Florida Woman Brain Dead After Carboxytherapy or Liposuction

There have been several news reports about a woman, Rohie Kah, who is currently lying brain dead in a Florida hospital after undergoing treatments at a local medspa. Apparently she underwent liposuction or carboxytherapy treatments by a physician, Dr. Omar Brito, who is actually an occupational medicine physician. The actual cause of her brain death has not been released.

What is carboxytherapy? This is a fringe-type procedure that is only performed by a handful of physicians in the United States. Carbon dioxide is injected under the skin in an attempt to increase blood flow to the area and maybe even disrupt fat cells. I know of no scientific studies that have validated its safety or efficacy. This is not a procedure that I would recommend at this time, and I would bet 95% of plastic surgeons have not even heard of it.

What’s an occupational medicine physician doing performing cosmetic treatments anyway? Just as I, a board-certified plastic surgeon, have no place performing brain surgery, this doctor (and so many others like him) has no place performing plastic surgery.

For more on this tragic story, click here and here.

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.

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Posted in: Dr. Anthony Youn in the Media, Plastic Surgery News


  1. It's really sad that this event happened. We really do not know the facts so its hard to comment on this… But how can we prevent a similar incident from happening in the future?

    One thing that I can think of is to have a law against misleading advertisements of doctor specialties. I think we already have consumer laws that protect us from this but it should be strictly implemented into the medical field.

    Doctors should also state their specialty when they first meet a client, like when Police read rights to someone they arresting:

    "I am a licensed brain surgeon, I have the right to physically operate on your brain. I also have the right to prescribe medicines. Any medicine I prescribe are known to be safe..anything I do beyond that, I'll be liable in the court of law."

    Easier said than done.

    Comment by Tim Adams on October 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm

  2. Dr. Youn, I love your blog and have appreciated the many posts you have done indicating that physicians who are not trained in plastic surgery should not be doing cosmetic procedures. I just opened our local paper to see that an OB/GYN is now offering "cosmetic gynecology" including "G-spot amplification, Botox, Various Dermal Fillers, VI Peels and Latisse." After your posts I was immediately suspicious. Why are we seeing this trend anyway?

    Comment by Anonymous on October 8, 2009 at 11:04 pm

  3. Another terrific post regarding yet another awful tragedy. When will people learn that doctors are not necessarily reputable? Patients have to do their own homework. If the physician isn't certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the patient should be very, very skeptical.

    Comment by Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S. on October 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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