standard of care, and both have outstanding safety records. As you might expect - there is a bit of rivalry between them. But your statement about CRNAs seems to put them in a lower tier than their physician counterparts - and that's in poor taste. CRNAs provide anesthesia just as physicians do - as safely, and as efficiently - and this has been documented over and over for decades.May 11, 2011 - 7:42am
http://www.gaspasser.com/unique.htmlMay 10, 2011 - 8:58am
Wayne, this is a fantastic site. Thank you.May 10, 2011 - 10:40am
I noted that you commented that a person would be "better off" if they had an MD performing anesthesia. I have to point out that the research simply doesn't back that up. Nurse anesthetists have been practicing anesthesia in this country since the Civil War. In many hospitals, you consult with an anesthesiologist but your care is given by a nurse anesthetist. I'm sure it isn't your intention to spread misinformation. Anesthesia is very safe when provided by a certified anesthesia provider, whether that person is a physician or a nurse anesthetist.May 10, 2011 - 7:51am