Several Arizona women who believed they were getting standard lip fillers ended up in the emergency room earlier this month after the procedure left them with painful infections.
According to KSAZ-TV, at least seven women claim to have received botched injections on the same day after visiting a home in Maricopa, Az. The treatments left them with swollen, oozing lips and infections that required hospital visits.
One of the patients, Ashleigh Villaverde, said she had received lip treatments from the same woman in the past. This time, though, she realized there was a problem before the procedure was even finished.
"As soon as I went this time, I knew something was wrong because each time she injected it hurt so bad," Villaverde told KSAZ. "That has never happened before — they’ve swelled up, but it’s never been to the point where I couldn’t even touch them."
Many of the victims told KSAZ that the woman performing the procedures, who remains unidentified, came highly recommended. They also said that, despite operating out of her home, the woman told them she was completely certified.
"She was telling people that she was certified to do lip injections and since I [had] seen other people's [lips], I had decided, 'why not go?'" Alexandra Garavanta told KSAZ.
Garaventa is friends with Villaverde, and the two went to receive the injections together. Garaventa claims the treatment gave her an infection.
"Right after I left getting my lips done — an hour later, my lips got huge, like, giant," she told KSAZ.
Lip fillers are a type of dermal filler, a procedure designed to help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). More than 30,000 women received some sort of lip augmentation procedure in the U.S. last year.
But the treatment isn't cheap. The ASPS estimates that the average lip filler procedure can cost upwards of $600, which may be why some of these women sought a cheaper alternative. The women told KSAZ that their botched injections cost them just $80 per milliliter of filler.
"Obviously it was cheaper, yeah — that’s not the smartest thing to do is go the cheap route," Garaventa told the news station.
The Maricopa Police Department has been notified of the claims, but it's unclear if the woman who gave the injections will be charged or not. In the meantime, some of the women expressed concerns about the procedure's long-term effects.
"We don't know if it's going to have good or bad results," Nayhely McLaughlin, another one of the alleged victims, told KSAZ. "If we're going to have scars, we don't know if it's going to leave us ugly. We don't know if it's going to leave us ugly or start to rot."