Gia Valentina Romualdo RodríguezAge 46
15 Sep 2020
Miami, Florida (USA)
Cosmetic filler complications
Gia died from an embolism shortly after a surgical procedure to inject fat into her buttocks in a procedure known as a "Brazilian butt lift" in a private clinic.
MIAMI — Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez traveled from New York to Miami for surgery at Xiluet, a clinic that specializes in breast enhancements, tummy tucks and Brazilian butt lifts.
But during surgery this week, her oxygen levels and heart rate plunged. Unable to save her, the surgeon called 911. Romualdo-Rodriguez was rushed to Kendall Regional Hospital, according to Miami-Dade police, but it was too late.
She died at age 46. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday that Romualdo-Rodriguez’s death has been ruled accidental — the result of an embolism caused by fat injected into her buttocks.
The case was the latest Brazilian butt-lift death in Miami, which draws women and men from across the country willing to risk the oft-dangerous surgery for bigger and rounder buttocks. At least 20 people have died in Florida in the past decade because of complications from the procedure, almost all of them in Miami, according to one researcher who tracks the deaths.
Fatalities involved in the popular procedure have happened so frequently that the Florida Board of Medicine last year set new restrictions for surgeons. The rule prohibits surgeons from injecting fat into or below a patient’s gluteal muscles because of the risk of piercing the gluteal vein, which can cause fat clots to travel to the heart and lungs, leading those organs to fail.
During a Brazilian butt lift, surgeons remove fat from a patient’s stomach using liposuction. The fat is treated and then grafted to the buttocks by injection. The rule adopted by the Board of Medicine requires doctors to inject the fat above the muscle and below the skin.
Gia had Mexican nationality and had recently been granted asylum in the United States. Reportedly she was also planning to undergo breast augmentation surgery.
UPDATED: Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez, who died from a Brazilian butt-lift surgery in Miami, was well-known for her outreach work in New York's transgender community. She'd recently been granted asylum to remain in the U.S.— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) September 17, 2020
“She was so confident in herself."https://t.co/oZQ2s2eLfI
Gia's Instagram profile is https://www.instagram.com/giarodriguez22/.