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A Coral Gables doctor’s illegal surgeries include a fatal Brazilian butt lift, state says

·3 min read

A Coral Gables doctor’s “failure to operate in a manner that is correct and safe” caused the death of a Brazilian butt lift surgery patient, the Florida Department of Health says.

That’s in the Florida Surgeon General’s emergency restriction order (ERO) on the license of Dr. John Sampson, who the state says was “performing unauthorized plastic surgery procedures” at Seduction Cosmetic Center, 4950 SW Eighth St. Thursday’s posting of the ERO likely will be followed by an administrative complaint that starts the discipline process.

Sampson’s online license profile shows no other discipline cases since initial issuance on Oct. 13, 2014. The 64-year-old Sampson also has been licensed in Michigan, Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia.

According to the online license profile, Seduction’s Coral Gables location is licensed for “surgery with moderate/conscious to deep sedation.” Sampson is listed as the Designated Physician and it’s the address listed on his license.

“Seduction indicated that Dr. Sampson was practicing at Seduction, but not performing surgical procedures,” the ERO says. “At all times material to this Order, Dr. Sampson was not authorized to perform surgical procedures at Seduction.

“Between April 2021 and June 2021, Dr. Sampson performed unauthorized plastic surgery procedures at Seduction.”

Sampson couldn’t be reached for comment and Seduction’s offices were closed on Sunday.

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Bad Brazilian butt lift

In the form of liposuction surgery commonly called a “Brazilian butt lift,” fat is sucked out of the abdomen and back by a tube called a “cannula” and then inserted into the buttocks. There should be no contact with organs.

There were enough patient deaths during Brazilian butt lift surgeries before 2019 that the Florida Board of Medicine issued an emergency rule prohibiting the injection of fat into the intramuscular or submuscular area of the buttocks. It became a formal rule in March 2020.

On June 16, 2021, a woman the ERO refers to as “Patient E.R.” came to Seduction for a Brazilian butt lift by Sampson.

“While harvesting fat from Patient E.R.’s trunk, [Sampson] repeatedly perforated Patient E.R.’s abdominal wall and lacerated her liver, bladder and intestines,” the ERO said.

Then, when transferring the fat, the ERO says, Sampson “repeatedly inserted the cannula into and through Patient E.R.’s gluteal fascia. Dr. Sampson repeatedly inserted fat into and under Patient E.R.’s gluteal muscles.”

The ERO says heart problems hit E.R. Despite the efforts at Seduction and, later, 2.9 miles away at Coral Gables Hospital, she died at age 33.

The ERO says the medical examiner found fat particles in E.R’s heart; globules of fat mixed with blood clots in the arteries that carry blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs; and fat globules in the “peripheral airways of all lung lobes.”

E.R. died, the medical examiner found, from pulmonary embolisms, blood clots in the lungs.

“Dr. Sampson’s commission of so many violations during one procedure, resulting in the patient’s death, indicates that he is unable to safely perform these procedures,” the ERO says.

The ERO says John Argyle Gilmore Sampson now is prohibited from performing liposuction or gluteal fat grafting surgeries.

Among South Florida doctor’s mistakes, state says: removing fat instead of an appendix

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