Florida plastic surgeon charged after wife goes into cardiac arrest on operating table, dies: Deputies

A Florida plastic surgeon is now charged in the death of his wife, who went into cardiac arrest while her husband was performing surgery on her back in 2023, deputies said. 

Benjamin Jacon Brown, 41, was arrested for second-degree felony homicide and culpable negligence after he waited to call 911 when his wife, Hilary Brown, went into cardiac arrest on November 21, 2023. 

An emergency restriction of license was issued following Hilary's death and detailed what happened on the morning of the surgery as well as other questionable circumstances that happened in the months leading up to her death.

On Nov 21, 2023, Hilary Brown was scheduled to undergo a miniature muscle plication/abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction, lip injections, and ear adjustment procedures, records show. 

On the morning of her surgery, Hilary Brown reportedly prepared her own tumescent solution, which includes diluted lidocaine, epinephrine, and sodium bicarbonate. Around 11 a.m., she ingested a "handful" of multicolored pills, including valium, records show. 

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Dr. Brown documented a few other drugs that his wife took around 12 p.m. but not the ones taken at 11 a.m.

Mugshot shows Benjamin Brown | Credit: Santa Rosa County Sheriffs Office

Because Hilary took an undocumented amount of drugs before the start of surgery, Dr. Brown could not have "ensured the concentration of the tumescent solution that he used," records show. 

At some point in the surgery, Hilary Brown became restless, and her body began twitching, records show. She said that her vision was starting to blur and she told Dr. Brown that she saw "Orange." Soon after, Hilary Brown became unresponsive and began to have a seizure. 

Dr. Brown waited 10–20 minutes to call 911 as his wife's health declined on the operating table, records show. By the time Hilary Brown was taken to a hospital, she had suffered cardiac arrest with an elevated lactic acid level and suspected lidocaine toxicity. 

Hilary died a week later, on Nov. 28, 2023. The investigation into her death led to the arrest of Brown months later on June 17, 2024. 

Also detailed in the license restriction report were two previous patients who reported that Brown performed BBL surgery on them without their permission. The two patients also told investigators that there was a lack of sterilization used during surgeries in his operating rooms.