Rio police arrest plastic surgeon 'Dr BumBum' after patient dies

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
The celebrity plastic surgeon Denis Furtado is escorted by police after his arrest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday. Photograph: Leo Correa/AP

Police in Rio de Janeiro have arrested a celebrity plastic surgeon, known as “Dr Bumbum” or “Dr Butt”, who was wanted along with his mother by police in connection with homicide over the death of a female patient following a treatment in his apartment on Saturday.

Rio police tweeted that Denis Furtado, 45, was arrested following a tip-off to a hotline in the upscale, beachside neighbourhood where he had performed the buttock-enhancing treatment on bank manager Lilian Calixto, 46. She died in the early hours of Sunday morning after being wheeled into a private hospital in a wheelchair.

“He was arrested in a business centre in Barra de Tijuca,” police tweeted, following up with a photo of Furtado and his mother, Maria Fátima Barros, in custody.

Rio’s O Globo news site reported that both Furtado and his mother had been arrested at a lawyer’s office in a business centre.

Furtado had become a celebrity in Brazil and revelled in his nickname in social media posts. He had over 600,000 followers on his Instagram and another 44,000 on his Facebook and used both to publish “before” and “after” photos of his treatments. He had also posted about buttock-enhancing treatments using Poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, a synthetic resin also known as acrylic glass filler. The Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society has issued warnings over its use.

Preventive prison orders, akin to arrest warrants, had been issued for Furtado and his mother in connection with the homicide of Calixto. While at large the pair had sought a judicial order by which they would remain free while their case advanced, but were turned down by a Rio court.

A court statement said: “The doctor even broke the barrier of a parking lot in a shopping mall in Barra with a car on seeing a police vehicle and escaped with his mother.”

Furtado’s girlfriend and receptionist, Renato Fernandes, has been detained in police custody. A nursing technician is also being sought. Furtado’s mother was a doctor but her medical licence to practice in Rio had been suspended, local media said.

Furtado was licenced to practice in Brasília and the nearby state of Goiás, where he also performed treatments, but not in Rio, according to the state’s regional medical council. The Brazilian Plastic Surgery Society said he was not a trained plastic surgeon.

Calixto was buried on Wednesday in Cuiabá. Relatives told local media she was going to have a simple procedure without telling them what it was and would be back that night.

According to the G1 news site, a medical report by the Barra D’Or private hospital said she had arrived lucid, was showing signs of tachycardia, difficulties in breaching and was sweating. The hospital refused to comment on the medical report.

In a press conference on Wednesday in Brasília, Furtado’s lawyer Naiara Baldanza said her client was innocent and had not given himself up because he suffered from “panic syndrome”.

“For every truth there is a parallel truth,” she told reporters. “Many facts have surfaced and I am sure we will show the innocence of Dr Denis.”

In videos published on his Instagram account on Wednesday, Furtado said he was being treated unjustly.

“As everyone knows, an accident happened,” he said, adding a patient had left his consulting room after a treatment to her buttocks that he said he had performed many times. He then said he took Calixto to hospital where she had a heart attack.