A New York woman died in the Dominican Republic over the holiday weekend while getting cheap plastic surgery. She is the third American woman to die while getting plastic surgery in Caribbean country over the last four weeks.
Alexandra Medina, 33, traveled to the Dominican Republic for a tummy tuck and liposuction after doctors in the U.S. refused to perform the surgeries, telling her that she needed to lose weight before undergoing any procedures.
But Medina was undeterred, and contacted a Dominican surgeon, Dr. Félix Almánzar, through Facebook who agreed to the operations.
“This doctor was like, ‘No problem. We can do it. We can handle it. We’ve dealt with bigger women, so come here. We’ll do it.’ And it was obviously also cheaper,” Maxine David, Medina’s sister, told CBS New York.
On Friday, while getting liposuction, Medina died on the operating tableat the clinic in Santo Domingo. The death certificate claims that it was due to a fatty tissue embolism, or a blood clot. She leaves behind a 14-year-old son and husband.
PEOPLE has contacted Almánzar for comment.
The Dominican Health Ministry said that they are opening an investigation into her death and into Almánzar. But David is concerned that the investigation will not help.
She’s worried “that they’re gonna get away with it, that they’re gonna, you know, finagle it to it seeming as if it were accidental and that we’re not going to get justice.”
David is speaking out now to warn others not to go to the Dominican Republic in search of cheap plastic surgery like her sister and the other two Americans — a father from New York and a teacher from Alabama.
“Women are going over there for these surgeries, these elective surgeries, and not coming out alive,” David said. She misses her sister, whom she called “savvy, smart, vibrant, passionate.”