Meet the Venezuelan doctor who performs illegal, cut-rate injections on women who desperately want bigger butts
- 17 women in Venezuela have died after having illegal buttock injections
- The practice is carried out in illegal makeshift surgeries
- ‘Dr Gus’ is a practitioner and performed the injections on a 20-year-old patient for ABC News cameras
- In the U.S. there have been deaths from black market buttocks injections in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New York
The trend for curvaceous rear ends shows no sign of abating, with women across the U.S. and the world risking their lives for black market procedures to make their bottoms bigger.
Deaths from black market buttocks injections have been reported in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New York. An interior decorator in Mississippi faces trial in the deaths of two women who were injected at her house.
In Venezuela, more than a dozen women have died from botched butt injections, but that hasn’t stopped the illegal procedure being performed by practitioners such as ‘Dr Gus,’ who, for $300, will inject young women’s rears with biopolymers in his Caracas apartment.
Prepping: Dr Gus prepares to perform illegal surgery in his Caracas apartment
Great lengths: Sofia says to be beautiful, you must be strong – strong enough to endure the pain of having a foreign material injected into your body
An ABC News reporter witnessed Dr Gus performing the procedure on 20-year-old college student Sofia.
He first injects Sofia’s behind with anesthetic and then inserts a cannula into her flesh, through which 10 syringes full of biopolymer will be injected.
‘As a child it was my dream to have a big butt,’ says Sofia.
Dr Gus isn’t deterred from his illegal practice by the spate of deaths – 17 in Venezuela in 2013 – related to butt injections.
‘Those women are dying because they are going to anyone who will inject them. I am a doctor and I know what I am doing.” he told ABC.
To the maximus: Dr Gus says he is a medical professional and that his injections won’t have any ill-effect on Sofia
Complications: Doctors say that the ill effects from injections like the ones Sofia underwent might not be felt for years
Biopolymer: Dr Gus uses 20 syringes of the thick substance on Sofia
Forever: Sofia will never be able to completely rid her body of the biopolymer that has been injected into her behind
‘The first thing a man sees on a woman is her butt, says Dr Gus. ‘I did it many times when I was young, he says. I was looking to see if her butt had projection or not.’
Dr Gus spends 90 minutes on each of Sofia butt cheeks, injecting syringe after syringe. She is clearly in pain.
When he removes the last syringe from Sofia’s rear, silicon oozes up back out of her body through the cannula.
The material he has just injected into Sofia’s body is impossible to ever completely remove. Unlike a silicone implant, the material can drift around the body, down the legs or up to the spine, causing dangerous infections.
Painful: Biopolymer oozes back out from the injection site on Sofia’s bottom
If America is body-conscious, Venezuela is body-obsessed. Plastic surgery is as common as a trip to the dentist.
Despite being illegal in Venezuela (the sale of silicone carries a two-year prison sentence) the country’s Association of Cosmetic Surgeons estimates that 2,000 women each month get illegal injections in their behinds.
In the beauty-fixated country of 29 million – Venezuela has more beauty queens than any other nation on earth – the beauty trade is worth $2.5 billion.
Back in America, the trend has also taken hold, with women inspired by the derrieres of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Nikk Minaj and Kim Kardashian going to dangerous lengths to increase the size of their bottoms.
Fad: Women are risking their lives in an effort to emulate big-bummed starlets like Kim Kardashian (left) and Nikki Minaj (right)
Unnatural: Glamor model Vanity Wonder nearly died after developing an infection following a round of illegal injections
There is little data on the trade in the U.S., but there are more and more horror stories about women taking their gluteous to the maximus with fatal results.
Georgia woman Karima Gordon, 23, received injections in Mississippi in 2012.
Gordon died of blood clots in her lungs a few days later. There was so much of a ‘silicone-like’ substance in her buttocks that it spilled onto the floor and ‘all over the place’ when a medical examiner cut into her during the autopsy, according to an investigator’s testimony from September.
Another woman, April Michelle Brown, 46, now has no arms or legs after a staph infection left her near death.
Doctors say that it could be years before women like Sofia see the ill effects of the injections.
She told ABC that she’s worried her left buttock cheek is ‘a bit deformed.’ She plans to tell Dr Gus and to continue receiving more injections.