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Woman Dies During Breast Augmentation

June 12, 1989

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A would-be model died of an apparent overdose of anesthetic during breast enlargement surgery, the medical examiner says.

Angela Umeda, a mother of two, died minutes after she was injected numerous times with the local anesthetic lidocaine June 1, an autopsy report Sunday said. The report ruled the death accidental.

″No one ever dreamed that this healthy 23-year-old would go in for this seemingly simple procedure and come out dead,″ said Dewey H. Varner, a lawyer for Umeda’s mother. Umeda planned to marry on July 2, Varner said.

Umeda, a petite size 3 at 105 pounds, wanted to become a model and went to Dr. Carl Fosdick for the $2,000 operation that he began in his office, Varner said.

″She heard that she could do a little better in the modeling field with larger breasts,″ Varner said.

Umeda died of lidocaine intoxication, wrote Dr. John Marraccini, Palm Beach County’s chief deputy medical examiner.

Tests found she had 14.7 milligrams of lidocaine per liter of blood. ″Lidocaine is known to cause toxic reactions at half this level,″ Marraccini said in a statement.

″The levels and circumstances at the scene seem to indicate an excessive quantity of lidocaine was used,″ he said in an interview Sunday.

Fosdick didn’t have office hours Monday and couldn’t be reached by telephon. His attorney, Earl L. Denney Jr., said:

″All I can say is the whole situation is a terrible tragedy for Dr. Fosdick and a terrible tragedy for the family of Angela Umeda, and Angela Umeda.″

Marraccini said in the interview that Umeda appeared to be healthy before the operation and had successfully undergone anesthesia twice during childbirth.

Dr. Alan Serure, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami, said such deaths are ″very infrequent.″

The nearly two-hour operation, in which a gel implant is placed beneath the breast or chest muscle, can be performed in an office or hospital, Serure said.

″It is not a particularly risky procedure; it is an everyday procedure,″ he said.

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