Denis Furtado was arrested after a patient he operated on in his apartment died last week.
Lilian Quezia Calixto had traveled more than 1,200 miles from her Cuiaba home to see the social media celebrity surgeon known to his 664,000 followers as “Dr. Bumbum.” On July 14, Furtado performed an operation on Calixto in his Rio de Janeiro home when there was “an occurrence with the patient,” in his own words.
Furtado injected Calixto with an acrylic glass filler commonly known as “Poly” or PMMA—about which the Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society (SBPC) has issued multiple warnings. Almost immediately, Calixto became ill. Furtado dropped her off at a local hospital, then picked up his mother and fled. Calixto presented with a racing heart and dangerously high blood pressure. After four consecutive heart attacks, she died.
“The doctor even broke the barrier of a parking lot in a shopping mall in Barra with a car on seeing a police vehicle,” according to a court statement. Furtado evaded authorities until he was apprehended in a business centre in Barra de Tijuca on Thursday.
Police have already detained Furtado’s girlfriend and receptionist, Renata Fernandes, but are still pursuing an as-yet unnamed nursing technician. Furtado was licensed to practice medicine in Brasília and Goiás, but not in Rio. According to the SBPC, he was not even considered a trained plastic surgeon.
“The growing invasion of non-specialists in the specialty has provoked more and more fatalities like this one,” the organization said. SBPC president Niveo Steffen was even clearer about the dangers of looking for cheap and fast solutions for physical vanity:
You cannot perform plastic surgery inside an apartment. Many people are selling a dream, a fantasy to patients in an unethical way and people, weakened, are often attracted to low prices, without considering whether or not the conditions are adequate.
Of course, Furtado’s lawyer insists that he is innocent. “For every truth there is a parallel truth,” attorney Naiara Baldanza told reporters. “Many facts have surfaced and I am sure we will show the innocence of Dr Denis.”