|Kelly Mayhew, a Suitland, Maryland, woman who worked at BET, wanted cosmetic surgery to enhance her posterior. But the procedure, which included a silicone “butt injection,” wound up leaving her dead in a house in Queens, New York.
Mayhew, 34, had been placed in contact with a plastic surgeon through a friend, so she and her mother drove to Queens so she could get the procedure.
But immediately after the injections, Mayhew had trouble breathing. Her mother performed CPR on her, but the suspect, who turned out to be an unlicensed surgeon, had already fled the home.
Mayhew was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Queens, where she was pronounced dead.
Too often, procedures like butt injections are performed by unlicensed doctors. While legal injections can cost a patient as much as $7,000, an unlicensed surgeon may charge just a few hundred dollars.
But those cheap procedures often come at a serious cost. While some butt injections can be made from the patient’s own fat from other body parts, most injections are made from silicone.
However, other women who worked with unlicensed doctors were injected with a number of other substances, including tire sealant, mineral oil, baby oil and, in at least one instance, cement.
But even silicone itself can be risky. Inflammation and infection can occur if the silicone isn’t good quality, and the procedure can lead to kidney or nerve damage, scarring and abscess, uneven or bumpy augmentation, chest pain, breathing problems and death.
That’s a lot of risk for women who are interested in reshaping bodies or getting a butt like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez. Women tend to get far more cosmetic procedures than men do; for instance, in 2013, they had 90.6% of all procedures in the United States, for a total of 10.3 million treatments and surgeries.
As for Mayhew, her tragedy could have been avoided by following several precautions before deciding on a procedure.
Dr. David Samadi, writing for the New York Post, cautions that patients should always look for doctors who are board certified and only using FDA-approved products.
Sometimes problems won’t occur until several years down the road — even 15 to 20 years later, according to some surgeons.