For six months after her horror liquid 'Brazilian Butt Llift' (BBL) experience, Monique was able to squeeze silicone out of her backside.

The procedure resulted in life-threatening sepsis and five weeks of excruciating pain.

Before she went for surgery, her side turned black with holes in her skin - it was there, medics discovered, she had been injected with silicone.

Silicone is not the filler usually used for this procedure.

Monique Sofroniou

A liquid BBL is the process of injecting hyaluronic acid, the same material used to fill lips, in large quantities for the buttock.

My first investigation for ITV News exposed the dangers of the procedure and how easy it is to get "qualified" to perform a liquid BBL.

I went undercover at a one-day BBL course. It began with a multiple-choice theory session and 30 minutes later I had a needle in my hand and was allowed to start injecting a human being.

Since that initial report more 150 people have come forward to Save Face, a government-approved register for aesthetic practitioners, to complain about their liquid BBLs.

Back in 2022, Safe Face had fewer than a handful of complaints relating to these procedures.

Their director, Ashton Collins, told ITV News that in the past 18 months alone that figure had jumped to more than 300.

It's clear to see the scale at which this issue is escalating.

Save Face: 'In the last 18 months alone, we've had over 300 complaints'

Save Face are campaigning for the procedure to be banned, after calling the standard of training courses a catalogue of hazards".

In just over three months Save Face has received more than 150 complaints about liquid BBLs:

  • More than half of those people had contracted sepsis (53%)

  • The vast majority of them (98%) were unsure what filler was injected into them

  • Most of them (84%) were blocked or ignored by the people who carried out their BBL after the client went back to complain

Monique was told that she almost died from her liquid BBL.

She was injected with silicone in a hotel room and has since been left with permanent scarring.

She says she woke up the night after the procedure with a temperature, her sides red raw, and she was being violently sick. Doctors sent her to hospital where they told her she had a severe infection.

"I stayed there for a week," she told us.

"They drew around the redness just to make sure it wasn't spreading anywhere. After a week it was still there, but it wasn't spreading."

ITV News Reporter Ellie Pitt has heard from dozens of women who all say they have suffered an adverse reaction to so-called liquid Brazilian Butt Lift treatments with physical and mental side-effects


Monique was told she could return home. But when she did, the infection got worse.

She was rushed back to hospital where she underwent emergency surgery to scrape away some of the skin and infection. Only then did her condition start to improve.

She described the pain as worse than childbirth: "I was in severe pain for around five weeks, excruciating pain. It was the worst pain of my life - I was on codine."

Monique was injected with silicone, so the filler couldn't be dissolved.

"I went to see a private surgeon," she said.

"I paid to go and see someone and he said, 'the only thing you can do is we can manually take it out, but you'll be really disfigured basically.' So I've just left it."

So with the numbers of complaints increasing, what next for this industry and the liquid BBL procedure?

Save Face say they've met with the Department of Health since the publication of their report - but say there's still no clear resolution.

Director Ashton Collins said: "We've said in no uncertain terms that these treatments need to be acted upon very, very quickly because somebody will lose their life."

In September 2023, the UK government decided to launch a consultation aimed at enhancing the safety and quality of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

This may introduce more stringent restrictions on how procedures like liquid BBLs can be performed, if at all.

It's not yet sure when the conclusion will be announced.

What to do if you, or someone you know, has had an adverse reaction to one of these procedures

The advice from Save Face is if you're feeling unwell, or not yourself, after one of these procedures "seek emergency treatment by the NHS". The group says "it could literally be the difference between life and death."

They added: "Don't wait for the practitioner who treated you to advise you because, often, they send you the wrong advice and the longer you wait, the more at risk you are."

The group urged those who'd been through an experience similar to those in our report to contact them.

Save Face said: "We are helping all the people that have been affected by these procedures to navigate their way of making complaints, seeking legal action and compensation."

If you've experienced complications after a cosmetic procedure, please get in touch at


In the News
Bad Practice
Press & Media
Awareness Campaign
Liquid BBL/ Boob Job

Related news articles

BBL Report image.png
Non-surgical BBL & breast augmentation complaints and complications report
bbl itv.png
Save Face Launch Campaign to Ban Liquid BBLs and Boob Jobs With ITV NEWS
BBL Blog.png
Urgent Ban Needed on Dangerous liquid BBL’s and Breast Augmentation Procedures
Guardian bum lift.png
The Guardian: Complaints about non-surgical butt lifts ‘rising at alarming rate’ in UK