Telugu actor Aarthi Agarwal died of cardiac arrest in a hospital in the US after a "failed liposuction surgery", reports said on Sunday.
The 31-year-old actor had appeared in nearly 25 movies in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. Her latest Telugu film, Ranam 2, was released in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh just a day before her death.
Her manager said Agarwal died in a private hospital in New Jersey on Saturday. "Aarthi was battling obesity and pulmonary illness. She was undergoing treatment and due to some complications, she suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away," the manager was quoted as saying by IANS.
The cardiac arrest, which followed respiratory complications, was reportedly due to a "failed liposuction surgery", IANS reported.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure which slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving body contours and proportion. While death post a liposuction surgery is rare, fat embolism is a fatal after-effect of the surgery. This happens when a fat tissue passes into the bloodstream and lodges within a blood vessel. However. it is not yet clear what happened in the actor's case.
Agarwal, who suffered from asthma for several years, had undergone a liposuction surgery about a month ago but later developed respiratory problems, The Indian Express reported.
She made her debut in Telugu films with the hit Nuvvu Naaku Nachav in 2001. She went on to act in hits such as Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu, Indra and Vasantham with stars like Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Nagarjuna.
In 2005, she reportedly attempted suicide after an alleged relationship with a co-star turned bitter and her films did not do well at the box office. "From 2008 to 2015 she worked in only four films and was almost forgotten. I think she had put on weight and had decided to undergo surgery," an unnamed official of the Movie Artists Association told The Indian Express.
Agarwal was born and brought up in New Jersey. Her first movie was Pagalpan in Hindi, made when she was 16. As the film did not do well, she moved to Tollywood and made her Telugu debut with Nuvvu Naaku Nachav.
Her sister Aditi Agarwal too is an actor.