In Mexico, a social media influencer has reportedly died after undergoing an elective operation to lessen extreme underarm sweating.
Odalis Santos Mena, 23, a fitness influencer has undergone a controversial medical procedure at an allegedly unlicensed clinic before she died on Wednesday, July 7.
Odalis had the procedure at the SkinPiel clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico after the clinic reportedly recruited her to promote a treatment to reduce underarm sweating called MiraDry.
The treatment uses heat energy in order to remove sweat glands, in turn affecting how much one would sweat, mitigating body odor, and potentially even reducing the amount of armpit hair.
Odalis assured her 147,000 followers that the “no sweat” treatment process was simple and safe, however, she passed away after receiving anesthesia and suffering cardiac arrest.
Odalis died afterward when the clinic’s employees were unable to revive her through CPR.
Mexican law enforcement has launched an investigation into the incident. Initial reports identified her death to a negligent anesthesiologist who allegedly has no training to administer anesthetic drugs.
According to reports, as part of the treatment, she was anesthetized by an employee of the clinic who had never trained as an anesthetist, and she went into cardiac arrest minutes later.
Her cause of death was due to a combination of the anesthesia and the steroid medication the influencer was taking. The clinic claims that they were not aware of the said medication before the operation.
The Sun also reports that SkinPiel was also an unlicensed medical clinic.
In a statement issued to People en Español, the clinic claims “at no time was there negligence or carelessness” that Odalis’ doctor has “immediately proceeded to do everything medically possible” to save her life including calling an ambulance and bringing in medical experts to determine if she had consumed any substances.
SkinPiel claims that Odalis had clenbuterol, creatine, and oxandrolone in her system, which they say they have been unaware of before starting the procedure.
“Upon delivering the signed form to the doctor, he asked (her) again about substance use, and (she) verbally reiterated that (she) had not,” the clinic asserted.
According to MiraDry, the treatment has been used in more than 140,000 treatments globally and was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
MiraDry is the only permanent underarm sweat reduction treatment to receive FDA clearance. It has been known to cause some short-term side effects such as concentrated pain or inflammation.
Odalis was popular on social media for her fitness regimes and was known to frequently take part in fitness competitions. She was named Campeona of Miss and Mister Hercules 2019.
She has also won the Youth Wellness-Fitness contest at the Youth and Veteran Mr. Jalisco 2021 event. Aside from various competitions, she garnered thousands of followers by flaunting her toned physique.
She was studying for an undergraduate university degree in nutrition and was also in a happy relationship with her personal trainer and nutritionist Victor Gomez Carreno at the time.
Odalis’ loved ones say they are devastated by her death.
“‘Your actions in life, echo in eternity,” Victor Gomez Carreno said in a heartfelt tribute on his Instagram account. “I will take you with me forever short, it makes no sense to write here what I feel in my heart @odalis_sm, I love you.”
Karen Herrera, Odalis’ best friend, also grieved over her loss saying “Osi, my scolding companion, cardio, school, work, cinema, Arabic lemonade without sugar and everything! I can’t tell you anything that I haven’t told you before, we’ll always be family.”
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