LOS ANGELES (WFLA) – A California woman says her search for discount plastic surgery ended in a nightmare that cost her her hands and feet.
Apryl Brown says an acquaintance was offering silicone butt injections at her house, at a cheaper price than a doctor’s office. However, the real cost would come later.
“I was in pain, my butt was hard, and I was itching,” Brown told a CNN reporter.
It turned out to be a life-threatening staph infection. When doctors removed the silicone, they found it was bathroom caulk, the same stuff you can buy at Home Depot.
Brown needed 27 surgeries, and she lost her hands and feet. At one point, she thought she was going to die.
She is not the only woman seeking discount beauty who ended up paying a high price.
Dr. Richard Glogau, at the University of California-San Francisco, says one of his patients thought she was buying an injectable filler to smooth wrinkles. She bought it from a website, and injected it with the help of a nurse.
Within a week to ten days, swollen red nodules appeared on the woman’s face. Dr. Glogau removed the substance, and found it was glass, or fiberglass.
The website where she bought the injection, pmma.com, claims to sell dermal fillers for professionals directly to customers. A similar treatment at a doctor’s office costs nearly $800. The website sells it for just $100.
The FDA says only licensed medical professionals can legally make these purchases.
Dr. Glogau says he doesn’t blame the patients, in a time when the web claims to offer fast and easy access to things customers might ordinarily not be able to afford.
“People assume that it’s just as easy as getting your hair colored,” said Dr. Glogau. “But at the end of the day, it’s a medical procedure.”
Apryl Brown has learned to walk and write using prosthetics. She says her goal is to educate others so they don’t make the same mistake as she did.
“All I would ask them to do is, when they have that first thought, make sure they have a second thought about it and do a little research,” Brown said. “They won’t be blindsided, and they won’t be saying ‘oh my god I had no idea that a simple procedure like that can leave me with no hands, no feet and no butt cheeks’.”
CNN staff tried to reach pmma.com for comment, but no one answered the phone. A customer care email said only “it’s not about product. It is about procedure.”
CNN Newsource contributed to this report.
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