Ongoing risk of permanent disfigurement from unlicensed facial filler injections

Posted: 21/07/2015


The Penningtons Manches cosmetic surgery claims team continues to receive more enquiries from people who have suffered injuries following treatment at an unlicensed clinic or beauty salon. 

Many beauty salons offer a range of non-surgical treatments such as microdermabrasion, peels and minor cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and laser hair removal. But many who have these treatments are often unaware of their associated risks and that there can be a devastating impact on their lives if something goes wrong. They may also not know if the therapist or person carrying out the procedure is appropriately qualified or insured. 

As cosmetic procedures have become so common, today’s issue is that those undergoing the procedures do not adequately appreciate the risks associated with having fillers from an unregulated provider. Dr Lee Walker, an expert in facial aesthetics, based in Liverpool says that women are risking permanent disfigurement and, in some cases, blindness by having unlicensed facial filler injections. Almost a quarter of his work now involves repairing “botched” jobs done by hairdressers and beauticians. 

A lot of people do not realise that Botox and filler injections can cause serious problems if injected into the wrong place – for example, blood vessels. These problems can include swelling, pain, hard lumps beneath the skin and, in severe cases, loss of vision and strokes when fillers are injected into the retinal artery. Problems can also occur if fillers are injected into blood vessels or too much filler is injected around blood vessels so that they compress. This  can stop the blood supply to the tissue which causes necrosis (the death of the cells). 

While Botox can only been given by a licenced health professional because it is a prescription only medicine, facial fillers are totally unregulated and anyone can inject them. This means that almost anyone can open their own clinic and start injecting people with dermal fillers without any restrictions. 

Amy Milner, a solicitor in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, says: “Unfortunately Dr Walker’s experience is not a recent problem as we are also seeing an increase in the number of new enquiries from those who have suffered an injury following minor cosmetic procedures. 

“Many non-invasive cosmetic treatments are not regulated and, if treatments are carried out incorrectly, they can have devastating consequences. This is particularly distressing for patients who have had treatment on their face, where the side effects cannot be so easily covered up. Our clinical negligence team has been approached about claims for a wide variety of treatments that have caused complications.” 

Anyone concerned about the treatment they have received can call our specialist cosmetic surgery team free for an initial ‘no obligation’ chat on 0800 328 9545.


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