Most of Danea Plasencia's family didn't know she was having cosmetic surgery. Otherwise, they say they would've talked her out of it.
"You're putting your life on the line, so I just don't think it's worth it," said her cousin, Jennifer Perez.
The 28-year-old mother of three young children went to Mia Aesthetics on Friday morning to have a Brazilian butt lift, a procedure where fat is removed from other places on the body and re-injected into a patient's backside.
After the procedure, Plasencia was rushed to the hospital, where she died.
Family members say Dr. Sergio Alvarez performed the procedure. He's a board-certified plastic surgeon and the owner and medical director of Mia Aesthetics.
The medical examiner says Plasencia died of a fat embolism, when a piece of fat gets into the bloodstream and causes a patient to stop breathing.
The NBC 6 Investigators found at least 12 women died of the same cause during the same procedure in our area under different doctors and clinics.
Lawmakers approved a new law the governor is expected to sign that would allow Florida's Board of Medicine to immediately revoke a doctor’s license in the case of serious injury or death. It’s not scheduled to go into effect until next year. It would also require all surgery centers to be owned by doctors, which Mia Aesthetics already is.
NBC 6 reached out to Dr. Alvarez and haven't heard back. His team released a statement after the death that reads in part, "Our condolences, love and support go out to her family during the difficult time. Throughout our years of operations and thousands of procedures performed, this is the first and only fatality we have endured. Our team is devastated by this tragedy and feels that each and every one of our patients is part of our family."