Brazilian Butt Lift Doctor Faces Proposed Punishment

A Miami doctor is facing action against his medical license based on the way he performed the Brazilian butt lift procedure on two of his patients.

The Florida Board of Medicine will decide on Friday whether Dr. Arnaldo Valls will face a reprimand against his license. He's also facing a $15,000 fine, a medical records course, and being prevented from performing the Brazilian butt lift procedure until his technique is evaluated by another physician.

State health officials say one of his patients was hospitalized and another died after undergoing the popular procedure.

The NBC 6 Investigators first reported on the death of Kizzy London in December of 2017. The 40-year-old mother from Louisiana traveled to Miami to undergo the Brazilian butt lift procedure. That's when fat is removed through liposuction from unwanted parts of the body and re-injected into a patient's backside. The medical examiner said London went into cardiac arrest during the operation and she died from a fat embolism.

State officials say another one of Dr. Valls' patients was hospitalized in 2016 after they say he hit the 26-year-old's small intestine with a medical instrument during the procedure. The woman from Boston was hospitalized for a month and survived.

In response to both administrative complaints filed, Dr. Valls responded to the Florida Department of Health disputing the allegations.

Shortly after London's death, Dr. Valls released a statement.

"We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of our patient who tragically underwent a cardiac arrest during a procedure yesterday afternoon, December 14th," Dr. Arnaldo Valls said in a statement. "Cosmetic surgeries, like all surgeries, carry some degree of risk for pain, bleeding or other complications; we take great precautions in running numerous exams to assure the safety of the patient. All standard pre-operative procedures were administered."

The Florida Board of Medicine combined both the cases and is expected to vote on a proposed punishment during a hearing on Friday where both sides will present its case.

The NBC 6 Investigators will be there to let you know what happens.

The NBC 6 Investigators have uncovered the deaths of at least ten women since 2010 who have died after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure – at different clinics, with different doctors.

Now a proposed bill in the Florida Senate would allow the Department of Health to have more regulation over the industry and take action against doctors and clinics in the case of serious injury or death.

The proposed changes include requiring all surgery centers to be registered to a designated doctor. As it stands now, anyone can own a plastic surgery center in Florida. If passed, the changes would also include allowing the state's board of medicine to revoke a center or doctor's registration in the case of serious injury or death, and requiring a clean record for five years before anyone can open a surgery center.

The deaths uncovered by the NBC 6 Investigators led to a worldwide study in 2016 that caused doctors to issue new recommendations on how the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure should be performed. Also, in 2017, the reporting done by the NBC 6 Investigators led a group of surgeons from around the country to travel to Miami to study cadavers to learn additional steps to make the industry safer. Their findings are expected to be released later this year.

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