Nov. 13, 2007 -- Rap star Kanye West's mother, Donda West, had a tummy tuck and breast reduction performed by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams before her death, according to the Web site TMZ.com.
Adams told TMZ that he was not responsible for her death, but that she may have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or massive vomiting.
West's death may not be the first untoward outcome associated with the surgeon. Medical board records show that Adams had two malpractice suits filed against him that ended in payouts, according to The Associated Press.
These lawsuits, both settled in 2001, ended in payouts of $217,337 and $250,000.
The AP also reports that the medical board of California is investigating whether Adams' license should be revoked or suspended in light of his being arrested twice in the past four years for driving under the influence. The records show that in a 2006 case, Adams was found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater, and that he pleaded no contest in 2003 to driving under the influence.
Another plastic surgeon, Andre Aboolian, told ABC News that West consulted him for surgery, too, but he deemed her a health risk and wouldn't operate unless she got clearance from an internist.
Aboolian said he "insisted that she see an internist before he would entertain the surgery because she had a condition that could have caused a heart attack."
Adams also told TMZ that West consulted with him over a period of four months, often changing her mind about the surgery, according to an article on the site.
West, a former chairwoman of the Chicago State University English department, died this Saturday at Centinela Freeman Marina Hospital in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County's coroner's office. She was 58.
Kanye West was reportedly in London, where he has been prepping for his upcoming "Glow in the Dark Tour," when he received the tragic news. He immediately returned to the United States. Family friends say he is absolutely devastated.
Surgery Deaths Rare But Can Happen
West's death underscores the risks of cosmetic surgery procedures. Nearly 200 people die every year from plastic surgery complications.
Today, about 2 million cosmetic procedures are done in the United States each year. That's a startling 446 percent increase in cosmetic surgeries since 1997.
This is in part because "procedures are much safer, more readily available and more affordable," said Dr. Allen D. Rosen, spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS).
These days there are far more doctors performing elective procedures, and the surgeries run the full gamut -- from simple surgeries designed to give longer and fuller eyelashes to full body reconstructions.
"Now in America, cosmetic surgeries have become part of our culture," Rosen said.
Death as a result from cosmetic plastic surgery is relatively uncommon, however. Only about one out of every 60,000 surgeries result in death, according to ASPS. But like any surgery, there are potential risks involved.
The most notorious case, perhaps, is that of best-selling author Olivia Goldsmith, 54, author of "The First Wives' Club." Goldsmith, who frequently wrote about Botox sessions and routinely going under the knife, ultimately died as a result of one of her many cosmetic procedures.
Comedian Kathy Griffin admitted she had to be rushed to the emergency room after a liposuction procedure.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Amiya Prased said patients must tell doctors about pre-existing conditions before surgery.
"The patient needs to be up front with us about all their medical conditions, because they can have bleeding, they can have cardiac problems, they can have drug interactions during surgery as well as after," Prased said.
Strong Mother-Son Bond
A scholar for more than 30 years, West left her job as university professor to manage her son's career, and in the past year she worked as head of the Kanye West Foundation, which is aimed at keeping inner-city youth in school.
The strong bond shared by West and her son was undeniable. Kanye has made references to his mother on all of his albums.
Most recently, West was the inspiration for "Hey Mama," on Kanye's hit album "Late Registration."
"Hey Mama, I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I'm so proud of you," writes Kanye. "I appreciate what you allowed for me. I just want you to be proud of me."
In her book "Raising Kanye" West shared the struggles she faced as a single mother.
"It was a challenge. But when you have challenges that's what makes life worth living, right? Kanye was a great kid," she said.
The hip-hop star's Web site has been flooded with fans expressing their condolences.
Kanye is asking for privacy, but the family did release a statement thanking everyone for their support.
ABC News' Jesus Ayala contributed to this report.