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A Florida Cosmetic Surgeon Performed Plastic Surgery on His Wife. She Died, and He's Now Accused of Manslaughter.

Florida Plastic Surgeon Arrested for Wife's Death During Surgery: Cops
Source: Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office; Rose Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Dr. Benjamin Brown (left) allegedly failed to call 911 when his wife, Hillary Ellington Brown (right), experienced a seizure during a cosmetic procedure he was performing, authorities said.

Jun. 24 2024, Published 10:01 a.m. ET

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A Florida plastic surgeon has been arrested in connection with the death of his wife for allegedly failing to call 911 when she experienced a seizure while he performed cosmetic procedures on her.

Dr. Benjamin Brown, 41, was arrested on a charge of second-degree felony homicide for manslaughter by culpable negligence after an "extensive investigation," the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said in a statement recently.

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The sheriff's office responded to the Restore Plastic Surgery in Gulf Breeze for a medical emergency on Nov. 21, 2023. The victim, Hillary Ellington Brown, suffered cardiac arrest and was transported to a local hospital, where she was put on life support and later died on Nov. 28.

In May 2024, the Florida Department of Health issued an order of emergency restriction for Brown's medical license, which detailed the circumstances of his wife's death.

Hillary Brown underwent multiple procedures on the day of her surgery, including "miniature muscle plication/abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction, lip injections, and ear adjustment procedures."

According to the document, Hillary ingested multiple pills, including valium, before her procedures. Brown then administered anesthesia without verifying what his wife had taken, and failed to document the dosage he used. After the scar revision, he allowed his wife to stitch her own skin.

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When he moved on to the liposuction procedure, Hillary Brown began twitching and "stated that her vision started to blur, and she told Dr. Brown that she saw ‘orange,’” according to the report. Nevertheless, Brown moved forward to the lip injections, despite signs of lidocaine toxicity, and he administered more lidocaine, the report notes, claiming, “Dr. Brown continued injecting lidocaine/Xylocaine,” and his wife became unresponsive and "began to have a seizure."

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“Over the next 10-20 minutes, a medical assistant asked Dr. Brown if they should call 911 and Dr. Brown said ‘no,’ or ‘wait.’ The medical assistant was scared and a new employee, so she did as Dr. Brown instructed," the report alleges.

After 911 was finally called, Hillary Brown was transported to the Ascension Sacred Heart Emergency Care Department in Pensacola, where she died a week later.

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Hillary Brown's cause of death was listed as complications following lidocaine toxicity.

Brown is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and holds medical licenses in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

“The level of disregard Dr. Brown paid to patient safety, even when the patient was his wife, indicates that Dr. Brown is unwilling or incapable of providing the appropriate level of care to his future patients,” the health department wrote in its emergency order.

TMX contributed to this report.

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