Woman whose lips 'tripled in size' after Botox party issues stark warning
Regardless of the many successful plastic surgery procedures that have taken place, there are always risks - especially when you're not dealing with medical professionals. Unfortunately for Rachael Knappier, from Leicestershire, England, she ended up going through a traumatic ordeal when she tried to have lip filler injected.
The 29-year-old was at a party when she had filler injected into her lips, leading to them swelling up so much they touched her nose. Knappier "shouted in pain" after she was given the treatment, by a beautician at her friend's house.
Thankfully, she made it to the emergency room, but later had to turn to private treatment to return her lips to their former size. Now, she's warning others against having lip fillers from someone who isn't medically trained.
Initially, Rachael only agreed to having Botox on her forehead, but after the beautician noticed a lump on her lip (an injury from when she was 13) she was quickly convinced to have some filler.
"That lump is my number one insecurity," she told the BBC. "As she pointed it out, I was just drawn in."
When she got home, she felt unwell so went to bed. Later that night, she woke up and found that she couldn't feel her lip. "My lips were a size I had not seen before," she said, so contacted the beautician on FaceTime. On the other side of the phone, she was apparently "gasping and holding her hand over her mouth" as she realised what was happening.
"She told me to put an ice pack on and take an antihistamine but my lips were growing," she said. "Then she kept repeatedly shouting, 'get to A&E'."
When she got to the emergency room, doctors explained that while the NHS would check to see if she was in any immediate danger, they would not dissolve lip filler - so she had to turn to private care. For the next week, she didn't leave the house, and was apparently vomiting and shaking
Eventually, Rachael visited a Consultant Clinic in London, where they finally dissolves the filler. 72 hours later, her lips were back to normal - but she still felt shaken by what had happened.
"It's left me traumatised. I would not wish it on my worst enemy," she said.
According to Dr Natalie Boyd, who hails from this clinic, Knappier likely suffered a vascular occlusion. This may have happened because the filler was injected "into or around an artery or vein, which then causes a vicious cycle of swelling and compression".
Since the events, Rachael has started a petition calling for aesthetic medical treatments to only be performed by professionals such as doctors, nurses and dentists, as well as calling for better regulation in the industry. Dr Marc Pacifico, a consultant plastic surgeon from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said that dermal fillers are a "complete wild west in the UK".
"We are one of the few western countries who regard [fillers] as a device not a medicine," he said. "There have even been cases of blindness. It was really about time stronger regulation was brought in."
While Rachael clearly went through a horrible time, hopefully some good comes out of her experience, if her petition manages to make changes to attitudes and industry regulations.