Fatal Brazilian butt lift was day’s 7th illegal surgery by Coral Gables doctor, Florida officials say

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Testing Article Top Adspace

David J. Neal Miami Herald (TNS)

MIAMI — Before, during and after a fatal Brazlian butt lift surgery, the state says, Dr. John Sampson and Seduction Cosmetic Center’s Coral Gables location lied in documentation surrounding the tragic procedure.

The accusations are in the Florida Department of Health’s administrative complaint against Sampson, filed Nov. 1.

The department’s emergency restriction order (ERO) on Sampson’s license, filed Oct. 14 and written about in an Oct. 17 Miami Herald story, detailed what it called Sampson’s “failure to operate in a manner that is correct and safe” during the surgery. It also said Sampson had been performing “unauthorized surgeries” at that Seduction location.


But the administrative complaint details accusations of deception, including indicating that Sampson might have signed post-surgery paperwork saying the patient was “stable” and ready for discharge before the surgery.

A Miami Herald reporter who went to Seduction on Friday was told a manager or someone would get back to him in an hour. That hasn’t happened as of Monday morning nor have Seduction or Sampson responded to previous attempts to get a comment on the disciplinary actions.

The designated physician, Dr. John Sampson

Online Florida Department of Health records show no action so far against the license of Seduction Cosmetic Center’s 4950 SW Eighth St. location.

But the administrative complaint against Sampson’s license says on May 22, 2020, Seduction’s application to the Department of Health designated Sampson as the location’s Designated Physician.

“The application did not list [Sampson] as a surgeon practicing at Seduction,” the administrative complaint says.

The Department of Health told Seduction it needed a letter from Sampson that he was a practicing physician at the facility, but wasn’t doing surgeries.

On June 5, 2020, the complaint says, “Seduction provided the Department with a letter from [Sampson] stating “06/06/2020 Please have this letter serve as a notification that I’m currently a practicing physician at Seduction Cosmetic Corp., located at 4950 SW 8 Street, Coral Gables, FL 33134. However, I do not perform surgical procedures at this location. Sincerely, Dr. John Sampson.”

The license was issued June 12, 2020.

Privilege and paperwork

The complaint says when patient E.R., a 33-year-old woman, showed up at Seduction on June 15, 2021, for pre-surgery assessment, she was given a “Notification of Surgeon Hospital Privileges or Hospital Transfer Agreement.”

“The document identifies that [Sampson] has plastic and cosmetic privileges at Coral Gables Hospital, located at 3100 Douglas Rd., Coral Gables, Florida,” the complaint says. “[Sampson] does not have plastic and cosmetic privileges at Coral Gables Hospital.”

The administrative complaint says “Patient E.R. signed the document in acknowledgment that [Sampson] had privileges at Coral Gables Hospital.”

The only staff privileges listed on Sampson’s online Department of Health license profile are an unnamed hospital in Jackson, Michigan.

That profile claims Sampson is licensed in Michigan, Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia, as well as Florida. State of Michigan online records say his license there remains valid.

But Maryland online records say John Argyle Sampson’s license in that state expired on Sept. 30, 2013. Texas online records say his license there was terminated on Feb. 21, 2007. District of Columbia online records say his license there expired Dec. 31, 1986.

Unauthorized cuts?

The complaint says though Sampson “was not approved to perform surgical procedures at Seduction,” he did plastic surgery procedures there from April through June of this year.

“On June 16, 2021, [Sampson performed at least seven surgical procedures at Seduction, beginning at or around 6:32 a.m.,” the complaint said.

Surgery No. 7, the complaint said, was patient E.R. at 8:31 p.m.

Brazilian butt lift goes bad

A “Brazilian butt lift” is a form of liposuction. Using a tube called a “cannula,” the surgeon sucks fat from the abdomen and back and inserts that fat into the buttocks. No organs should be touched and no fat should be inserted into or under the muscles in the buttocks.

But Sampson, the complaint says, “repeatedly perforated Patient E.R.’s abdominal wall with the cannula and punctured her liver, bladder and or intestines. [Sampson] damaged Patient E.R.’s skeletal muscles to the level of her ribs with the cannula.”

And, when injecting the fat, the complaint says Sampson “repeatedly injected fat into and/or under Patient E.R.’s gluteal muscles.”

The complaint says E.R. went into cardiac arrest around 10:50 p.m. The ERO says Seduction staff “started cardiovascular life support efforts” before emergency medical services took her to Coral Gables Hospital, a serpentine 10-minute drive away.

That’s where patient E.R. was pronounced dead. The ERO said medical examiner found “fat globules mixed with blood clots throughout Patient E.R.’s pulmonary arteries” and in her heart. The cause of death was determined to be pulmonary fat embolisms “due to liposuction and bilateral gluteal augmentation surgery.”

The complaint says Sampson “signed a “Post Anesthesia Record Form” indicated that the patient was “medically stable, cleared and ready for discharge.” Patient E.R. was not medically stable, cleared and/or ready for discharge at the time [Sampson] signed this declaration.”

The surgery was on June 16. The complaint says Sampson signed this post-surgery form on June 16 — or June 15.


©2021 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.