Karima Gordon was blessed with an exotic beauty that made her a natural model. But at 37, with her days as a teen beauty queen quickly disappearing in her rear view mirror, Gordon found herself looking in the same direction to revive her career. What she needed, she decided, was a bigger behind.
Butt enhancement surgery—more accurately, "gluteal augmentation"—can be expensive, however. Procedures can start at around $5,000. So instead of going under the knife, Gordon traveled from her home in Atlanta to Jackson, Mississippi. There, she received silicone injections for just $1,500 from Tracey Lynn Garner, who claimed to be a registered nurse. Karima Gordon died just days after the procedure, the silicone having traveled through her bloodstream to her lungs. Garner, who was not a nurse, is now serving life in prison for Gordon's murder.
Thousands of people every year seek to improve on nature, the vast majority seeking qualified professionals instead of quacks like Tracey Garner. Most manage to do so without complications. But the Internet is littered with stories and pictures of plastic surgery nightmares. There's even an entire reality series devoted to the topic—Botched, on CNBC sister network E!.
But this is serious business according to plastic surgeon David H. Song, M.D., of the University of Chicago, an internationally recognized expert who is president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.