A nip here and a tuck there. Plastic surgery techniques have never been better at turning back the clock. But many of those procedures are expensive. More than $15 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures last year alone. Now doctors see some disturbing trends as more people look to cut corners with sometimes dangerous results.
Tracie Samara’s nightmare innocently started 11 years ago from an ad in the paper about a contest that offered free non-invasive facial rejuvenation.
“At 44, I wanted to get back into modeling. It took me a while to realize something very wrong was going on,” said Tracie.
She says she was bruised, swollen and nearly blinded by the injection around her eyes. A facial plastic surgeon says Tracie’s story is all too common.
“We’re certainly seeing a lot of things that people are injecting or putting into themselves that are not legal and should not be put into your body,” explained Dr. John Martin, a cosmetic, ophthalmic and facial plastic surgeon.
Doctor Martin says “do-it-yourself” videos on YouTube are a disturbing trend.
“They watch a video and it makes it look pretty easy. You just put a little injection in here. How hard could that be,” said Dr. Martin.
But experts warn permanent disfigurement is a real possibility. Tracie had no idea what she had injected into her face.
“So they saved money by doing it themselves, and now they're going to have to pay so much more to try and take care of it. You can ask them, what are you using? It should come in a box; it should have the name of the product on it,” said Dr. Martin.
After trying to remove the illegal filler along with radio frequency treatments to create new collagen, Tracie finally has hope.
“I’m starting to come back, and I hope I come back even stronger,” she said.
Realizing beauty really is more than skin deep, Tracie hopes her story will help warn others. Doctor Martin says when it comes to plastic surgery or fillers, do your homework. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.