Botched face lift victims left with ‘deformed’ faces sue Brazilian doctor they claim pumped their heads full of toxic and illegal substances
Dozens of alleged victims say they were persuaded to do the treatment to improve their looks and correct acne scars – but were instead left with permanent facial damage.
At least 40 patients say they were hit with long-term swelling that cannot be fully reversed after the disaster operations in Goiana, western Brazil.
They are accusing Dr Wesley Murakami of injecting them with excessive and illegal amounts of Metacryl filler, the synthetic resin PMMA, in bioplasty procedures.
Clinics in the US and UK refuse to offer the dangerous treatment at all because of the risk involved. Dr Murakami was not qualified to carry out the specialist treatment even in Brazil.
A number of alleged victims this week came forward with photos of their disfigured faces in a bid to ban the physician permanently from practising in the field.
Many said they shelled out thousands of dollars for the initial treatment and have since had to pay double or triple the amount to try and get the damaged reduced elsewhere.
Businessman Alexandre Garzon is suing Murakami for £1,500, the cost of his surgery.
The 35-year-old said that in 2014 he decided to treat his acne scars with facial bioplasty and was promised amazing results.
“Dr Wesley told me I was going to look really good and all the pimple marks on my face would disappear," he said.
“At no point did he explain to me that it was irreversible. I thought it was like Botox and would gradually come out over time."
He added that he was "horrified" when he looked in the mirror and was given a mask to cover his inflamed face so he could leave the clinic.
After four years of Corticosteroid treatment to repair the alleged mistake, he said he has finally accepted his face will never be the same again.
Another victim, a teacher, says she had suicidal thoughts after her face "distorted" from the treatment.
"I was ashamed to go to into school and the stress of teaching caused my face to swell even more,” the 28-year-old said.
Dr Sérgio Conceição, of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery (SBCP) in Goiás, revealed that Murakami does not appear to have the specialist qualifications to practice and does not belong to the professional body.
He said: "Although it seems like a simple, risk-free procedure, what we have seen in our clinics is patients coming to us with complications resulting from practitioners who are not specialists.
“This product is not an absorbable substance and causes an inflammatory reaction.
“It is imperative to stress that people should never do these procedures with those who are not specialists.”
According to plastic surgeon Alan Bernacchi of SBCP, the substance should only be used in reconstructions, such as for casting fractured bones.
Methacrylate can cause obstructions, necrosis, pulmonary embolism and even death, he said.
Lawyers for the doctor were approached for a response but failed to reply or provide a statement.
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