Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Plastic surgery link to be probed in death of rapper's mother

image LOS ANGELES (AFP) - An autopsy was to take place in Los Angeles later Tuesday to determine whether the mother of rap superstar Kanye West died after complications from plastic surgery.

Donda West, 58, died on Saturday at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center after being found unconscious at her home.

Reports have said the death occurred after she had been discharged from hospital following multiple cosmetic procedures.

Celebrity entertainment website TMZ.com identified the plastic surgeon who performed the operation as Jan Adams.

Adams confirmed that West had undergone a tummy tuck and breast reduction, the website reported, and that she may have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or massive vomiting.

Los Angeles County Coroner's office spokesman Fred Corral said the autopsy would study whether West died from "possible complications of surgery."

Meanwhile, a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Andre Aboolian told the Access Hollywood entertainment television show that he had refused to perform surgery on West because of a pre-existing medical condition.

"She was interested in some cosmetic procedures, and we had discussed that in order for her to go through with the procedures, which she was a good candidate for, she needed what's called a medical clearance, which just about anybody over the age of 40 is required to have," he said.

"Because of Donda's age, she was required to get some cardiac clearance to make sure her heart is in good shape to go through for the surgery."

He said although she was a "good candidate" for the surgery, "she had a condition that was of concern."

He did not reveal the condition, citing patient confidentiality.

West spent about 30 years at Chicago State University, rising to head of the English department before leaving to manage her son's career.

She had headed the Kanye West Foundation, which is aimed at keeping inner-city youths in school. She had published a recent book, "Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star."

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