Manuel Nuñez, 29, a restaurant worker living in New York City, returned to his native Dominican Republic for the surgery – his third – this time by Dr. Oscar Polanco at the Caribbean Plastic Surgery in Santo Domingo, local outlet CDN reported.
The surgery was scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday. It would be hours later, however, that his family was told that Nuñez remained still unconscious from the procedure.
The hospital’s director told the press that Nuñez suffered respiratory problems after “the patient underwent body liposuction plus fat transfer to the gluteal region.” Dr. Martha Vargas said that the staff immediately performed CPR on the patient to no avail, the Daily Mail reported.
Polanco, however, is not a certified plastic surgeon, but rather a gynecologist who has had at least three patients die – including two women within a one-week period in 2015.
He was charged with the deaths of Ely Peña, 24, and Sara de los Angeles Martinez Rodriguez, 39, who died at another clinic he managed, according to Telemundo. The case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence but was ordered to pay the families $450,000.
Polanco, who has been denounced by the Dominican Society of Plastic Surgery for falsely claiming to be a surgeon, was accused a year later for the death of Ramona Franco Cruz, 24. There is no information on this case.
The Public Health Ministry said it is investigating Nuñez’s death.
The death comes as the Dominican Republic – one of the top Caribbean destinations for U.S. travelers – is reeling thanks to a rash of deaths of seemingly healthy tourists while on vacation, as well as the targeted shooting of ex-Red Sox star David Ortiz.