Luiz Carlos Ribeiro pleaded guilty in the death of 24-year-old Fabiola DePaula in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Tuesday, and was sentenced to three years in prison. DePaula went to Ribeiro for a nose job on July 27th, and returned for liposuction three days later. An autopsy showed DePaula died of complications, namely pulmonary fat emboli (fat in the lungs).
Ribeiro is accused of conducting underground cosmetic surgery out of the home of Ana Celia Pena Sielemann. He allegedly performed BOTOX® injections, rhinoplasty, and liposuction for years in Framingham where there is a large Brazilian immigrant community. Cosmetic surgery is popular among the women here. However, Ribeiro did not have a license to practice medicine in this country. He also allegedly performed DePaula’s procedure on a massage table in unsanitary conditions. There was no qualified professional there to monitor DePaula’s vital signs.
Ribeiro’s ex-wife, Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, admitted she acted as a nurse during Depaula’s liposuction and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in September. She was deported after serving a one year sentence. Sielemann, the homeowner, was charged as an accessory. She allegedly recruited the women Ribeiro performed cosmetic surgery on. She was deported before she could be brought to trial.
Ribeiro has already served 20 months in prison since his arrest. He may be eligible for release in January 2009, and will likely be deported when he is released.
A Cautionary Tale
Fabiola DePaula went to a dingy Massachusetts basement to get a procedure she thought would improve her looks and her life. This decision killed her.
It would be nice to know that Ribeiro is the only basement cosmetic surgeon in the country, and that his imprisonment has solved this problem. However, where there’s one, there are several more who practice without a license, or who believe they can perform difficult procedures without proper training. Liposuction is a little more sophisticated than simply sticking a vacuum into someone and sucking out their fat.
There are always risks with surgery. However, with an experienced cosmetic surgeon who knows what they’re doing and cares about your welfare, the risks are low. If you are interested in finding out more about liposuction, please contact a licensed cosmetic surgeon. They will knowledgably answer any questions you have about this, or any other procedure.