Framingham, Mass. — A doctor here has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the death of a Brazilian woman following a liposuction procedure.
According to news reports, 24-year-old Brazilian immigrant Fabiola DePaula died three days after undergoing a liposuction procedure performed by Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, a 49-year-old Brazilian doctor who authorities believe has performed a number of plastic surgeries in Framingham, such as liposuction, rhinoplasty and Botox injections, mostly for the town’s large Brazilian immigrant population and mostly for cash.
It was reported that an autopsy revealed DePaula’s death was caused by complications of the surgery, including pulmonary fat emboli.
According to reports, police say DePaula went to Ribeiro for a rhinoplasty on July 27, then died three days later after undergoing a liposuction procedure.
Ribeiro and his 49-year-old wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, were arrested July 31 and charged with manslaughter, unauthorized practice of medicine and drug counts. Ribiero and his wife both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and remain in custody.
Authorities say it is common for Brazilians in the community to travel back to their native country for all types of surgeries because they cost thousands less than in the United States. Unlicensed doctors offering cheap procedures here could be particularly appealing to illegal immigrants, who do not want to risk being unable to return to the United States if they were to leave.
Since DePaula’s death, two other women have come forward saying they were patients of Ribiero. The investigation remains open, with authorities using local Brazilian media to help find other potential victims and explain the risks involved with illegal surgery.