Rapper Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, died unexpectedly following a breast lift and tummy tuck surgery. This tragedy sent shock waves through the cosmetic surgery world. Dr. Mark Mandell-Brown, Cincinnati, Ohio’s top cosmetic surgeon was interviewed on ABC affiliate, Channel 9 TV news regarding the safety of cosmetic surgery.

According to Dr. Mandell-Brown, “We should not make speculative judgment about Dr. Jan Adams’ treatment of Donda West.” “It is not fair when a catastrophic event like this occurs to point the finger without knowing all the facts,” he added. What happened to Kanye West and his mother is not the normal result of plastic surgery.

However, cosmetic surgery leading to a fatal outcome is extremely rare. The two leading causes of death after any lengthy surgery are leg blood clots traveling to the lung (pulmonary embolism) and sudden heart attack. The following are Dr. Mandell-Brown’s top ten factors for safe surgery:

  1. Outpatient surgery should be performed in less than six hours. Those procedures requiring more than 6 hours, the patient should be admitted to a health care facility for observation.
  2. Surgery should be performed at a AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) facility. The surgery facility should also be state licensed.
  3. Anesthesia should be administered by a licensed Anesthesiologist or a Nurse Anesthetist.
  4. To decrease risks of a blood clot the facility should use leg compression during surgery.
  5. Post-operatively the patient should wear support stockings to decrease blood clot formation.
  6. For high-risk patients oral blood thinners or subcutaneous heparin should be considered to decrease blood clots.
  7. Pre-operative history and a physical examination should be performed for surgical clearance by an independent physician.
  8. Appropriate lab work and EKG testing needs be done pre-operatively.
  9. Ask if your cosmetic surgeon is board certified by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Â This is the only board that specifically certifies cosmetic surgeons.
  10. Do not go by reputation alone. Check malpractice records and County and State Medical Societies.