GAINESVILLE, Ga. - After's his wife's death, a Gainesville, Georgia, man is warning women against traveling to South America for cheap plastic surgery.
Diana Maria Alvarez, 36, went to her home country of Colombia in December to get liposuction on her stomach. Her husband, Dario Chavarro, said she died after what he called a botched surgery. He said the doctors convinced her to have more work done than she had planned.
"My wife was already a gorgeous woman," Chavarro said. "She didn't need any of that."
He said his wife was under anesthesia for five hours and the surgery was done in a two-story house.
"'I'm so afraid.' Those were her last words to me," Chavarro said.
Chavarro said he protested in front of the doctor's office after his wife's death, which made headlines in South America, and that his actions also made him a target.
"They pay $1,000 to kill you. It's very easy. So many people were telling me, 'You have to go now. You have to go,'" Chavarro said.
The husband said he's now warning others about the high risks of lower-cost surgeries.
"I'm doing all this so that her death is not in vain," Chavarro said.
Dr. Jenny Chang, a certified plastic surgeon at Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Center in Sandy Springs, Georgia, said she's seen patients after they've had bad surgeries in other countries that don't have the same strict protocols as the U.S.
"First of all, you don't know exactly how or where that particular surgeon was trained. Also, you don't know the environment that you're going to have the surgery in," Chang said.
Chavarro said investigators are looking into his wife's death, but he's not holding out hope because he said doctors there are not held responsible because patients sign waivers.