I had Aquamid injected in my lips in 2003 by Dr Robert Reed in Adelaide Australia.
For the first four years I had no problems, just sometimes if I knocked my lips they seemed painful and I felt that my lips felt harder than I would have liked but aesthetically I wasn't too worried.
After about four years I started noticing white lumps on the borders of my top lip and on the left side of my bottom lip when I smiled they were really noticeable.
I went back and saw the surgeon who had performed the procedure and he suggested cortisone injections or maybe even adding more product to even out the lumps. He said he no longer used Aquamid because of complications and he would use a temporary filler.
I knew that neither of these would be an option and that I needed to have the product removed. I had a cosmetic surgeon who I went to for botox try and squeeze the product out via aspiration.........no go nothing came out I knew then that the product was well and truly embedded in my tissues.
I was then referred to a reconstuctive surgeon and have had four painful surgeries three of which were to remove the granulomas, by the third surgery my lips looked really awful. Dents ,still lumpy, uneven, couldn't wear lipstick, it seemed that the more he removed the product would activate somewhere else,the worst being on the border of my top lip. It was actually getting worse, it was a nightmare, I had hope with every surgery that they would improve but the lumps grew larger or just came back more irritated than before. I had reddness all around the border of my top lip and chronic inflammation.
I was being asked if I had cold sores, stopped going out, it was ruining my life. I went from being a confident very happy person to almost suicidal never attending day time social engagements, only going out at night where there was dim lighting and only if I had to.
Distancing myself from people,paranoid, feeling extremely disfigured and absolutely miserable.
I just had my fourth surgery four weeks ago having very much of the product removed and a dermal fat graft where I had skin removed from my abdomen and placed in my lips to fill the cavities. Think of it like I full lip transplant my doctor likened it to the type of surgery he performs on cleft palate patients.
They are looking better now, if my lips were normal to begin with I would probably be freaking out. However, going from how deformed they were to what they look like now I think they are much better, thanks to a wonderful surgeon.
I still live in fear lumps will come back , all of the product can never be removed. This ordeal has taken away so much from me,if it wasn't for having a great husband, children and friends I dont know what I would have done.
Please stay away from permanent fillers!! They can ruin your life!!
Also stay away from surgeons who use them........they are clearly irresponsible so don't trust them.
I hope my story stops anyone going through what I have, believe it or not I actually consider myself lucky it was in my lips and not my face, that would have been even harder to remove.
Cheers everyone xx