Dozens of patients have launched multiple lawsuits in Brazil against a doctor alleging he botched their cosmetic treatments leaving their faces disfigured for life.
Dr Wesley Murakami, who performs the aesthetic treatments at his clinic in Goiania, west central Brazil, is accused of injecting excessive and illegal amounts of Metacryl filler, the synthetic resin PMMA, in bioplasty procedures.
Victims claim they were persuaded to do the treatment to improve their looks after Dr Murakami promised the results would enhance their appearance and correct defects such as acne scars.
However, the reverse was true with some 40 patients alleging the procedure left them with long term swelling that severely damaged their faces.
Deformed: This woman is one of 40 patients suing plastic surgeon Wesley Murakami in Brazil
The victims suing, including this woman who is pictured left before and right after, were told their abnormal swelling would subside but they say it did not
Changed: Alexandre Garzon, pictured left before and right after, visited Dr Murakami to treat acne scars with facial bioplasty and said he was promised amazing results.
And with no recourse to correction, because it is impossible to completely reverse the procedure, many spiralled into depression and some suffered suicidal thoughts.
According to Brazil’s Medical Council, the use of the product, known in the industry as PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate) should only be injected by doctors within prescribed limits of five millilitres.
It is considered a highly dangerous substance and cosmetic clinics in the UK and the United States refuse to offer the procedure, warning that it is a risky and ill-advised treatment.
This week, some of the victims bravely revealed photographs of the horrendous consequences of their beauty procedures showing their disfigured faces.
All vowed to ensure the physician is banned permanently from practicing in the field.
Dr Wesley Murakami, from Goiania, west central Brazil, is accused of injecting excessive and illegal amounts of Metacryl filler, the synthetic resin PMMA, in his patients’ faces
Allegations: Some patients say they were pressured into the procedure by Dr Murakami
Mr Garzon has sued Dr Murakami for £1,500 and won, but has yet to receive compensation
Their cosmetic treatments cost thousands of dollars but many had to pay double or triple the amount to other doctors to reduce the damage.
Businessman Alexandre Garzon has already sued Murakami for the 7000 reais (£1,500) the equivalent paid for his surgery. But he is yet to receive the compensation.
The 35-year-old is only now able to look in the mirror after years of hiding from his reflection.
In 2014, he decided to treat acne scars with facial bioplasty and said he was promised amazing results.
Mr Garzon recalled: ‘Dr Wesley told me I was going to look really good and all the pimple marks on my face would disappear.’
He admitted failing to investigate the procedure thoroughly before undergoing the operation but said: ‘At no point did he explain to me that it was irreversible. I thought it was like Botox and would gradually come out over time.
‘When I saw the result in the mirror I was horrified. My face was gigantic and you can see this in the photos.
‘He said the swelling would go down quickly, but it stayed like this for months.’
He was given a mask to cover his inflamed face so he could leave the clinic. After four years of Corticosteroid treatment to repair the mistake, he has finally accepted his face will never be the same again.
Suing: This woman is among the 40 people who are taking action against the plastic surgeon
Before and after: One woman who claims to be one of Dr Murakami’s patients shows off a photo of her after surgery and now with her face deformed
Another victim, a teacher, who chose not to identify herself, claimed she also sought the help of the doctor to reduce blemishes.
She paid 5,000 reais (£1,000) for the same day procedure and said the injected substance radically changed the shape of her face.
She came close to taking her own life from the trauma of losing her looks.
‘My face was distorted. I was ashamed to go to into school and the stress of teaching caused my face to swell even more,’ the 28 year old revealed.
‘I would cover my face with my hair and people looked at me strangely because I would always be looking down when I had to speak.’
Those suing the plastic surgeon has vowed to fight to have him banned
Another patient, who also didn’t want to be named, said she hated the shape of her ‘weak’ chin and believed she could make it stronger with filler.
But during her consultation she was persuaded by Murakami to treat her whole face.
‘I went in to fill my chin and left with a face full of PMMA,’ she said. ‘By the time he finished my face was bleeding, it was painful all over and badly swollen.’
Dr Sérgio Conceição, of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery (SBCP) in Goiás, revealed that Murakami does not appear to have the specialist qualifications to practice and does not belong to the professional body.
He said: ‘Although it seems like a simple, risk-free procedure, what we have seen in our clinics is patients coming to us with complications resulting from practitioners who are not specialists.
‘This product is not an absorbable substance and causes an inflammatory reaction. It is imperative to stress that people should never do these procedures with those who are not specialists.’
According to plastic surgeon Alan Bernacchi of SBCP the substance should only be used in reconstructions, such as for casting fractured bones.
He said: ‘Methacrylate can cause obstructions, necrosis, pulmonary embolism and death.
‘When it is injected it is a fluid, it then turns into a silicon plastic without any malleability.
‘If this acrylic embraces a nerve in the leg and symbioses with the muscles, it can cause chronic inflammation… (then we) must remove and cut everything, including muscle and nerves, for the patient to survive.’
A regretful Mr Garzon said: ‘The plastic will stay in my face for the rest of my life.
‘This guy has to be stopped because he continues to spoil the lives of many people,’
Lawyers for the doctor were approached for a response but failed to reply or provide a statement.