Miami police are investigating the death of a 32-year-old woman who suffered cardiac arrest while undergoing a tummy tuck at a cosmetic surgery clinic on Wednesday, and died later. Maria Christian was rushed to the hospital after her heart stopped during the procedure, which had been billed as “routine.” Emergency room doctors were unable to revive her and pronounced Christian dead within hours. The tragic outcome has left her family devastated. She was married and mother to a little boy who just turned 2 years old on Sunday. The last photos the family took of her were snapshots of Christian celebrating her son’s birthday, her grieving sister Carolina Flor told NBC Miami.
The surgery was performed at Vanity Cosmetic Surgery, in a suburb of Miami, and Flor said it wasn’t the first procedure Christian had undergone there. Earlier this year, Flor said, Christian underwent a Brazilian butt lift, but that procedure was performed by a different doctor than the one who performed this week’s surgery. Flor suggested that the clinic may have pressured Christian into using a new doctor this time around. Dr. Camille D. Chavez is the surgeon who performed the ill-fated procedure this week. The clinic has been previously investigated — for its business practices, not its medical practices. It issued a statement expressing condolences to Christian’s family, but defended itself saying Christian was “in good health” prior to the surgery and that “surgical procedures have inherent risks of complications.” The clinic added that Miami police investigated the clinic and found that it had followed the proper protocols and that a forensic examination is still under way to determine the cause of death.
Christian’s tragic fate has come amid several celebrities speaking out against the intense societal pressures for women to look a certain way, either through cosmetic procedures, or through the use of makeup. Singer Alicia Keys made headlines earlier this summer when she announced she would go makeup-free when she appears as a judge on NBC’s The Voice. And Courteney Cox opened up about some of the regrets she’s felt about undergoing various cosmetic procedures in a bid to conform to Hollywood’s expectation that actresses maintain a younger look.
Read the full story at NBC Miami.