20 women come forward to claim they were maimed by unlicensed doctor in lip fillers scandal
They were left with bruising and infections from fillers by Golam Chowdhury
The unregistered Birmingham doctor says he is ‘qualified in Bangladesh’
Amateurs with no training are charging schoolgirls £59 for dangerous fillers
Twenty women have come forward to complain about their ordeals at the hands of a fake medic exposed by the Daily Mail.
One woman even had to take a week off work because damage to her lips left her unable to talk or eat properly.
Mr Chowdhury runs a clinic in Birmingham and refers to himself as a ‘qualified doctor in Bangladesh’ – though he is not registered with the General Medical Council.
Last night, he declined to apologise to the women. The complaints about Mr Chowdhury come amid growing anger at the Mail’s revelation on Saturday that amateurs with no medical training are offering to inject schoolgirls with dangerous lip fillers for as little as £59.
The cosmetic treatments can cause irreversible damage but a lack of regulation means anyone is allowed to set themselves up as a practitioner.
Some beauticians target young women on social media and offer to inject groups at lip filler ‘parties’. Others offer special deals, including the chance to cut costs by sharing a syringe with a friend.
Mr Chowdhury, 41, was one of three lip filler practitioners who offered to inject 17-year-old Ellie Ducker when she visited clinics with undercover reporters.
He said her lips were lopsided and tried to convince her to have the cosmetic treatment at his Arcadia Care Clinic after she said she was too scared.
Mr Chowdhury told the teenager: ‘Your top [lip] is uneven as well, I’m sure you are aware.’
Gesturing to her left side, he added: ‘This side is bigger than this side.’ Four women have now contacted the Mail to tell of their ordeals after being treated by Mr Chowdhury.
My lip went grey… then it started to split, says victim
Hayley paid £59 for the fillers. She said: ‘They started splitting, it was like running a hot knife through butter. When I phoned the clinic they said no one was in’. Pictured, Hayley’s lips
Hayley Jarosz’s lips went grey and began splitting apart following a procedure at Golam Chowdhury’s clinic.
The 28-year-old carer from Wolverhampton went for the treatment after seeing a discounted £59 offer online.
She had not had lip filler treatment before and paid in cash at the clinic. Miss Jarosz said Mr Chowdhury tried to persuade her to have 1ml of filler injected but she refused to have more than half that.
‘As he put the injection into my lower lip the syringe sprayed everywhere,’ she told the Mail. ‘I could tell he was panicked. My entire bottom lip went grey.
‘[Afterwards] my lips were just numb and felt like a dead weight on my face, it was awful.
‘Then they started splitting, it was like running a hot knife through butter. When I phoned the clinic they said no one was in and they couldn’t help.
‘I went to see my GP and was prescribed antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines.
‘The place should be closed down, they should not be allowed to do this to people.’
Campaign group Save Face, which raises awareness about the dangers of non-surgical cosmetic treatment, said it has had more than 20 calls about him.
Save Face compiles a register of accredited practitioners, which is approved by the Government. Yesterday, its director Ashton Collins told the Mail:
‘Mr Chowdhury has created a false persona to gain trust and confidence by masquerading as a registered doctor.
‘His practice presents a significant risk to public safety.
‘We have received upwards of 20 complaints about Arcadia Care Clinic, seven of which were women who had undergone lip filler treatment at the clinic and suffered severe bruising, swelling and in two cases required a course of antibiotics to treat infection.
‘This is the largest scale of unscrupulous and dangerous practice caused by one person in a relatively small geographical area that we have come across.’
‘Mr Chowdhury and his wife have treated people knowing that the products are illegitimate and unsuitable and have mis-sold hundreds of treatments to patients who have pre-paid using time limited offers promoted on third party websites. This is not only highly unethical as its inappropriate for a patient to pay for a treatment without first having a consultation to determine whether or not they are suitable for treatment. It also means that patients are unlikely not to proceed with the treatment, even though in the cases we have spoken to, went ahead with the treatment despite feeling uneasy and apprehensive.’
The level of neglect they have demonstrated is incomprehensible, they are literally putting people’s health and appearance at risk in a bid to make money.
A Government review by Sir Bruce Keogh four years ago warned that unregulated fillers was ‘a crisis waiting to happen’.
It stated that fillers ‘can have major and irreversible adverse impacts on health and wellbeing’.
Sir Bruce, who is the NHS’s national medical director, found the industry was ‘almost entirely unregulated’ and reported that patients have ‘no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush’.
He called for a change in the law to make fillers only available on prescription – but this still has not happened.
Last night, Tory Health Minister Philip Dunne said: ‘It is both ethically and morally wrong for anyone under the age of 18 to be offered an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.’
Mr Chowdhury had said he was a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery.
He said he did not mislead patients into believing he was a registered medical doctor. Speaking outside his semi-detached home in Acocks Green, Birmingham, he added: ‘I’m not saying I am prescribing medicine, but I’ve done my training for Botox and carrying out lip-filling procedures. I’ve got my certificates. You don’t need to be registered with the GMC to do this.’
Mr Chowdhury writes he is a doctor on official forms and is referred to at the Arcadia Care Clinic as ‘the doctor’.
But yesterday he told the Mail:
‘I haven’t said to anyone I’m a doctor. I am a qualified doctor in Bangladesh, I completed training to do work in the UK.
‘I never mentioned that I’m a qualified doctor in the UK.’