New York Man Dies After Liposuction Procedure in Dominican Republic

A New York man has died after having botched cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic.

Manuel José Núñez, originally from the Dominican city of Santiago, died on Tuesday night after undergoing hip surgery at the Caribbean Plastic Surgery Clinic in the country's capital Santo Domingo.

The operation was his third liposuction treatment at the facility, the 28-year-old's mother Teresa de Jesús Batista Ramírez told Telemundo47.

Dr. Martha Vargas, director of the clinic said (via the patient underwent liposuction on the gluteal region. At 6 p.m., he had respiratory distress, and staff tried to resuscitate him. The facility said he died of respiratory distress, Noticias Sin reported.

In a statement seen by, the clinic said staff were in contact with the relatives and are waiting for the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (Inacif) to establish the causes of his death.

In Manhattan, mourners released white balloons in Núñez' memory, and lit candles and laid flowers beside photos of him, footage shot by Telemundo47 shows.

The deceased's mother said she didn't want her son to go through with the operation.

Teresa de Jesús Batista Ramírez told Telemundo47 he went into the operating theater on Tuesday morning, and had not woken up by 6 p.m. She claimed staff at the facility said this was normal. But she feared for his life when she noticed his skin had turned yellow.

Núñez, who went by the nickname "La Gargole," was laid to rest in the Valle Verde I area of the city of Santiago De Los Caballeros, El Caribe reported.

His family said Dr. Oscar Polanco of the Caribbean Plastic Surgery Clinic carried out the procedure, El Caribe reported.

In 2015, Polanco was incarcerated for three months after three women died at the Body Weight Loss and Aesthetic Institute (IDEAMEC), Acento reported. In 2016, he was arrested in connection with the death of a man who had cosmetic surgery at Doctora Maritza Jiménez Medical Center.

Liposuction is an invasive procedure where fat deposits are removed from the body. The technique can be used on areas including the thighs, buttocks and hips, abdomen, waist, arms, back, the inner knee, the chest, cheeks, chin and neck as well as the calves and ankles, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which was not involved in the case.

The organization warns the procedure carries risks and potential complications, including problems with anesthesia, infection, as well as damage to structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs and organs. The surgery can also affect the heart and lungs, and cause deep vein thrombosis.