Juvederm Nightmare

I went into a med spa for Botox around my eyes...

I went into a med spa for Botox around my eyes (I'm 29). I somehow got sold on buying two syringes of juvederm ultra plus for my smile lines, lips and cheeks. It was buy one get one. i should've known then that it was too good to be true and to run! Three weeks later I was still swollen so I went back to have some removed. The staff told me I was crazy and that it looked great however I had them inject me with the enzyme to remove it. Of course they charged me for this. Two weeks later I noticed my face had gotten more swollen in odd places around my mouth. Again I went back to have some more removed but it didn't help. Frustrated I went to a new doctor who first noticed my odd jowls and face lines. He again tried the enzyme to remove the "juvederm" however it did not go away. He thinks I was most likely injected with something maybe from china that in fact wasn't juvederm and may be permanent. Of course this terrifies me. Sometimes my jowls and swelling go down if I don't eat or drink which is odd but as soon as I consume food or beverages my face becomes a mess. My new dr suggested sculptra to even things out in the meantime and I hope it works. So far I spent 600 on the Juvederm and about 1400 to remove it

I can feel lumps along my smile lines, however...

I can feel lumps along my smile lines, however under my mouth/chin I can feel particles of some sort of material or I guess it could be an infection. It's also weird how my face

It has now been four months and my face is still...

It has now been four months and my face is still looking deformed. It's so embarrassing! When I chose to go ahead with having this done at that med spa I looked online and read about 20 great reviews. Now I see that all those reviews were flagged as fake and there are negative reviews that keep getting deleted. If this place can lie on yelp and google I certainly don't trust anything they say. Many doctors believe I was injected with counterfeit juvederm, and although it was packaged identically to actual product who knows what was actually inside. I do so much research when I choose a nail salon or eyebrow waxer, yet I let an awful medspa deform my face. I hope people learn from me.

I am now 5 and a half months in and my face is...

I am now 5 and a half months in and my face is looking really deformed. The lips are very uneven and I have lines and lumps throughout my face. I can't look in the mirror or face people anymore. In going to a doctor recommended on this site Monday, and I hope he can fix this or give me some hope no matter what it costs.

I went to a new doctor that was recommended on...

I went to a new doctor that was recommended on real self by other doctors. This doctor deals with a lot of juvederm complications and even writes about them. Although he could not treat me because I am now pregnant, I got a lot of answers and feel hopeful about all of this. He said he has seen cases much worse than mine and is confident it will resolve in five months on its own (assuming I was injected with juvederm). If I weren't pregnant he would have put me on an anthistimine for swelling. He reassured me that I did not have tissue damage or an infection (those were concerns I had). I do have a little bit of the Tyndall effect going on and just way too much filler placed in the wrong areas! I hope this helps anyone else going through this.

It has now been 8 months and I still have the...

It has now been 8 months and I still have the jowls and hard lines on my face. I purchased a dermal roller which I am hoping will help.

Another month and face is still a mess!

Another month has passed and I still have swelling in the areas where the filler was placed. I also have pockets of filler. This has ruined my confidence. The pockets of filler have created deep folds in my skin where there is no filler. My lips are uneven but that I can live with. I also have blue lines throughout my face which may be the tyndall effect or permanent bruises. I'm really starting to worry that I will never get my original face back. All from an impulse day at the med spa.

Updated photos

11 months later

After 11 months most doctors will tell you that any juvederm you have will be gone with no side effects. This has not been the case for me. I still have hard lumps on the side of my mouth which cause the skin on the sides under my lips to sag and look like I have jowls. I also have purple discoloration throughout that is difficult to cover with makeup. My face changes throughout te day from puffy to wrinkly.

Things have only gotten worse

I've had absolutely no improvement. Everytime I think it may be getting better my the areas where filler was placed puffs back up. I look very unnatural -worse than the celebrities on those bad plastic surgery websites. I really hope I wasn't injected with silicone. It came in an unopened juvederm bottle but I now know that doesn't mean a whole lot. I can't look in mirrors anymore without crying and I no longer leave the house. What's crazy is that the area I'm having all these issues in (my mouth) is an area I didnt even want filler. If anyone knows of a dr in fl that will surgically remove this please message me. Drs I've spoken with either try selling me more filler or send me home because they don't want any responsibility for this disfigurement.

Medical records

Today I went to get a copy of my medical records from the med spa. I'm still not sure why they're important. I mean if a business is shady enough to buy counterfeit juvederm or tamper with the syringe then I'm sure they would have no problem falsifying medical records. While there I was told I'd have to come back Monday for my records. They asked me to take a photo holding up a paper. When i told them I was uncomfortable with this the woman grabbed the paper from me so I couldn't see what was on there. I'm almost positive they were trying to take that photo to use as my before and the paper prob had the date I first had these injections written on it. I am so disgusted by all of this.

Medical records

I finally received my medical records. Here is my clinical before.

Swollen

Swelling is bad again. Here is a current photo. This is not normal weight gain or a positive change like the medspa insisted

This stuff just won't go away

Here are some more recent photos.

19 months

Not only do I look terrible, but I'm also in a ton of pain.
Zhanna Zitsbank (PA)

Big mistake! My face is now destroyed!

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (225)

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Sandy, it sounds like you might have a biofilm infection, in which case you would need a long course of treatment with powerful antibiotics and to have the filler dissolved and/or removed. Do a search on RealSelf for "biofilm fillers" and you will learn more.
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my ps has his girl give a facial before he injects, had fine lines around lips done, know bruising just mild swelling. an lasted a yr. want to get eyes done but to scared.
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Terry63, Did you mean to post this somewhere else? I'm not sure how this is relevant to depressedgirl's painstaking account of what filler has done to her face and her confidence.
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And the medical records say what filler was injected? There should be a label from the syringe? What does it say?
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Hey how are you doing these days? Congrats on your pregnancy - when are you due? I just want to let you know despite the swelling and pain you're enduring, you are really a pretty girl! Chin up. It will resolve. I am working on my own issues with a bad juvederm experience...same as you, quick decision that has led me down a pretty traumatic road. Having had no bad experience before with fillers, I just had no idea this could happen. It's in my left cheek. And like you, even though I'm being treated with hyalurondidase and bactrim (antibiotic) and by a great PS, every day is a new look. It still aches, it's still swollen and I can barely smile (my left lip can lift). I got the injection in Nov '13 and the problems started in March '14. I hope and pray this resolves soon. Take care! Biggyc
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Thank you. I'm so sorry you're going through this nightmare too!! How long have you been on bactrim? Is it helping at all? I'm having an ultrasound done of my face next week to get a better idea of what's going on. I had the baby and he's perfect. He's already 9 months old.
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9 months old already? No wonder you haven't been posting much in recent months. You've been busy! Think about you a lot, wondering how you are doing and wishing you permanent resolution of this problem.
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Congratulations on your new baby boy! That's really sweet. I never thought about an ultrasound but that's a good idea. My PS had mentioned that if our current plan doesn't work, he suggested a CT. I have a mid face implant...the concern is that the biofilm infection may have reached it. Hard to know, but I will say, this is very resistant. The Bactrim seems to be working. I've had 3 shots of hyaludrondaise - the most recent was just Friday afternoon and am on week three of Bactrim. It is better! The swelling is reducing...but you'd think it wouldn't take so long. That's the concern I have. I think after 2 weeks we'll consider whether to take the implant out, and try again later. Which just....oh man....that part really bums me out. I got them put in in 2012, they were great and the juvederm was so flukey. Man have I learned so much by this experience. However, I wish the hell it was over. But keeping the faith, and knowing that it will resolve, in the meantime, I'm just going to keep on keeping on. It has curbed my social life a bit...but you know what, screw it! I'm going to live despite my current * :) asymmetry. Life is more important. AND I swear, I will never risk fillers again. Something I so easily had and trusted and never had issues with before over the years (prior to the mid face implants). Anyway, I am glad you have your son and let us know how it goes with your ultrasound! Biggyc
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I haven't gotten my u/s results back yet but I did see the derm a few hours from me. She put me on biaxin and said to call if that doesn't work so she can prescribe something stronger.
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So after looking over your medical recordds, are you convinced that they were totally fabricated? This business seems absolutely shady and unethical and I would not be surprised if the LOT and Batch numbers were also counterfeit. Did you see they remove the syringes directly from the package? You said the Juvederm was drawn up from a bottle? It should be a syringe. I really suspect that this was indeed some sort of mystery counterfeit substance.
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Did you have your baby?
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Sorry about your experience :( hugs
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so long as the doctor adhered to general standards of care-they cleaned the injection sites with alcohol and used product from the manufacturer (all syringes have a serial number that the doctor records before treatment), there's really no basis for a law suit. an infection from bio film contamination is part of the risk of the procedure. and unfortunately, not every bad medical outcome has a legal remedy. the doctor only has to show they acted within established guidlines of medical practice per the community and product application as approved by the manufacturer and the fda. a lot of doctors are very reluctant to accept these patients for treatment because they know the patient may not be happy even with the best possible outcome. if you tell a dotor you're sueing the prior doctor who treated you for the condition, they probably will refuse to treat you.
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I see. I did not know this :(. Thanks for all the great information ! You really know your stuff. I do myself get juvederm injections and never knew about bio films just until recent.
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Cleaning the injection site with an alcohol swab is not adequate to prevent bacteria from being introduced at the injection site and to prevent a biofilm infection. It is now recommended that the area be swabbed with Betadine and that the skin be as clean and sterilized as it would be prior to surgery.
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Sorry to hear about your horrible experience. Did you for sure rule out 100% that it is indeed not a bio film infection ? I know this is happening to more women these days. If you were injected with a foreign substance I am darn sure you have a law suit you can file!!!!! This is something that was not your fault !!! Get to the botom of this. I know its stressful but this Dr. or whatever they are needs to be stopped.
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the juvaderm should eventually will away. in about a year it's all gone. however, the skin does make new collagen in response to the stretching of the dermis. as for bio film, best practicse is not to inject through acne or skin infections. one medical paper from sweden suggests patients take 2 different broad-spectrum antibiotics 5 hours before the scheduled injection time. i can't tell if that was an allergic reaction or what. but juvaderm shouldn't have caused problems like that unless is wasn't injected right. if you review the publications you find that most bad results from dermal fillers come from poor injection technique.
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juvaderm is considered safe to use anywhere, even between and under the eyes. frankly i suspect a lot of docs have jumped on this because it can generate a load of money for the practice. a licensed plastic surgeon can make a lot more money doing injectibles full time than they can doing complex, risky and time-consuming operations like breast reconstructions and scar revisions. i suspect a lot of doctors doing injections aren't well trained, and bad patient results are, sadly, part of their 'learning curve.'
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Did you read her time line above? She's already past the year mark. Also, in my own experience with filler, it takes much longer to break this stuff down than the marketing crap suggests. I wish every single day that this 6-12 month fairy tale were true, but if you really read the studies behind the marketing, you'll find that in NONE of them do they determine at what point all filler is gone in all patients. It is terrifying for those of us who just want our face back.
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such is life, sometimes, messing with your face, trying to make it look better, can backfire on you, is just luck, you didn't do enough research, this is why cheapening out on plastic surgery is not good
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I didn't consider injectables plastic surgery at the time. The place I went to had incredible online reviews when I went which turned out to be fake. I am sharing my story so it doesn't happen to someone else. I don't think anyone deserves to be injected with an illegal substance no matter how insecure they are.
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To respond to Kane, I agree with depressed girl. Injectibles are not plastic surgery. Anyone can end up with a biofilm infection. I was injected by a highly regarded, excellent plastic surgeon with impeccable credentials and great reviews, and still developed a biofilm infection from the filler, a risk that most plastic surgeons and dermatologists are still unaware of and are not informed how to treat. Yes, all cosmetic procedures have risks, but when someone experiences a rare complication and is suffering the consequences, implying that it is their fault is unkind, untruthful, and doesn't help.
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My point is that everyone should do lots of research before getting any procedure done. I have researched image medical spa, and they don't have the greatest of reputations. The reality is that you never how your body will react to any procedure, especially fillers like this, the same can doctor can inject fillers to a person, and have incredible results, while another person may develop problem like the pictures, despite the doctor doing a good job, this is why I said, such is life, whenever you get a cosmetic procedure, you are taking a risk
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