Health

Brazil's fugitive 'Dr Bumbum' plastic surgeon arrested over patient death

Monday, July 23, 2018

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP/AP) — A Brazilian celebrity butt-enhancement surgeon known as Dr Bumbum was arrested last Thursday over the death of a patient in a botched operation after spending four days on the run.

Police said on Twitter that the doctor, who performed the operation in his own apartment, was arrested in Rio.

Denis Furtado, who calls himself Dr Bumbum on social media, was arrested in an office building thanks to a tip from an anonymous telephone caller, police said.

His mother, accused of being an accomplice, was also arrested.

Furtado was considered capable of performing magic on women's bodies, in particular their bottoms, and became known throughout the country for his expertise.

The 45-year-old's Instagram account reflects his popularity with 650,000 followers.

But he had been on the run since Sunday, July 15 over the death of a bank employee named Lilian Quezia Calixto, who perished hours after a butt enlargement procedure at Furtado's home in the swanky Barra de Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio.

Calixto had travelled 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from her home to see the surgeon.

She underwent surgery Saturday, July 14 and started feeling sick soon thereafter.

Upon arriving at hospital on Sunday, July 15 she was suffering from a racing heart-beat and hypertension, and after four heart attacks she died.

Soon after, Furtado disappeared. He now faces charges of homicide and criminal association.

Furtado used a controversial technique in his butt improvement surgery, injecting a substance called acrylic glass.

The news has caused shockwaves throughout the industry — Brazil is second only to the United States for the number of plastic surgeries carried out.

The Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society (SBPC) was quick to denounce Furtado, saying “the growing invasion of non-specialists in the specialty has provoked more and more fatalities like this one”.

“You cannot perform plastic surgery inside an apartment. Many people are selling a dream, a fantasy to patients in an unethical way and people, weakened, are often attracted to low prices, without considering whether or not the conditions are adequate,” SBPC president Niveo Steffen told AFP.

Steffen said the injection of synthetic biopolymers or polymers, like acrylic glass, is very dangerous and has caused dozens of deaths among women in Latin America, especially in Venezuela.

Inside a police station Thursday, Furtado told reporters he was innocent of any wrongdoing. “There was an occurrence with the patient,” he said.

In a video aired by the G1 news portal, Furtado said, “A fatality has occurred — a fatality that could happen to any doctor.” G1 said the video was posted on a social media site after Furtado's arrest.

The doctor's lawyer, Naiara Baldanza, said in a statement that “any conclusion regarding the death of Lilian Calixto and my client's responsibility in this fatality is premature”.

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