Doctor talks dangers after teen dies from botched silicone injection


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — FOX 46 Charlotte sat down with a board certified plastic surgeon about the dangers associated with getting cosmetic procedures from someone who’s not licensed.

This after a teen died after receiving multiple illegal injections from a woman in Salisbury.

Dr. Stephan Finical is a board certified plastic surgeon at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. He’s been performing cosmetic procedures from more than 20 years and still takes every precaution every step of the way.

Related: Salisbury woman charged with murder after teen dies from silicone injections

“There’s always a level of safety when you go to someone who has experience,” he said.   

Dr. Finical provides all levels of cosmetic surgery in his Charlotte office including body contouring, reconstruction and cosmetic injections.

Silicone injections are what police said killed a transgender teen after she traveled to a home in Salisbury to receive the injections from another transgender woman who was not a doctor or a certified nurse or physician assistant.

“Medical procedures are done best in medical settings. If someone tells you they can give you a discount in their home or at a hotel room, that’s probably the wrong person,” Dr. Finical said.

Investigators said 19-year-old Kaniya Eboni Bernard paid anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per session where Kavonceya Iman Cornelius injected silicone into Bernard’s butt more than ten different times.

That’s a total of potentially $15,000 spent on procedures that ultimately killed the teen.

“Someone could have something done safely for that kind of money – but the price goes down and the risk goes way up,” Dr. Finical explained.

Dr. Finical said the silicone injection likely went into an artery causing an embolism. But the teen could have also died from an infection from unsafe and non-sterile practices.

“Is there sterility, is it being put in the right place, those things are the bigger problems,” he said.

Investigators said no anesthetic was ever used during the procedures and that Cornelius would clean the injection site on the butt then inject the silicone using a large syringe. She’s now facing murder charges and medical professionals are urging the public to use caution before seeking procedures from anyone other than a doctor.     

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