Fat Embolism Killed Mother During Brazilian Butt Lift, Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Reports

Ranika Hall, 25, died after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure in Hialeah due to what’s called a fat embolism. That’s where globs of fat traveled to her lungs and caused her to stop breathing. The Miami Dade Medical Examiner released the results of her autopsy to the NBC 6 Investigators Wednesday afternoon. The report also shows a piece of fat was also found in Hall’s heart.

The young mother flew from her home in Kansas City to South Florida in March to undergo the popular cosmetic procedure. Hall’s mother told NBC 6 Investigators her daughter wasn’t happy with how her body looked after giving birth to her daughter.

During a Brazilian Butt Lift, unwanted fat is removed from a patient’s body and then injected into the butt to make it bigger. Doctors tell NBC 6 Investigators when the fat is injected into the butt with a metal instrument, it can get into a person’s bloodstream if that instrument hits a blood vessel.

In May 2016, mother Heather Meadows died of the same cause of death after undergoing the same procedure at the same location. Meadow’s death led to a series of NBC 6 Investigations which sparked a worldwide study. It found patients are up to twenty times more likely to die during a Brazilian Butt Lift than any other cosmetic procedure. The study also led to new recommendations for doctors to prevent complications during the procedure. They suggest doctors avoid inserting their instruments too deeply beneath the skin’s surface to avoid hitting blood vessels.

The Hialeah clinic where Hall and Meadows had their surgeries by different doctors, changed names and owners over the past year and eventually shut down.

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