Dr Bumbum: Brazilian plastic surgeon arrested in Rio after patient dies from failed buttock enlargement

‘Many people are selling a dream, a fantasy to patients in an unethical way and people, weakened, are often attracted to low prices’

Mattha Busby
Friday 20 July 2018 12:25
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Denis Furtado, also known as Dr Bumbum, went on the run after a patient died
Denis Furtado, also known as Dr Bumbum, went on the run after a patient died

Brazilian police have arrested celebrity plastic surgeon Denis Furtado, aka “Dr Bumbum”, five days after he went on the run following the death of a patient whose buttocks he had enhanced.

Mr Furtado was arrested at an office complex in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra de Tijuca neighbourhood on Thursday, along with his mother, Maria de Fatima Barros, who worked with him. Other reports suggested she had been arrested earlier in the week.

Police said the plastic surgeon performed a buttock enhancement procedure on bank manager and mother-of-two Lilian Calixto at his home in Rio on Saturday.

He now faces murder charges while his mother is accused of being an accomplice.

Ms Calixto, 46, fell ill during the procedure and Furtado rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she died hours later, after he had disappeared – prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest. Police say the exact cause of her death has not been determined.

Local media reported that the hospital said Ms Calixto arrived with tachycardia, an abnormally fast heart rate, after having silicone injected into each buttock. The procedure is also believed to involve the injection of acrylic glass filler.

Inside a police station on Thursday, Furtado told reporters he was innocent. ”There was an occurrence with the patient,” he said.

In a video posted on Instagram – where he has more than 600,000 followers – after his arrest on Thursday, Furtado said the woman’s death was an accident and that he had performed 9,000 such procedures – which are legal in Brazil.

“A fatality has occurred – a fatality that could happen to any doctor,” he said.

The doctor’s lawyer, Naiara Baldanza, said in a statement that “any conclusion regarding the death of Lilian Calixto and my client’s responsibility in this fatality is premature”.

She also claimed that the reason Furtado had not turned himself in to police is because he was in a panic.

Niveo Steffen, president of the Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society, said there was a “growing invasion of non-specialists” within the industry.

“You cannot perform plastic surgery inside an apartment,” he told AFP news agency.

“Many people are selling a dream, a fantasy to patients in an unethical way and people, weakened, are often attracted to low prices, without considering whether or not the conditions are adequate.”

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