INSIDE STORY: How Tameka Raymond's Plastic Surgery Went Wrong

Usher's wife went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia for liposuction, a Brazilian surgeon confirms to PEOPLE

Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty

A Brazilian plastic surgeon has revealed details of the procedure that temporarily left Usher’s wife, Tameka Raymond, in a medically-induced coma.

Two months after giving birth to the couple’s second son, Raymond, 38, traveled to Brazil to have liposuction on her stomach, says Ellen Dasptry, a rep for Sao Paulo plastic surgeon Dr. Silvio Sterman, who was to have performed the surgery.

“Tameka Raymond came here on Friday to do a liposuction. Shortly after she went under [general] anesthesia, she suffered a cardiac arrest,” Dasptry tells PEOPLE.

Induced Coma

Raymond never had the liposuction. According to Dasptry, after her cardiac arrest, Raymond was immediately revived and placed in an induced coma.

“When an attack like this happens, the doctors put the patient to sleep… and make sure that everything is okay and that there has not been any damage,” explains Dasptry. “This is the protocol every time and this is what was done.”

After a day in the ICU, Raymond was transferred to a larger facility, Sao Paulo’s Hospital S rio-Liban s, considered one of the finest in Brazil, says Dasptry. After nearly a week of recovery, she “is doing very well,” says the surgeon’s spokeswoman.

Usher Flies to Her Side

On Saturday, Usher canceled a performance at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala to fly to Brazil to be at his wife’s side. Davis told partygoers the singer had to leave due to “serious injury in the family.” Usher and Raymond have two sons: Usher Raymond V, 1, and Naveid Ely Raymond, who is two months old. Raymond also has three sons from a previous relationship.

On Feb. 8, Usher’s rep Simone Smalls issued a statement on the star’s behalf: “Tameka Raymond is in stable condition after suffering complications from routine surgery in Brazil. Her husband Usher is with her at the hospital. No further details will be released, and the family requests privacy at this difficult time.”

Raymond’s case has stirred debate within the medical world over whether a wait of two months between giving birth and undergoing liposuction is sufficiently long.

Surgery Too Soon?

According to New York City cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist Neil Sadick, “The general feeling is no abdominal surgery should be performed within eight weeks because of the distension and inflammation of the abdomen/uterus due to pregnancy. [Women] should wait at least three months postpartum before undergoing any type of procedures to the abdomen… They would need to get clearance from their OB/GYN and internist.”

But Dasptry says Raymond met with her Brazilian surgeon Feb. 6 to undergo tests and was determined to be “in good health.” “In plastic surgery all over the world, there is no rule that says a woman can’t have plastic surgery performed two months after childbirth,” says Dasptry.


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