California Family 'Destroyed' After Mom of Two Dies During Tummy Tuck Surgery in Mexico

A mother of two from California died after undergoing tummy tuck surgery at a clinic in Mexico.

Keuana Weaver, from Long Beach, traveled with a friend just over the border to Tijuana for what was supposed to be a routine four-hour operation.

But her mother, Yolanda Weaver, said the 38-year-old died on the operating table after suffering a heart attack and complications linked to blood clotting.

"They just discarded my daughter like she was a piece of trash. No one still has called me to say, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' No one has contacted me," she told ABC7. "This just destroyed our family."

Keuana Weaver died on January 29, but her mother claimed that the clinic did not report her death to the U.S. Embassy.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Weaver family was given a letter from the clinic offering to refund the $6,700 cost of the surgery.

Two other California women who had surgery at the clinic in January were reportedly left with serious complications.

Kanisha Davis, a nurse and friend of Weaver's who had traveled with her to Mexico, claimed she had not been hooked up to any monitors during her own procedure. She added that she had been discharged immediately after the operation, before blood tests had been carried out. Davis was left requiring hospital treatment in the U.S.

"Did we know we were taking a risk being in Mexico? Yes. But did we ever, at any time, think that risk would be death? No," she told the Union-Tribune.

Multiple reports named the Tijuana clinic as the Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery. The company's website was offline on Thursday but its Instagram page was still active. Photos on the account show cosmetic treatments including liposuction and tummy tucks, each accompanied by the slogan: "Only the best for you."

Newsweek has contacted the clinic for comment.

surgeons conducting an operation
File photo of surgeons conducting an operation. The tummy tuck surgery should have taken four hours. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Atzimba Villegas, director of medical tourism for the state of Baja California, told the Union-Tribune: "We're working very hard to make sure that doctors who are practicing without the proper credentials are immediately shut down and are investigated by the Attorney General.

"It's essential for the entire industry that patients feel safe and are well cared for and get the results they are looking for."

The city of Tijuana has become a popular destination for Americans seeking cheaper medicines and medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of U.S. residents participate in medical tourism each year. They often travel to Mexico and Canada, as well as countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, said the CDC.

Reasons for medical tourism include lower costs, a preference for the culture or language of the country where the procedure is carried out, or to have a treatment that is not available in the U.S.

However, the CDC warns that it can be a risky option, because of questions over the quality and continuity of care, as well as communication challenges.