Last Updated on December 20, 2020
A Mexican Instagram model, famous for being physically compared to socialite Kim Kardashian, has died following an unsuccessful butt-lift surgery in Colombia, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
29 year-old Joselyn Cano, a Mexican-American woman residing in Newport Beach, California, traveled to Colombia for a butt-lift surgery that took place on December 7. Her Instagram profile boasted over 12 million followers, leading to lucrative branding deals with large corporations.
The surgery she was undertaking was a Brazilian-style butt-lift, where fat is essentially redistributed from the abdomen and flanks and then injected into the buttocks. This type of surgery is particularly popular among those wishing to replicate Kardashian’s figure. It is currently the fastest-growing form of plastic surgery in the United States, given the growing social fetishization of buttocks in American society.
Over 1 in every 3000 butt-lifts of this kind results in death, according to statistics on PlasticSurgery.org. This happens when the injected fat accidentally enters the bloodstream and subsequently blocks blood vessels, leading to fat embolism.
Many travel to Colombia to get this surgery done, due to its relatively lower costs there. However, sub-par medical standards in Colombia have led to dozens of plastic surgery related deaths, as well as long-term health issues and bizarre looking botched surgeries.
France 24 reports that in 2016, 30 people died in Colombia as a result of botched plastic surgery. A Colombian journalist described to France 24 how doctors who have not completed medical school training are offering cheap surgeries without having the prerequisite skills to perform them:
Doctors can make a lot of money doing plastic surgery because patients pay them directly – there are no intermediaries. And there is a high demand for these procedures. That makes it a really lucrative and attractive field for medical students. Every year, many Colombians apply to medical schools offering a speciality in aesthetic procedures. But there aren’t enough places in Colombian medical schools, so some of the people who don’t get a spot end up studying abroad.
In Colombia, it takes four years to complete medical school. However, some of the people who go abroad complete much shorter programmes [often only between six months and two years]. Even with these lesser degrees, they are able to get licensed to carry out plastic surgery in Colombia with the blessing of the Ministry of Education.
There is little regulation around the licensing of physicians in Colombia and, even with an “express” diploma, it’s pretty easy to get a licence to practice. There are also major issues with corruption in this sector. For example, last year, a government official working with the Ministry of Education was indicted for taking bribes in exchange for licensing around 40 different medical professionals.
In order to avoid future deaths of this kind, it may be necessary for Americans to reverse the recent societal focus on obtaining a “thicc” body type with especially enlarged buttocks, in order to reduce the pressure on young women to pursue such dangerous surgeries. Alternatively, there may be a need for a greater focus on alternatives to surgery, such as squatting exercises, which naturally increase the size of the gluteal muscles present in the buttocks.