Reports: NY Man Dies After Getting Plastic Surgery in Dominican Republic

June 14, 2019 Updated: June 14, 2019

A 29-year-old New York man died in the Dominican Republic while reportedly getting discount liposuction.

Manuel Nunez, who worked in New York City, traveled back to the Dominican Republic to get plastic surgery done for the third time, his mother said.

“[I told him] ‘Do not do that lipo, you’ve already done two. Don’t you have anything else better to do with your money,’ and he told me, ‘Mom, I have my doctor,’” Teresa de Jesus Batista Ramirez was quoted by the Daily Mail, which cited a local media outlet.

She added, “I told him give it to me better so that I can eat with it and what he did was that he stuck his tongue out and told me goodbye.”

The report said that Nunez showed up for his 9 a.m. appointment at the Caribbean Plastic Surgery in Santo Domingo with Dr. Oscar Polanco. Polanco allegedly had three other patients die undergoing surgery under his watch.

Hospital director Dr. Martha Vargas stated that Nunez suffered respiratory problems after he “underwent body liposculpture plus fat transfer to the gluteal region” and staff “’immediately proceeded to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

The Mail reported that Polanco is not licensed as a plastic surgeon and is a gynecologist.

In 2015, three female patients died at a separate practice that the doctor once oversaw, Newsweek reported. He was also charged with involuntary manslaughter for 24-year-old Ely Pena and 39-year-old Sara de Los Angeles Martinez Rodriguez.

The case was later dismissed due to a lack of sufficient evidence, the Mail reported.

Newsweek reported that he was incarcerated for three months. In 2016, a man died after undergoing cosmetic surgery at Doctora Maritza Jimenez Medical Center as well.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is known as “lipo” and “slims and reshapes areas of the body by removing excess fat and improving body contours.” It adds that “the decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of liposuction are acceptable.”

However, there are a number of complications associated with the procedure.

“Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction also shapes (contours) these areas. Other names for liposuction include lipoplasty and body contouring,” says the Mayo Clinic.

It adds: “Skin infections are rare but possible. A severe skin infection may be life-threatening.”

Other Deaths

The pattern of deaths made headlines last week after Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead at the Bahia Principe La Romana on May 30. They had checked in on the same day that 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman Miranda Schaup-Werner collapsed and died after allegedly drinking from the minibar at the same resort on May 25, according to reports.

Other family members of American tourists then came forward, including Felecia Nieves, who said her sister, Yvette Monique Sport, died in June of last year at the Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana.

“She was 51 years of age, relatively healthy, no reason for her to go on vacation and die so suddenly,” Nieves said, according to Fox5.

On June 9, the family of California man, Robert Bell Wallace, said he died after having a scotch from his room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana.

“He was fine,” niece Chloe Arnold said of her uncle, Fox News reported. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”

Dawn McCoy, a Pennsylvania woman, said that her husband, David Harrison, died in July 2018 at the Hard Rock hotel.

“We were having a great time … and we ended up coming home as a broken family,” she told Inside Edition. “My husband’s story needs to be told … something’s not right in the Dominican Republic.”

Annette Wedington told WJZ in an exclusive last week that she wants answers after her son, Terrence Richmond, died in Jarabacoa. Dominican authorities told her that it was an accident, saying that he had a heart attack and fell.

However, Wedington said that he suffered trauma to his knuckles, saying that she thinks he was involved in a struggle before his death. An autopsy obtained from officials said he had a cracked skull and fluid in his lungs.

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