News, Culture & Society

Mother, 38, ‘was nearly BLINDED after dodgy £240 fillers were injected into an artery in her lips’

A mother claims she could have been left blind after £240 lip fillers were injected into an artery which caused her lips to ‘explode’.

Lindsay Collins, 38, of County Down, Northern Ireland, had the procedure in the house of an unlicensed beautician on September 28 last year as a birthday treat. 

By the Monday, the sales executive’s top lip had swollen to three times its usual size and was black and blue. It later filled with pus. 

Ms Collins, a single mother-of-four, said the pain was so excruciating it was worse than childbirth, leaving her unable to eat, talk or sleep.

She was eventually treated at hospital, where she claims she was told the beautician wrongly injected into an artery. Experts warn when filler gets into blood vessels, it can block them and cause tissue death, potentially in the eye.  

It took months for Ms Collins’ lips to heal but she has been left with scarring, causing her self-esteem to plummet. 

Lindsay Collins, 38, claims she could have been left blind after dodgy £240 lip fillers were injected into an artery. Pictured, her lips the morning after the procedure

Ms Collins' lip had a huge pus-filled sore three days after the lip fillers which took two months to heal. Pictured, while the swelling was going down

Ms Collins’ lip had a huge pus-filled sore three days after the lip fillers which took two months to heal. Pictured, while the swelling was going down

Ms Collins, pictured before the fillers with one of her four children, got a Botox and filler package as a birthday treat on September 28 last year

Ms Collins, pictured before the fillers with one of her four children, got a Botox and filler package as a birthday treat on September 28 last year

Ms Collins told Fabulous Digital: ‘The beautician injected into my artery, which could have travelled up and made me go blind. When I heard that, my heart just sunk.

‘I have four beautiful children and to think I could have gone blind and not seen them getting married, graduating, it just doesn’t even bear thinking about. 

‘My lip was swollen like it was about to burst, it felt like it was about to explode. I’ve given birth four times and I would rather do it again than feel that pain. 

‘I was off work for a month, and didn’t leave the house at all, but the impact was mental as well as physical for me. I was depressed and very conscious of my appearance.’

Ms Collins is taking legal action against the uninsured beautician and is calling for tighter regulations after her ordeal.

Pictured, the morning after having lip fillers

Ms Collins thought she was in safe hands because her colleague had visited the beautician three times before

Three days after getting lip fillers, Ms Collins, a sales executive, saw her top lip had swollen to three times its usual size and was black and blue. It later filled with pus

Straight after the treatment (pictured) Mrs Collins' lips went a blue colour

Straight after the treatment (pictured) Mrs Collins’ lips went a blue colour 

Mrs Collins, pictured two days after the procedure, sent pictures to the beautician

Mrs Collins, pictured two days after the procedure, sent pictures to the beautician 

Ms Collins, pictured before getting lip fillers, had always wanted to try the popular procedure

Ms Collins, pictured before getting lip fillers, had always wanted to try the popular procedure 

WHAT HAPPENS IF FILLER IS INJECTED INTO AN ARTERY?

Fillers could accidentally be injected into blood vessels and then enter the arterial system. The filler disrupts blood flow by blocking blood vessels, causing tissue death.  

Plastic surgeon Douglas McGeorge, said if a beautician doesn’t know textbook anatomy of the body – and variations that people have – patients run the risk of being injected in the wrong places.

Mr McGeorge, past president and honorary trustee for The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: ‘Fillers are often seen as safe. But the bottom line is you have to go to someone who understands where they are putting filler so it doesn’t end up in places it shouldn’t go.

‘To some extent there is an element of bad luck of hitting an artery. But in some areas there is an increased risk because some areas of the face have more arteries than other parts.

‘It’s a problem in society at the moment with unregulated procedures.’ 

Mr McGeorge explained that Botox, which paralyses the muscles, could also stray where it shouldn’t, for example causing the eyelids to droop. 

She was one of thousands of women in Britain looking to bolster their appearance with cosmetic work.

The cosmetic injectables industry is estimated to be worth £2.75billion in the UK – 75 per cent of the value of the entire cosmetic surgery sector.

These are only estimates because the true scale is not known as the market is unregulated.

Mrs Collin thought she was in safe hands because ‘everyone is doing it nowadays’, and her colleague had visited the beautician in a treatment room in her house three times previously. 

Although Ms Collins didn’t think her lips were very thin, she had always wanted to try fillers once she had enough money. She paid for a Botox and lip filler package and went with her colleague. 

After having the Botox, the beautician injected the 1ml filler mostly into Mrs Collins’ top lip.

A photo taken moments after shows her lip turned a blue and greenish colour – but the beautician reassured that some people bruise more easily than others.

The next morning, Ms Collins sent pictures to the beautician in a panic. She claims the beautician offered to give her penicillin which she said she had got from her boyfriend, who is a dentist. 

But by the Monday, Ms Collins’ lip had a huge pus-filled sore. She was advised to go straight to A&E at Down Patrick. 

Ms Collins was treated with antibiotics for two weeks, and warned by nurses about the risks of getting fillers with unlicensed beauticians. 

Those who pay for fillers with unlisenced beauticians run the risk of serious complications, plastic surgeon Douglas McGeorge told MailOnline.

The past president of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said: If you stick a needle under the skin and start injecting you could catch a vessel. The filler will go down the vessel and block it, which blocks the blood supply and starves tissue.

‘Any area of tissue could be killed. This woman may have had the filler injected into a vessel the supplies the eye, which could lead to vision problems as the retina dies.’ 

The beautician initially told Ms Collins not to worry about the bruising before offering her penicillin, Ms Collins claims. Pictured the morning after the procedure

The beautician initially told Ms Collins not to worry about the bruising before offering her penicillin, Ms Collins claims. Pictured the morning after the procedure

Ms Collins likened the pain to being scalded with hot water and worse than birth. Pictured while her lips were healing

Ms Collins likened the pain to being scalded with hot water and worse than birth. Pictured while her lips were healing

Ms Collins struggled to eat, sleep or talk during the worst part of the swelling. Pictured healing

Ms Collins struggled to eat, sleep or talk during the worst part of the swelling. Pictured healing

Over the next month, Ms Collins’ lip would progressively swell, leaving her feeling as though ‘somebody was pouring a boiling kettle’ her lips.  

Ms Collins claims her 16-year-old son, Bryce, couldn’t even look at his mother without feeling physically sick.

Ms Collins – who is also mother to Shannon, 19, Leland, 10, and Cayden, six – had the fillers removed by a registered nurse.  

Unfortunately, it didn’t resolve the issue as she has been permanently scarred both physically and mentally from her ordeal.

She didn’t return to work for a month, unable to leave the house because she was ‘depressed and very self-conscious’ about the damage to her appearance. 

Four weeks after having the fillers, the swelling had gone down. Two months later, a crusty and large sore came off.

Bryce, Ms Collin's 16-year-old son (see right), couldn't even look at his mother without feeling physically sick. Ms Collins - who is also mother to Shannon, 19, Leland, 10, and Cayden, six - had the fillers removed by a registered nurse. Pictured with her children before

Bryce, Ms Collin’s 16-year-old son (see right), couldn’t even look at his mother without feeling physically sick. Ms Collins – who is also mother to Shannon, 19, Leland, 10, and Cayden, six – had the fillers removed by a registered nurse. Pictured with her children before

It took months for Ms Collins' lips to heal. The infected sore took two months to heal (pictured)

It took months for Ms Collins’ lips to heal. The infected sore took two months to heal (pictured)

Looking back, Ms Collins recalls the beautician was 'clearly inexperienced' and warns other women to do their research. Pictured while her lips were healing

Looking back, Ms Collins recalls the beautician was ‘clearly inexperienced’ and warns other women to do their research. Pictured while her lips were healing

Nine months after having lip fillers, Ms Collins' skin above her lip is scarred and red

Nine months after having lip fillers, Ms Collins’ skin above her lip is scarred and red

It’s now been nine months since the procedure, but Ms Collins still sees red, scarred skin around her top lip and under the nostril when she looks in the mirror.

She said she is unable to feel her lip, but doctors have said this should return.

Ms Collins, whose case is being investigated by The Department of Health, is saving to have laser treatment for the scars.

Looking back, she recalls the beautician was ‘clearly inexperienced’, and suggests she was never asked to fill out forms.

Ms Collins is campaigning for a ban on unregistered beauticians selling filler treatments, and hopes her experience serves as a warning to others to do their research first.

In the UK, facial fillers cost about £150 to £300 per session, depending on the amount and type of product used, and around $680 to $900 in the US.

Popularity among celebrities and reality TV stars may be driving demand for the procedures, but people are rarely aware of the risks, experts say. 

Dermal fillers and Botox can cause infections and painful swelling if they aren’t injected properly.   

In January, Theresa May said the Government was committed to making tighter regulations to keep patients safe.

 

Fillers can be injected into blood vessels which could then enter the arterial system. The filler could disrupt blood flow by blocking blood vessels, causing tissue death.  

Plastic surgeon Douglas McGeorge, said if a beautician doesn’t know textbook anatomy of the body – and variations that people have – patients run the risk of being injected into a blood vessel. 

Mr McGeorge, past president and honorary trustee for The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: ‘Fillers are often seen as safe. But the bottom line is you have to go to someone who understands where they are putting filler so it doesn’t end up in places it shouldn’t go.

‘To some extent there is an element of bad luck of hitting an artery. But in some areas there is an increased risk because some areas of the face have more arteries.

‘It’s a problem in society at the moment with unregulated procedures.’  

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE WARY OF WHEN GETTING LIP FILLERS? 

Lip fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance found in the skin and other bodily tissues. 

Hyaluronic acid injections are generally safe but can cause redness, swelling, bruising, itching and tenderness at and around the site of the injection.

Side effects may affect people differently and should be discussed with a specialist before the injections are done.

If someone gets cold sores it can trigger an outbreak, and the injections may not be suitable for people who are at risk of keloid scarring – when scars become large and grow out of control.

Lip fillers can get infected when: 

1. Unregulated cheap products are used which cause a reaction with the tissue leading to a secondary infection

2. When treatment occurs in unsanitary conditions like the back of a gym or a patients sofa.

3. When there’s poor aftercare for example use of make up immediately after treatment.

4. Syringes are shared. This is poor practice but common in areas where people want to minimise cost by sharing syringes between patient. 

How to get safe lip fillers:

1. As per NHS England advice ensure your practitioner is a registered medical professional.

2. Ensure treatment is within a clean clinical environment such as a clinic.

3. Check you practitioner had the appropriate insurance and is experienced at the procedure and treating complications.

4. Always ensure you have a follow up appointment available to you as part of your treatment.

5. Adhere to aftercare and ensure you have emergency contacts for your practitioner.  

Sources: Save Face and NHS 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.