Pete Burns to sue after botched lip augmentation left him feeling suicidal

Botched lip augmentation

25.01.2007

Dead or Alive singer and Celebrity Big Brother star Pete Burns is taking legal action against the surgeon who carried out lip augmentation procedures on him.

The star is to sue Dr Maurizio Viel, the surgeon who began treating him at the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery in November 2000.

Represented by leading law firm Irwin Mitchell, court proceedings have been issued today and include the following allegations of negligence against Dr Viel. That he:

  • Failed to adequately warn of the possible side effects, the most serious of which is granulomas
  • Failed to observe warning signs on the product relating to its use in conjunction with other products
  • Administered an excessive number of follow-up injections, which was contrary to the guidance given on the use of OUTLINE Origina

Following lip augmentation treatment with a product called Evolution, there were some minor complications during 2003 and Dr Viel recommended an alternative product, OUTLINE Original. Following repeated injections of this product, Pete suffered terrible side effects including painful swelling, blisters, heavy discharge, unpredictable swelling to the face, inability to eat, drink or speak and granulomas (collection of chronic inflammatory cells) resulting in pus oozing and spurting from various parts of his lips.

Petes search to find a surgeon to treat him led him to Italy to Giovanni Ferrando, who has now performed over 100 surgical procedures to try to remove the solution from Petes lips. The situation was so bad that Pete was warned that there was a chance that his lips would have to be amputated. It is not yet known if the solution can be permanently eradicated.

Petes solicitor, Auriana Griffiths, Partner with national law firm Irwin Mitchell said: Pete has endured considerable pain and suffering following injection of OUTLINE Original. This product should never have been administered to him for a number of reasons; including possible adverse reactions with other products he had previously been given.

As a result of the damage caused by the treatment, Pete has been unable to fully pursue his career in music and in the media. He has also had to undergo over 17 months of extensive corrective and reconstructive surgery following the treatment.

Today we have issued Court proceedings against Dr Viel

Dr Viel used OUTLINE Original despite the product information leaflet stating that no tests had been carried out on the interaction of the product with other medication and implants. Pete had previously been treated, by Dr Viel, with other lip implants.
Pete said:

What happened to me after a series of injections was far worse than any nightmare I could have envisioned. Not only was it agonisingly painful but it was physically repulsive in the extreme. It was impossible to lead any life whatsoever. I was unable to leave my house as I was so distorted with swelling and I might begin to discharge yellow pus that was coming from the holes in my face.

I stayed indoors from February 2004 to September 2004 when I had to go to Italy to start the reconstruction process. The doctor told me I would be there for 4 months but it ended up being 17 months of continuous operations.

Although the doctor tried to remove all he could it was explained to me that this solution is injected deep into the lip muscle. He told me that any strenuous activity to the mouth area, for example singing, most probably would bring more of the solution to the surface. I recently did some singing and more emerged so I am now back in Italy re-living the nightmare.

At times it leaves me seriously suicidal and depressed and I could have problems for the rest of my life.

If I can prevent at least one person from undergoing this hell and point them in the right direction to a doctor who can manage their problem, then at least I can help stop someone else suffering.

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