A Monterey Park woman who pocketed more than $40,000 performing illegal buttocks augmentations pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge linked to a botched operation in which an unknown substance — probably silicone — caused so much damage that the victim needed a major corrective operation.
Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 47, was ordered to return to Los Angeles federal court on Dec. 4 for sentencing on a single count of receipt of an adulterated and misbranded medical device — an injectable liquid she smuggled from Mexico.
Diaz agreed not to contest a prison sentence of up to two years and will pay a $95,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the victim, her plea agreement shows.
According to court papers, a woman identified by the initials I.T. filed a complaint with the California Medical Board after seeking treatments from Diaz to enhance her buttocks. The woman said the product Diaz had injected into her buttocks had migrated to her "back, hips and legs," and she had to have surgery and was ultimately hospitalized due to injections.
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During a series of treatments that cost thousands of dollars, Diaz told I.T. that she was injecting a "natural product," at points claiming the injections were "lamb's fat," according to prosecutors.
After the procedures, the woman began to suffer pain and sought the assistance of a doctor in Colombia who specializes in reversing cosmetic procedures. The victim underwent a major surgery to remove the substance injected into her buttocks, and she will need further medical procedures, according to court documents.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has never approved the use of silicone for the purpose of body contouring, even when administered by a medical doctor.
"Injections of silicone for body contouring purposes, especially deep tissue injections into the buttocks of the large amounts of silicone that would be required to achieve visible buttocks augmentation and enhancement, present serious risks and dangers," an affidavit in the case states.
"Included among the risks of such injections are the potential of injection into a blood vessel resulting in embolism, migration of injected silicone to other bodily regions and resultant interference with organs and bodily systems, serious sepsis infection and infection-related disorders, silicone-filled scar tissue formations — granulomas' — necrosis, skin discoloration, immune system hyperactivity and related adverse systemic conditions, disfigurement, discomfort, and pain,'' according to the document.