A solicitor who wanted to erase his laughter lines ended up losing part of his nose after a botched cosmetic procedure.
Barry Fairbairn, from Leicester, had two filler injections into his nasolabial folds, commonly known as ‘smile lines’, the second of which left him in terrible pain and without a right nostril.
The distraught man appears on Channel 5’s When Cosmetic Surgery Goes Terribly Wrong to share his shocking story, tonight.
Barry Fairbairn, from Leicester, had two filler injections into his nasolabial folds, commonly known as ‘smile lines’, the second of which left him in terrible pain and without a right nostril
Barry’s nose got severely infected after the injections hit an artery, which blocked the blood circulation to the nose and cause the skin to die (pictured)
‘I knew there was something going wrong the day I peeled the nose off the face,’ he says in the documentary.
‘My face was a mess. I had collagen introduced into these folds,’ he explains, gesturing to the folds on both sides of his nose.
The practice is slightly outdated, and there are severe risks of allergy to the substance, which is a protein in cartilage and bones of cattle.
But delighted with the results of a first injection, Barry stuck to bovine collagen instead of synthetic fillers.
Pictured: Barry’s nose during the height of the infection. He was treated by a Harley Street Consultant for three weeks and saw no change before running to the A&E
His body soon started to reject the filler, but Barry did not notice, and when he noticed that one side of the filler had sunk, he went for a second procedure. But this one ended up costing him dearly.
‘I really should have just walked away,’ he admits in retrospect.
‘The doctor said: ‘I think I bruised an artery,’ Barry recalls, adding: ‘I clearly didn’t think anything about it at the time, because I didn’t notice anything different myself.’
Barry recalls that his face looked a mess and that the pain was ‘incredibly intense’ while he suffered from the infection
But soon after the second procedure was complete, the solicitor started experiencing worrying and painful side effects, which started off with a simple bruise on his face.
The bruise quickly turned into something more sinister. ‘The pain became incredibly intense,’ Barry says, ‘absolute agony.’
After a visit to A&E, he returned home with painkillers, which did little to help, and the next morning, Barry says his face was ‘incredible discoloured.
‘It was black and blue around the right hand side of my nose.’
Barry’s nose when during a post Botox-injection that cost the solicitor a side of his nose and weeks of pain
When Barry brushed his nose with his fingers, he was able to peel his alar lobule (the outside of his nostril) off.
Barry went back to the Harley Street consultant that had injected him, who cleaned the infection for the following week.
‘My face was like a kaleidoscope, everyday I would wake up and it would present slightly different.’
For three grueling weeks, Barry stayed in London for appointments with the same consultant, but saw no improvements. He eventually went back to A&E and was prescribed antibiotics.
The skin cells on Barry’s nose started to die of necrosis and unfortunately were not salvageable anymore (pictured)
‘I was really alarmed. I knew I had a raging infection on my face,’ he recalls.
His nose was so damaged by then, Barry remembers being able to taste the antibiotic cream as he applied it to his face.
His nostril was eroding away and he was referred to another surgeon, who suggested he might have been injected with the collagen in his blood supply.
And sadly for Barry, it meant losing his alar lobule altogether. The skin had become necrotic, and could not be salvaged.
Now recovered from his horrid experience, Barry says he won’t touch his face again, even for reconstructive surgery.
‘I’ve elected not to go with further interventions because if it goes wrong, I will lose more tissue.’
‘The risks outweigh the benefits,’ he concludes.
As consulting cosmetic surgeons explain in the documentary, Botox can lead to very serious reactions when not injected properly.
Rachael Knappier, 29, campaigned to change laws around non-surgical cosmetic injections after a botch lip filler job
‘When they injected it, the filler actually transferred through an artery up to his nose,’ explains Dr Sadequr Rahman, ‘and then he started losing tissue there.’
‘In the very worst-case scenario, you could inject the filler into an artery with supply blood to your eyes area and you can make patients blind,’ says doctor Hagen Schumacher.
‘If things go wrong, you have to know how to handle this as a practitioner,’ he adds, ‘you deal with the problems or you refer the patient to somebody who can.’
The show also features Rachel Knappier, who was seriously disfigured by a scary reaction to badly injected Botox in 2018.
Rachael, 29, attended a Botox party and was seduced by the prospect of lip fillers for the price of £220.
The beautician mistakenly injected the filler into an artery, which caused Rachael’s mouth to swell within hours, cutting off the blood supply to her lips.
Waking up in a panic and hurting from the pain, Rachael hurried to the A&E but was told they was nothing they could do, and that she had to go back to the beautician who had injected her with the fillers, who was two hours away at the time.
Rachael’s lips pictured shortly after her lips started swelling from a Botox lip filler that was not injected properly
Rachael finally managed to get an appointment with a clinic, and was warned she could lose her top lip completely.
The reversal procedure was long and extremely painful for Rachael, who recorded herself screaming as the professionals injected her lips with a dissolving agent.
It took a 72 hour procedure to reverse the damage, and it took more than three months for her lips to go back to normal.
‘I was so lucky they did actually return back to normal I didn’t have any lasting damage,’ Rachael says in the documentary,
Rachael has now started to campaign for injections to be better regulated.
‘If I didn’t do my research, how many other thousands of people are not doing their research.
And thanks to Rachael’s efforts, the issue was raised in parliament.
When Cosmetic Surgery Goes Horribly Wrong airs tonight on Channel 5 at 10pm.