American woman dies and two others are seriously ill after botched plastic surgery in Tijuana

 An American woman died and two others became seriously ill after traveling to Tijuana for liposuction and other procedures on the same day, operated on by the same doctor.

The three women, lured by the promise of cheap procedures, crossed from California into Mexico for the January 29 operations, carried out by Dr Jesus Manuel Baez Lopez.

Baez, who is not a member of the professional group Asociacion Mexicana de Cirugia Plastica, Estetica y Reconstructiva, had a different clinic shut down in April 2015 for 'failing to meet the minimum requirements to operate legally.'


State law in Baja California since 2014 has stipulated that only certified plastic surgeons can perform liposuction and a range of other procedures such as tummy tucks.

Baez is not a plastic surgeon, according to his website at the Arte Siluette clinic, and only qualified for cosmetic surgery.

Keuana Weaver, 38, travelled to Tijuana with her friend Kanisha Davis for cosmetic surgery

Keuana Weaver, 38, travelled to Tijuana with her friend Kanisha Davis for cosmetic surgery

Weaver, a mother of two, never returned home to California. A T-shirt in her memory is pictured

Weaver, a mother of two, never returned home to California. A T-shirt in her memory is pictured

One of his patients, Keuana Weaver, a 38-year-old mother of two from Long Beach, died on the operating table when her liposuction and tummy tuck went wrong.


Her friend Kanisha Davis, a nurse, underwent the same procedures and was left with hemorrhaging and a hematoma, requiring two weeks in hospital in Pomona.

The third women Baez operated on that day, Esmeralda Iniguez, had to be rushed across the border to Chula Vista, suffering from septic shock.

Dr Jesus Manuel Baez Lopez operated on all three women on January 29: one died, and two were left seriously ill in hospital

Dr Jesus Manuel Baez Lopez operated on all three women on January 29: one died, and two were left seriously ill in hospital

'He tightened my abdominal muscles too much, squishing all my organs together and cutting off blood supply to my kidneys, causing something called Abdominal Compartment Syndrome,' said Iniguez.

She told The San Diego Union Tribune: 'I was so septic by the time I reached the ER in Chula Vista on February 3, I was literally hours from death. My kidneys were shutting down.'

Iniguez was again hospitalized in April after her wounds became re-infected.

She said she has been too busy fighting for her life to consider what legal options she may have, or find an attorney.

Weaver's mother, however, is demanding answers.

The three women's decisions to go to Tijuana for medical procedures is not unusual.

An estimated 2.4 million medical tourists crossed from California into Tijuana and the surrounding area for procedures in 2018, according to Baja California's Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism (SEST) - up from 800,000 in 2014.

Medical tourism generates annual revenues of more than $1.7 billion, SEST said.

Arte Siluette, Baez's clinic, is in Las Torres de Tijuana (pictured), along the main avenue

Arte Siluette, Baez's clinic, is in Las Torres de Tijuana (pictured), along the main avenue

Keuana (left) with her mother Renee, who believed that Keuana had gone to Florida

Keuana (left) with her mother Renee, who believed that Keuana had gone to Florida

Weaver's procedures cost $6,700 - a tummy tuck alone in San Diego will cost in excess of $8,000.

Her final Facebook post, on January 22, read: 'This year is so personal. Anything that makes me happy I'm doing it!!!!'

Davis said the pair knew it was risky, but thought it was an acceptable risk. 

'Did we know we were taking a risk being in Mexico?' said Davis. 'Yes.

'But did we ever, at any time, think that risk would be death? No.'

Weaver's mother Renee told the paper that the clinic offered to refund the money for her daughter's procedure.

She did not even know her daughter was in Mexico; she thought she had gone to Florida.

Keuana's mother Renee at a memorial to celebrate her daughter's life

Keuana's mother Renee at a memorial to celebrate her daughter's life

She is now seeking further answers, but experts warn it could be difficult.

'If a relative wants to know more about what went wrong, then they have to file a criminal complaint against the doctor,' said Dr. Gilberto Montfort, a longtime plastic surgeon in Baja California and member of the professional association.

He added medical malpractice lawsuits are rare, as are investigations into doctors who practice without the proper credentials.

'There are organizations that are supposed to (provide oversight) but they do not really do it. They don't really do their jobs.'

Weaver's cause of death was recorded as 'secondary hypoxic encephalopathy,' which refers to damage to the central nervous system by inadequate oxygen and blood supply. 

The document was signed by David Ignacio Gutiérrez Inzunza, the director of COEPRIS - a division of the health service that typically would be responsible for investigating medical malpractice or medical offices operating without the correct license.

Baez did not respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment.

Baja California authorities have said they are looking into the women's cases.

'We're working very hard to make sure that doctors who are practicing without the proper credentials are immediately shut down and are investigated by the Attorney General,' said Atzimba Villegas, the state director of medical tourism.

'It's essential for the entire industry that patients feel safe and are well cared for and get the results they are looking for.'

American woman dies and two others are seriously ill after botched plastic surgery in Tijuana American woman dies and two others are seriously ill after botched plastic surgery in Tijuana Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:19 Rating: 5

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