Florida cosmetic surgery clinic has ties to previous deaths, debilitating injuries

A Hialeah, Fla., plastic surgery center where a 29-year-old woman from West Virginia suffered fatal complications Thursday uses physicians who have maimed patients repeatedly and then discharged them to recover in hotels and horse stables with no medical attention, the Miami Herald reported.

Heather Meadows, a mother of two from West Virginia, suffered medical complications at Encore Plastic Surgery following a cosmetic surgery procedure, Hialeah police told the Herald. Medical staff at a nearby hospital later pronounced her dead.

State health officials said the licensed clinic has no active complaints. But the Herald linked Encore to a 2013 death at another Hialeah clinic following a buttocks augmentation.

Officials at Encore did not immediately respond to the Herald's request for information.

The clinic attracts out-of-town patients with the promise of inexpensive cosmetic surgery. But there have been at least two deaths and a number of patients rushed to local hospitals with serious injuries and infections, the Herald said.

The Florida Department of Health has charged physicians who work at Encore Plastic Surgery in Hialeah, and two other clinics, Vanity Cosmetic Surgery and Spectrum Aesthetics in Miami, with medical malpractice and employing unlicensed professionals.

On Friday, the Miami-Dade medical examiner performed an autopsy of Meadows, who was rushed to the emergency room at Larkin Community Hospital's Palm Springs Campus after medical complications from a cosmetic procedure at Encore.

“Findings point toward an accidental death during a medical procedure,” said Carl Zogby, a Hialeah police spokesman, on Friday.



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