"They swell up, canker sores... and it’s just bad. And it’s just something I have to deal with for the rest of my life," is what a woman named Sue says.
It's a young woman now in agony, after a procedure that she thought was a temporary cosmetic enhancement.
Just a year ago, Sue, who asked us not to use her last name, responded to an advertisement for Juvederm lip injections at European Tanning Club & Hair Design.
She tells us the Dearborn Heights salon was offering the injectables by an in-house esthetician named Abby for less than half the price of what a typical plastic surgeon charges.
But after buying into the bargain deal, Sue felt something was off, "My lips don’t feel right, and I had like a cut."
She showed us video of the cut that formed in the middle of her bottom lip.
After expressing concerns to the esthetician, she says she was told the reaction was completely normal.
Ultimately Sue consulted Dr. Ayoub Sayeg, a plastic surgeon, who while examining her says he saw some red flags, leading him to send Sue for more in depth testing.
"I went and did an MRI...when the results came back, it showed that I did have silicon," she said.
Silicon is a permanent filler and according to the FDA, while it has some approved uses, it has not been approved to augment tissues anywhere in the body.
And when it’s injected into the lips, Dr. Sayeg says it can leave victims with some serious complications.
"Overtime, it becomes hard or thick or inflamed or red or painful. They’ll have trouble talking. They’ll have trouble opening their mouth wide when they’re eating."
The body will react as it tries to reject the foreign substance. And because the product is permanent, it’s nearly impossible to reverse the damage.
"This stuff doesn’t come out. You have to actually excise it. It means I have to take out muscle and tissue. It becomes a major problem," he said.
And it’s a problem countless others still using the services could be facing.
Today, Sue wants to know more about the doctor reportedly backing the operation.
The business card of the esthetician has no physician named, but the owner’s attorney tells us it’s a plastic surgeon named Dr. Tayfur Ayalp.
When we spoke to Dr. Ayalp, he denied supervising the operation, saying in a statement to channel 7, “I would have never allowed an esthetician to do injectables outside my office. I have no affiliation with any salon or any esthetician at this time.”
So our Taking Action team went to the salon looking for more answers, but no owner nor manager was available. Later, management declined an on-camera interview, but they did respond to our questions in a statement saying:
“[[The customer]] engaged our salon for a lip injection that was overseen by a licensed physician, and administered by a licensed aesthetician; and the injection was of a product that is approved by the FDA. After the customer had services done at our salon, she contacted us a few weeks later demanding a refund… her main complaint was that she had no results from the services rendered, not mentioning any lumps. European Tanning Club and Hair Design complied with all laws and regulations. We stand by our policy in refusing to refund her money.”*
Meanwhile, the State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs tell us it's currently investigating the salon.
“I just want people to know about this. I want it to stop,” Sue said.
Read the complete statement below:
"The customer" engaged our salon for a lip injection that was overseen by a licensed physician, and administered by a licensed Aesthetician; and the injection was of a product that is approved by the FDA. After "the customer" had services done at our salon, she contacted us a few weeks later demanding a refund. She stated that she did not notice any results. After informing her that refunds are against the salon's policy "the customer" threatened to smear the salon's reputation via media and social network if we do not comply with her demands. On record we have "the customer" stating that her main complaint was that she had no results from the services rendered, not mentioning any lumps.
European Tanning Club and Hair Design is being blackmailed by "the customer." Her injections were administered by an Aesthetician licensed by the State of Michigan, all services are overseen by our Physician Medical Director. The product used on "the customer" is FDA approved. European Tanning Club and Hair Design complied with all laws and regulations. European Tanning Club and Hair Design is one of the best salons in Michigan, we have received several awards over the past 30 years and are known for our impeccable reputation, whereas on the record "the customer" has stated that she had received these procedures on a regular basis before her interaction with our business therefore it is difficult to know where or how many times she has received these procedures since her last interaction with our business over a year ago. "The customer" has a known reputation for demanding refunds and threatening lawsuits on several small businesses in the area. We stand by our policy in refusing to refund her money.”