A 46-year-old woman who traveled from New York to Miami for a Brazilian butt lift has died following the procedure. The woman, Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez, went to Xiluet Plastic Surgery in Miami that is specialized in breast enhancements, tummy tucks, and Brazilian butt lifts.

As per the Miami-Dade police, during surgery which took place this week, her oxygen levels and heart rate plunged. The surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Stover called 911 when she struggled to save Rodriguez, and later she was taken to Kendall Regional Hospital on Tuesday, September 15. But it was already late.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday, September 17 that Rodriguez's death has been ruled accidental. They confirmed that the woman died of a fat embolism—a piece of intravascular fat that lodges within a blood vessel and causes a blockage of blood flow—after the fat was injected into her buttocks.

Police said that Rodriguez was transitioning to become a woman and was also undergoing breast-enhancement surgery. A per her friends, she was well-known in New York City's transgender community and working with groups like Make the Road New York and Colectivo Intercultural Transgrediendo.

Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez
Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez Twitter

What's Brazilian Butt-Lift?

This is a very popular cosmetic procedure that involves the transfer of fat to help create more fullness in the backside—making bigger and rounder buttocks. Unlike other buttock surgery like silicone placement, it is claimed that this process gives more natural-looking results with low infection risk.

fat transfer
Fat Transfer in Plastic Surgery Wikimedia commons

Rodriguez's case was the latest Brazilian butt-lift death case in Miami. As reported, at least 20 people have died in Florida in the past decade due to the complications from the procedure and almost all of them happened in Miami.

The fatality related to this procedure happened so frequently that in 2019 the Florida Board of Medicine set new restrictions for surgeons that prohibits them from injecting fat into or below a patient's gluteal muscles due to the risk of piercing the gluteal vein, which can cause fat clots to travel to lungs and the heart, causing them to fail.