Florida’s State Surgeon General has ordered an emergency restriction on the license of a doctor whose patient perished April 20, 2022, the day she underwent elective gluteal fat grafting surgery.
Dr. Oliver Pope Simmons, MD, performed the patient’s Brazilian butt lift at New Life Plastic Surgery, according to the order and an earlier statement by the clinic.
The 11-page order, filed July 29, 2022, says Simmons’ medical license is “immediately restricted to prohibit him from performing gluteal fat grafting procedures.”
The board-certified plastic surgeon may still perform other surgical procedures, has the right to judicial review, and can appeal the order by petition.
“[T]he Department limited the restriction only to the procedures that Dr. Simmons performed so poorly that they resulted in significant patient harm. Accordingly, prohibiting Dr. Simmons from performing gluteal fat grafting procedures is the least-restrictive option that will adequately protect the public,” the order says.
The patient, Ms. Tanesha Walker of Indiana, a 47-year-old grandmother of 11, had been turned down by another Florida plastic surgeon whom she consulted for a breast reduction and liposuction days earlier.
That surgeon declined to perform either procedure as Ms. Walker had two specific conditions that he believed caused her to be a poor candidate for elective surgery, one of which related to her BMI, according to the order.
Attorneys for New Life Plastic Surgery provided a statement to NBC 6 in late April that “the procedure went well and Walker left in good spirits.”
A medical examiner subsequently conducted an autopsy and discovered “multiple fatty particles within and beneath Patient T.W.’s gluteus maximus muscles and within the vessels of her lungs,” according to the order.
“The medical examiner determined that Patient T.W.’s death was caused by pulmonary embolism.”
Gluteal fat grafting, often called Brazilian butt lift surgery, is a high-mortality elective cosmetic surgery.
WAGS, the World Association of Gluteal Surgeons, states that “The risk of death should be discussed with every prospective BBL patient.”
Phone calls and emails from the Miami Herald to the doctor and his attorney inquiring about the present restriction order weren’t answered.