What was expected to be a routine plastic surgery appointment in Mexico for three California women who had booked the same doctor, unfortunately, ended tragically for the trio. One of them, Keuana Weaver, died during her procedure while the two others sustained near-fatal health complications in the aftermath of the botched surgeries.
The women had their individual procedures done by Dr. Jesús Manuel Báez López at his Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery clinic in the Mexican city of Tijuana the same day, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Among the two women who were lucky to have survived, one sustained kidney failure and has had to be on dialysis as a result while the other woman was admitted to the hospital for two weeks after suffering a hemorrhage and hematoma.
The Mexican border city, which is located south of California, is frequently thronged by Americans for plastic surgery procedures as the charges are cheaper compared to those back home. However, there have been multiple reports of citizens sustaining health complications after undergoing procedures there.
Speaking to the news outlet, Renee Weaver, the mother of the deceased woman, said her daughter informed her she was headed to Florida to undergo a tummy tuck procedure. But unbeknownst to her, Weaver was rather heading to Mexico. She said she only got to know her 38-year-old daughter was out of the country after a family member informed her of her passing while under the knife. The incident happened on January 29 and an autopsy report determined she died as a result of her central nervous system shutting down after not receiving enough blood and oxygen. That report was provided to Weaver’s mother by Baja California’s Secretary of Health.
Following Weaver’s death, her mother said their family has been left in limbo as to what might have occurred. Attempts by The San Diego Union-Tribune to get Báez López to comment on the incident have also proved futile. However, the clinic reportedly offered to reimburse the $6,700 bill Weaver paid for the surgery following her death, her mother said.
One of the women who survived the surgery, Kanisha Davis, happened to be a friend of Weaver. She told the news outlet they both booked Báez López for liposuction and tummy tuck procedures. Davis, who is also a nurse by profession, recalled the red flags were raised during her procedure when she realized she had not been hooked up to any monitor while under the knife. She also added she was immediately discharged without even having her blood tested – which is supposed to be a routine post-surgery procedure.
“They didn’t check my hemo. They just kept sedating me and sedating me,” she said. “And me being a nurse, I knew something was off.” Davis said she later suffered complications and was admitted at a hospital for 2 weeks. She said she would have died if she hadn’t gone to the hospital earlier.
“If I hadn’t gone into the hospital when I did, I would have died,” she said. “I was slowly bleeding to death. I was weak.”
Meanwhile, a check on Báez López’s professional medical background by The San Diego Union-Tribune revealed he is not a member of Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía Plástica, Estética y Reconstructiva, A.C., an association of plastic surgeons in the North American country. Though membership is voluntary, plastic surgeons told the news outlet that supposed colleagues whose names don’t appear as members may be as a result of they not being professionally trained in the profession.
A search on Báez López’s educational background also revealed he has a master’s degree in aesthetic surgery – not plastic surgery. And there’s a difference. A professional plastic surgeon explained aesthetic surgery is “not really even surgery.”
“It’s like Botox. They advertise it as aesthetic surgery. But it’s not actually surgery,” he said.
Weaver’s family and Davis are exploring the possibility of taking legal action against the doctor but they are experiencing a few setbacks. Authorities in Baja California have said they’re investigating the incident though Weaver’s family say they’ve been left in the dark.
“Keuana was a very independent woman; a good, loving, smart and very intelligent Black woman,” the deceased’s mother said. “That doctor took a lot from me and my family and I most definitely have to have her story out there.
“I’m mostly sad this happened to my daughter because she was already so beautiful to me, inside and out, she just couldn’t see it.”