Two years after Heather Meadows died following a Brazilian Butt Lift in Miami, the Florida Department of Health has filed a complaint against the doctor who performed the procedure. The complaint alleges Dr. James McAdoo committed medical malpractice.
In May 2016, Meadows traveled from her home in West Virginia to Encore Plastic Surgery in South Florida to undergo the popular cosmetic procedure. Her friends and family members told NBC 6 Investigators the mother of two found the clinic online and chose it due to the affordable price.
"This is something she wanted to do for herself, to make herself feel better,' said Meadows' longtime friend Suzanna Wilson. Meadows had given birth to her second child two months before the procedure.
"She was scared. This was her first surgery ever in life," said Wilson. "She asked me to pray for her and she told me that she loved me, those were her last words."
The medical examiner’s report shows Meadows died of a fat embolism. That’s when a piece of fat gets into a vein, travels to the lungs and causes a patient to stop breathing.
The NBC 6 Investigators found it’s what has killed at least eight mothers in South Florida in the past five years. The women all had different doctors and went to different clinics.
The Florida Department of Health has filed a medical malpractice complaint against James McAdoo.
The administrative complaint in Meadows’s case claims Dr. McAdoo failed to perform a complete physical exam before surgery, didn’t slowly and carefully inject fat into Meadows’ body and hit a deep vein in her backside.
The complaint also lists the time frame between when Meadows gave birth prior to her procedure. The Department of Health says patients are supposed to wait at least three months.
Dr. McAdoo is one of two South Florida plastic surgeons the state has taken action against.
Dr. Osak Omulepu had his license revoked after two of his patients had their internal organs punctured during Brazilian Butt Lift operations and another patient died in June of 2017. He’s currently appealing the revocation with Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals.
"I want this to stop, we want to save the next woman’s life," said Wilson.
The clinic where it happened, Encore Plastic Surgery, has since shut down. But Dr. McAdoo is still practicing. His attorney reacted to the complaint in a statement to NBC 6:
"Due to issues of patient privacy, Dr. McAdoo cannot comment publicly on the allegations contained within the Administrative Complaint filed by the Department of Health. Dr. McAdoo does not agree with the allegations contained within the Complaint, and fully intends to contest these issues through the appropriate administrative process."
If the doctor formally disputes the allegations, a hearing will be held to determine whether or not he was at fault and what, if any, disciplinary action he could receive.
The Meadows family settled a civil lawsuit against Dr. McAdoo and is currently suing the facility where it happened. An attorney for the owner told NBC 6 Investigators they have "no comment about the case."