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If you've been dreaming of getting fillers, you might reconsider after this week's Late Late Show

Carol Bryan shared her nightmare experience with the procedure.

NOW OF COURSE, there’s nothing wrong with getting fillers or botox from a trained expert who knows exactly what they’re doing, but as we recently discussed, it’s important to put a lot of thought into why you want to get lip or dermal fillers.

Cameron Diaz is part of a growing list of celebrities deciding to ditch their fillers, and she said that she decided they weren’t for her when she began to grow uncomfortable with the person she saw in the mirror – a person who looked nothing like her former self. Diaz said, “I’d rather see my face ageing than a face that doesn’t belong to me at all.” That said, she didn’t completely slam those kinds of cosmetic procedures – in fact, she said that they can improve confidence for some people, and “If they do feel better about themselves, than those procedures have worked”.  

Screenshot 2019-03-02 at 09.05.48 Source: RTE

Last night’s Late Late Show contained an important segment, featuring testimony from Carol Bryan, who was left permanently disfigured and blind in one eye after a very negative experience with fillers. This is something anyone who is considering fillers should keep in mind, particularly if you’re considering receiving them from an unconventional source, like a girl one of your mates knows, who does it cheap (because let’s be real, it happens). If these things are cheap, they’re usually cheap for a reason. This isn’t something you can cut corners on. 

Carol, who worked as a model in her younger days, came on the show to share the story of how she learned to love her new reflection after she lived the worst nightmare of every individual who has ever had fillers. 

Carol told Ryan why dermal fillers appealed to her in the first place, especially as a model:

As women age today, you wanna stay relevant and you wanna stay successful and you wanna stay in the game. So, there are small things that you can do, non-invasively, that are safe.  

As we all know, it is no longer women who are ageing who feel compelled to get these treatments. There are plenty of teenagers and women in their early twenties opting for these procedures nowadays.

After some small treatments here and there, Carol decided to eventually get fillers, after people in her line of work persuaded to her, insisting that it would help her maintain “the competitive edge”. She explained what fillers are:

Fillers were developed for purposes of increasing or replacing loss of volume. As we age, at times you’ll use some of your cheek bone area, so they’ll use fillers to raise some of the cheekbone. If you do it little by little, it can be done safely. They use it for jaw lines, they use it for lips. It’s very common. 

After the procedure, she began to realise that something wasn’t right. 

I had the normal bruising and swelling that is expected for the first couple of weeks and then I was very aware that my face had changed. It was fuller. I wasn’t unhappy. I wasn’t that excited either. Within about three months, my face began to expand and contract. It started to basically grow out. 

The video below contains some graphic images. 

 If the video won’t play, click here.

The doctors weren’t sure. They told me that it was obviously complications, inflammatory reaction, but that they were sure they could correct the distortion. I believed them because they were trained experts. Unbeknownst to me, the fillers that they had injected into me were permanent. Permanent fillers are really not supposed to be used as fillers, especially when you use two at the same time. You don’t inject them into areas that they are not indicated for. They injected them into my forehead, it basically caused my face to morph and devolve into something that was unrecognisable to me. 

The corrective procedures made things even worse for Carol. She described it as the “most heart-wrenching” time of her life, and decided to hide from public life. She hid from her family and friends, even her mother who was unwell at the time. 

I didn’t want my family to see what had happened to me. I was assured by doctors that they were going to correct it, so a lot of time went by and during that time, my mother was placed in hospice. I was called to go be by her side and I couldn’t. I had to say goodbye to my mother over the phone. It still haunts me to this day. 

The only person Carol allowed to see her was her 17-year-old daughter, and even then, only if she was covered with a hat and sunglasses. Eventually, Carol’s daughter decided enough was enough. Carol explained that her daughter said, “That’s it. I need you back, mom.” Carol’s daughter sent photographs to every teaching hospital in the United States, hoping that someone would be able to help. Only one doctor agreed to see her, the director of UCLA’s craniofacial department. 

When Carol met this doctor, he cried and told her that he was sorry for what had happened to her. 

He apologised that one of his peers had done what he had done. He told me that he was going to help me, but he wasn’t sure how. He eventually presented my case to a congress of doctors, seeking help. Only one other doctor agreed to help him, also out of UCLA – Dr. Brian Boyd. 

The road to recover was very difficult and involved skin grafts and multiple surgeries and a partial facial transplant. At some stage between the seven reconstructive surgeries, she learned to love her face and appreciate what she was looking at in the mirror once again. 

From her experience, she found that there was no foundation she could turn to for support during her journey, so she decided to start one of her own called Saving Face, and she has been invited to talk to doctors at the Royal Society of Medicine. Carol said she has been thanked by many of the doctors she has met, for changing how they view patient safety. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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