DIY plastic surgery can face dangerous results

Published: Sep. 5, 2017 at 3:52 PM EDT
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Plastic surgery techniques have never been better at turning back the clock, but many of those procedures are expensive today. More than $13 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures last year alone.

Now, doctors are seeing some disturbing trends as more people look to cut corners but find sometimes dangerous results.

Tracie Samara’s nightmare innocently started eleven years ago.

“At 44, I wanted to get back into modeling," she said.

After seeing an ad in the paper about a contest that offered free non-invasive facial rejuvenation, Tracie jumped at it.

“It took me a while to realize something very wrong was going on," she said.

She says she was bruised, swollen and nearly blinded by the injection around her eyes. John J. Martin, a cosmetic ophthalmic and 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.”

Doctor Martin says these “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," he said. "How hard could that be?”

However, experts warn permanent disfigurement is a real possibility.

“So they saved money by doing it themselves," said Doctor Martin. "And now they're going to have to pay so much more to try and take care of it.”

Tracie had no idea what she had injected into her face.

“You can ask them, 'What are you using?'" said Doctor Martin. "It should come in a box; it should have the name of the product on it.”

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," said Tracie. "And I hope I come back even stronger.”

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.