Broward ‘facial specialist’ jailed after unlicensed massages hospitalized client, cops say

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A Broward “facial specialist” has been arrested after her unlicensed massages at a spa sent a woman recovering from surgery to the hospital, according to Florida authorities.

Jenny Paola Reyes Leon faces one felony charge of practicing massage without a license, one felony charge of practicing advanced nursing without a license and one count of misrepresenting herself as a licensed masseuse, Broward County court records show.

Jail, bond and attorney information wasn’t available Monday afternoon.

The Miramar resident provided post-surgery lymphatic massages, stitch removal and wound care without a license to a woman from November through December, Pembroke Pines police said Monday in a news release. Afterwards, police say, her client experienced “an extreme amount of pain from the wound and required medical treatment from a local hospital.”

At the time of the incident, police say the 42-year-old performed the massages with a non-medical “facial specialist” license at Couture Salon & Spa located at 17772 SW Second St. in Pembroke Pines. The spa, which couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, provides services such as haircuts, pedicures, facials and bikini wax.

In February, the Florida Department of Health notified police of the complaint made against Reyes-Leon, police said. Officers arrested her Friday.

What is a lymphatic massage?

Also known as manual lymphatic drainage, lymphatic massages relieve swelling in patients’ arms and legs caused by lymphedema, when lymph fluid drains into the soft tissues, the Cleveland Clinic says. Lymphedema often affects people recovering from breast cancer surgery, according to the clinic. The lymphatic massage involves gently manipulating specific areas of the body, the clinic notes, to help the fluids move to an area with working lymph vessels.

READ MORE: A South Florida woman’s post-butt-lift massages are a public health risk, the state says

If an open wound is treated incorrectly, the surrounding skin can become increasingly red, swollen, hot and painful, signs that it may be infected and in need of antibiotics.

READ MORE: License of Miami’s ‘Squeeze Lady’ revoked for massaging fluids through surgical wounds

In Florida, licensed massage therapists are not allowed to exude fluids from open wounds, according to a 2017 statement from the Florida Department of Health. Only licensed medical professionals such as doctors and nurses can do this.

People should make sure that any medical services received are obtained from a properly licensed individual and facility, police said.

Medical professional licenses can be verified through the Florida Department of Health’s online database at flhealthsource.gov/ula. Complaints can be made by calling the department at 877-HALT-ULA or by email at HALTULA@flhealth.gov.