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Fla. liposuction death caused by embolism

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MIAMI, May 2 (UPI) -- The family of a Miami woman who died during a liposuction procedure indicated they planned to sue the plastic surgeon for wrongful death.

An autopsy showed Lidvian Zelaya, 35, died when a particle of fat was accidentally injected into her blood stream and created a fatal blockage to her heart.

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"It was a wrongful death," said Zelaya family attorney Spencer Aronfeld. "It's a virtually a 100 percent safe surgery if it's done properly, but it was not."

Zelaya died when her heart stopped during the procedure in December. Aronfeld told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel the so-called fat embolism was the result of some of the excess fat being re-introduced into the patient's body to enhance her buttocks.

The newspaper said Monday the autopsy did not state if Zelaya's death was preventable.

The lawyer for the clinic told the newspaper the surgeon was an independent contractor and Zelaya had been informed prior to the operation that fat embolisms were a risk.

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