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Flushing woman performed illegal surgery: DA

TimesLedger Newspapers

A Flushing resident who decorated her home like a doctor’s office and performed a buttocks enhancement procedure involving Krazy Glue sent one woman to the hospital and may have caused a lifelong medical problem, Queens’ top prosecutor said last Thursday.

And according to a plastic surgeon at a borough hospital, it is a problem he sees all too often.

Liliana Coello, 39, of 42-29 157th St., was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice of medicine in Queens Criminal Court, according to prosecutors, after she injected a 40-year-old woman’s buttocks with multiple substances.

“The defendant allegedly exploited the vanity of her customer by pretending to be qualified to perform a procedure that, in fact, may only legally be performed in New York state by a licensed medial professional,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “This is a serious crime that could have had fatal consequences for the victim had she not sought legitimate medial assistance. Even doing so, she remains in a potentially life-threatening condition.”

Coello faces seven years in jail if convicted, according to Brown.

On Nov. 1, Coello told a woman who came to her makeshift office it would cost $2,500 for the buttocks enhancement procedure, according to Brown, and the alleged faux physician knocked $200 off the price before injecting what real doctors later determined was either silicone or paraffin into each of the woman’s buttocks, according to the DA.

Things did not go well, and after the woman experienced pain and seepage for several days running, she returned to Coello, who purportedly injected the woman again with penicillin and another substance, then tried to seal the leaking injection sites with Krazy Glue, according to Brown.

The woman went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a massive infection, along with some potentially life-threatening issues like gangrene, possibly cancer and complications to blood circulations that may never be resolved, according to the DA.

Dr. Norman Godfrey is the co-chief of plastic surgery at New York Hospital Queens, and says this is the point where he and his team have to take over.

“This is a huge problem,” Godfrey said. “But this is part of a larger problem of people not using good judgment to make sure things are being done in a proper manner by qualified people.”

People have arrived at the hospital injected with brake fluid or caulking silicone used to seal plumbing fixtures, Godfrey said. And it can have terrible consequences. Sometimes the alien material, infected with bacteria, has to be removed from the body by cutting out the tissue it is embedded in, causing massive disfiguration in some cases.

Most people are drawn into off-the-radar operations like the one allegedly run by Coello because of price, Godfrey said.

The surgeon urged anyone thinking of getting a procedure to stick with a licensed professional for safety’s sake.

“When you’re operating in the back of a hair salon in Astoria, who is checking you out?” he asked. “Nobody”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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