Dr. Branman Awards Dr. Rhys Branman's Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Dangerous Pumping Parties & Illegal Surgeries

November 25, 2020 - Rhys Branman, MD

illegal surgeriesOver the past year, I have become horrified at the sheer amount of news stories reporting illegal cosmetic surgery. I have written about this before, but now I wondered just why the trend is on the increase. It seemed to me that it would be obvious that a patient would know that legitimate cosmetic surgery would not be performed in someone’s apartment! I could not believe that people would risk their lives seeking procedures from people who were not medical professionals. Well it’s about money. When people are desperate, for whatever reason, they will try to cut corners. Just this year several stories came to my attention:

  • A recent illegal buttocks injection resulted in the death of a Mississippi woman; the coroner said it would have been easier to perform brain surgery than to remove the substances injected into her!
  • The Washington Post reported of an incident in New Jersey, where a woman was arrested for performing a “penile enhancement” with pumped silicone. The man who received the injection died.
  • A Texas hairstylist has been accused and arrested for doing breast implants in her hair salon.
  • In Philadelphia, a woman dubbed “the Black Madam” was arrested for killing a woman with injected silicone.
  • ABC’s  Action News reported that just outside of Las Vegas a unlicensed woman had one of her “clients” set up an operating room in her living room where she performed surgery including eye lifts!
  • An unlicensed woman who owned a spa facility in Queens performed surgeries that resulted in life threatening infections.
  • Carlos Arango and William Ordonez traveled to various New York spas to find victims who allowed them to perform liposuction and fat transfers. No anesthesia was used and the women were permanently deformed. You can read the associated press article at Modern Medicine.
  • A supposed Brazilian doctor performed surgeries in the basement of a condominium, including rhinoplasty. Who knows what kind of doctor he was in Brazil or even if he had any license?
  • FOX news also reported on a Georgia woman arrested in Washington DC for performing illegal injections in hotel rooms, possibly for years.

These are just a few of the horror stories. Why would anyone fall for this? Ultimately it is about money, but why would anyone risk their life? There are several reasons. African-American dermatologist Dr. Lisa Ginn, who is also disturbed by this trend, believes more African American women are seeking procedures and stated why in The Daily Beast’s health column. An anthropologist from the University of Florida, Maxine L. Margolis, explained that many Brazilian women, in the United States were at risk. She explained to NBC News, after the death in a Massachusetts condominium basement.

Last year in the New York Times, Laura Rena Murray wrote, “Pumpers and their desperate transgender clients operate in an underground world rarely glimpsed by most New Yorkers. But the practice is commonplace, especially among immigrant and poor women, according to dozens of transgender women, social-service providers and doctors interviewed in recent months.” A pumper is an unlicensed medical provider who does the illegal work of pumping substances into the client’s bodies. Until recently, most people who became “clients” of illegal pumpers were transgendered or sex industry workers. No matter how you feel about these subjects, the fact is that illegal pumping parties have become a trend in back alley, illegal cosmetic surgery. These so called parties often take place in apartments, homes, warehouses, or hotel rooms, any setting the “pumper” can arrange. Because the death toll is rising, I want to get the word out that it is not unlikely that you will die, have health problems for the rest of your life, or need tens of thousands of dollars of corrective surgery, no, in fact it is probable you will if you get illegal injections or illegal cosmetic surgery. PLEASE see a board certified cosmetic surgeon. Do your research. Surgery is not the place to save money.

Call Melinda to set up a consultation with me at 501-227-0707

3 thoughts on “Dangerous Pumping Parties & Illegal Surgeries

  1. L Williams says:

    Great article because you are saving lives.
    Re my comment above —
    Horrible as it may seem, mobsters will maliciously slander a victim, in order to isolate an innocent person. They will pretend that the victim needs to be on a COPS listing. They commit atrocities, but their prey cannot escape their clutches, in North America, because they use 3rd world Mafia type tactics.

  2. L Williams says:

    Are there stories about illegal sedation of victims and illegal surgery prior to theft of their passports and other ID, so that they can be made to look similar to the person who will illegally obtain their ID?

    1. Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center says:

      Hi L,

      Not to our knowledge; however, illegal surgery is widespread. As stated in the article, it is crucial to research your surgeon and their qualifications before undergoing any cosmetic treatment.


      Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center

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