Health Stories

Beauty blunder – ‘My lips could have fallen off’

Ellen's treat to herself turned into a nightmare

As told to Eva Lewicki

Ellen Casparian, 26, from Sydney had a frightening experience after a lip treatment. Here she tells her story in her own words.

My lips are too thin, I sighed looking in the mirror.

Longing for the look some of my friends had achieved with lip fillers,
I made an appointment at a clinic I found online.

My mum, Susan, 49, was horrified.

‘It’s dangerous, don’t do it!’ she begged.

‘It’ll be fine. None of my friends had problems,’ I assured her. 

So I went along for the procedure. At $600, it wasn’t cheap, but
I couldn’t wait to have luscious lips!

The nurse who worked there quickly stabbed my lips a few times with a needle. Without any anaesthetic, it stung like hell.

‘All done,’ she said.

I was stunned – I’d been there five minutes!

Is it meant to be so quick? I wondered.

I left, but my lips were so sore I rang the clinic.

My lips swelled and changed cover (Credit: Ellen Casparian/Supplied)

‘I’m in pain, is this right?’ I said, anxious.

‘Yes, it’s normal,’ she replied. ‘Take paracetamol and you’ll be fine.’

Within hours, my top lip had swollen to double its size. Desperate, I rang the clinic again.

‘You need to check my lips,’ I begged. ‘There’s something wrong!’

‘We’re too busy to see you now,’ I was told. ‘Send me some photos.’ So I did.

‘Take antihistamines and the swelling will settle,’ she advised.

But they made no difference. In agony, my lips were turning black.

Terrified, I rang my mate Gabriella, 26, who’d had regular cosmetic injectable treatments.

‘My lips are black, swollen, and I’m in agony,’ I sobbed. ‘Is this normal?’

‘No!’ she said.

I was told I could even have lost my lips (Credit: Ellen Casparian/Supplied)
Me after my lips recovered (Credit: Ellen Casparian/Supplied)

She rang the clinic she always used and the manager, Laurisa, who was also a registered nurse, told me to come 
in immediately.

‘You have a vascular occlusion in your lips,’ she said. ‘That’s a blockage of a blood vessel.

‘If untreated it could lead to tissue necrosis, which means your lips could die off.’

Laurisa injected me with a dissolver while
I sat there in tears.

After four hours, I was relieved as the swelling started going down.

Laurisa monitored my lips daily, and they finally returned to normal.

She didn’t even charge me. I was so grateful.

Six months later, I nervously tried again with Laurisa and was pleased with the result. I urge others to check a clinic’s credentials. I didn’t, and could have lost my lips.

Lip fillers

Only doctors or registered nurses can legally administer injectables. 

Lip fillers last around sixmonths and if done too often, can cause lipsto sag.

Most common fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is produced naturally by the body.

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