I've gone through 10 YEARS of hell due to infected botched filler
30th December 2022

I’ve gone through 10 YEARS of hell after infected botched filler left me with a swollen face and chronic migraines

  • Giuseppina Baccarella, 45, from Southgate, got permanent filler in 2008
  • In 2012, the filler became infected, and she underwent emergency surgery
  • However, she has been left with chronic pain in her head and her eyes 
  • She is now raising money so she can have further reconstructive surgeries 

A woman has revealed how botched fillers have caused her a decade of pain, after they got infected and caused multiple health issues.

Giuseppina Baccarella, known as Jo, from Southgate, was injected with the permanent filler Bio-Alcamid in 2008.

According to the 45-year-old, she was ill-informed about the procedure, and unaware of the risks. Jo says she was told the product was safe and easily removable, which she describes as a widely held belief across the industry at the time.

However, in 2012, the fillers became infected, and she had to undergo emergency surgery.

Jo’s cheek filler became infected in 2012, four years after she had undergone the procedure, leading to chronic pain

Since then, her life has become a ‘living hell’, blighted by chronic headaches and constant eye pain, being unable to fully close her eyes.

She turned to private surgery to try and reconstruct her face, but despite several operations between 2015 and 2017, her face has been left further damaged.

As a result, Jo has struggled with anxiety and depression, causing her to become a recluse as she avoided social occasions. She would even avoid friends and family members as she felt too embarrassed to see them.

However, Jo is now committed to continuing her reconstruction journey and to help others who have been affected by permanent filler, and is working with an Italian surgeon to that end.

After remortgaging her home and using all her savings, the 45-year-old is currently crowdfunding £50,000 via GoFundMe to pay for the rest of the surgery she needs.

Jo (pictured before getting the fillers) says the chronic pain led to mental health issues including depression and anxiety

Discussing her initial filler procedure in 2008, Jo told MyLondon that her doctor was a ‘highly skilled, reputable surgeon’ who was also a practitioner with the NHS.   

‘I trusted my doctor, he told me it was safe, he told me it was easily removable and it’s not. Ten years later, I still have the filler in my face,’ she added.

Four years after getting the filler in 2008, it became badly infected, at which point she discovered that Bio-Alcamid had a number of side effects that were not as well known at the time, including delayed complications.

She said: ‘It has further delayed complications such as it migrates really badly, inflammatory responses, facial pain – it’s never ending. 

‘To remove it, it then leaves depressions in your face and indentations, so much scarring. It’s basically disfigurement and none of these surgeons want to take any responsibility.’

One reconstructive surgery Jo underwent in 2014 left her with hairless patches due to incisions made in her scalp (pictured)

With the filler migrating to different parts of her face including underneath her eye, Jo has been left with the fear that the ‘ultimate consequence’ could be becoming blind.

Since then, she has spent 10 years researching methods to ease the pain in her face and has undergone 20 operations. 

She was also informed by her solicitor that she could not sue as other plastic surgeons had been using that filler at the time it was injected and due to the number of repeated surgeries, they could not pinpoint who was to blame.

‘When surgery goes wrong, you find you’re completely on your own,’ said Jo.

‘Nobody wants to take any accountability, you’re left on your own to deal with it and it’s been 10 years of hell.

‘You can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that I’ve been on and it completely devastated my life. I’ve had about 20 operations, some things haven’t gone right – it’s always like two steps forward and one back.’

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