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Corona spa operator botched procedure: DA

A 23-year-old woman thought she was going to lose some extra pounds when she went in for a liposuction procedure at a Corona clinic last month, but because the operation was performed by an unlicensed specialist, the woman almost lost her life, the Queens district attorney said.

Barbara A. Nieto, 27, was arrested and arraigned Friday on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice of medicine for illegally performing liposuction on the woman at one of her cosmetic clinics, Perfect Image Stethics, at 40-63 Junction Blvd., DA Richard Brown said.

Although the client asked for fat to be taken out of her stomach and inserted into her buttocks, she had to be hospitalized for five days due to complications from the procedure, according to Brown.

Nieto, who was released on her own recognizance but ordered to return to court in two weeks, is licensed in New York state only to perform procedures relating to cosmetology, esthetics, nail specialty, natural hair styling and waxing, Brown said

“Her alleged conduct was both dangerous and reprehensible because it exploited the vanity of an individual seeking a more attractive appearance at a reasonable cost and caused her victim to suffer permanent scarring — both physically and emotionally,” he said in a statement.

The victim went to Nieto’s office for consultation and Nieto allegedly offered to perform the liposuction and fat injection for $500, according to the DA. The victim went through with the procedure March 10, and during the surgery Nieto injected her with a substance that was supposed to relieve pain from cutting open the victim’s stomach, sucking out the fat and injecting the fat into her butt, Brown said.

After stitching the victim up, Nieto allegedly told her she would need to return for follow-up massage sessions, according to DA.

Within a week the victim began to experience severe pain and had a high fever. On March 27, she went to Flushing Hospital seeking help and was diagnosed with bilateral buttock abscess, Brown said. After surgery and five days in the hospital, the woman survived, but if she had been left untreated, she could have developed a septic infection that could have been fatal, according to the DA.

Brown said his office is looking into more cases of medical neglect at the hands of Nieto, who also runs another health clinic, Bell Stetika Esthetics and Spa, at 93-28A Corona Ave.

He urged other victims to call the DA’s Economic Crimes Bureau at 718-286-6673.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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