Woman loses hands, feet to bogus plastic surgery - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Woman loses hands, feet to bogus plastic surgery

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Apryl Brown lost her hands and feet to a staph infection after a discount plastic surgery procedure. (Source: CNN) Apryl Brown lost her hands and feet to a staph infection after a discount plastic surgery procedure. (Source: CNN)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - More people are bypassing doctors to save money on basic medical procedures.

Apryl Brown was told she had 24-hours to live in 2010. A staph infection was eating her body away.

"I really wanted to live. I just really wanted to live," said Brown.

The one-time cosmetologist was seeking beauty. An acquaintance offered her silicone butt injections at her house at a cheaper price than a doctor's office. The real cost would come later.

"I was in pain, my butt was hard, and I was itching," she said.

When they removed the silicone from Brown's body, they tested the substance.

"It was bathroom caulk, sealant," Brown said.

Brown underwent 27 surgeries to deal with the infection.

"My hands popped out with this pink nail polish, and I'm like, oh my god, I'm going to lose my hands. I'm going lose my hands," she said.

Brown also lost her feet. She is not the only one who has been marred by fake silicone implants.

"This is the close up of her right cheek, that shows these swollen, red angry nodules," said Dr. Richard Glogau, of the University of California-San Francisco, pointing a photo of another patient who was affected by cheap plastic surgery.

Something was growing underneath the patient's skin.

"Right, within a week to 10 days of that picture being taken, it looked like this. The body is reacting to the material," he said.

The patient thought she was buying an injectable filler to smooth wrinkles, and injected it with the help of a nurse. She purchased it off the website PMMA.com, which claims to sell dermal fillers for professionals direct to customers.

A similar treatment at the doctor costs nearly $800; the website sells it for just $100. The Food and Drug Administration says only licensed medical professionals can legally make these purchases. For consumers to buy direct it's illegal.

When Glogau removed the substance and tested it, it turned out be glass or fiberglass.

"So this was material that contained material that you know the body is not prepared to accept," Glogau said.

Glogau doesn't blame the patients, especially in a world where Botox and fillers are now commonplace, and where the web offers fast and easy access to the inaccessible.

"People assume that it's just as easy as getting your hair colored. But at the end of the day it's a medical procedure," Glogau said.

As far as Apryl Brown, she's learned to walk with prosthetics and even how to write. But her most powerful skill now is teaching others about her mistake.

"All I would ask them to do is, when they have that first thought, make sure they have a second thought about it and do a little research. They won't be blindsided, and they won't be saying 'oh, my god I had no idea that a simple procedure like that can leave me with no hands, no feet and no butt cheeks.'"

CNN tried to reach PMMA.com for comment but no one answered the phone number listed on the website.

The only response CNN received from the customer care email was quote, "It's not about product. It is about procedure."

Copyright 2014 Sheshe Productions via CNN. All rights reserved.

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