A Russian beauty queen has told of the nightmare of being unable to close her eyes or smile after undergoing plastic surgery that cost her around $5,600.
Two years ago, Yulia Tarasevich, 43, was the runner-up in the Mrs Russia-International contest.
Soon afterwards, she decided to go for treatment at a top clinic in Krasnodar, in southern Russia.
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Before and after pictures show the shocking transformation she underwent following the surgery.
“I came to them with a beautiful, healthy face,” she said.
“I just wanted to correct some nuances caused by ageing.
“But sadly, I lost my health.”
The mother-of-two says she was left “disfigured” during facelift surgery, a blepharoplasty of the eyelids, and reduction of fat in her cheeks.
In the surgery, her face became badly swollen and inflamed.
Yulia had emergency follow-up surgery by another doctor to save her eyes from necrosis, she said in a complaint that is leading to criminal action against two doctors involved in her original operation.
The original medics, named as doctors Andrey Komarov and Omar Khaled, claim she had a rare genetic condition – scleroderma – that it was impossible to predict.
This is a condition that results in hard, thickened areas of skin and sometimes problems with internal organs and blood vessels, caused by the immune system attacking connective tissue under the skin
“I have scars that formed in my cheeks when they ripped out all my tissue,” Yulia told Russian Channel 1.
“My eyes don’t close.
“And I can’t smile.
“I can’t lift my upper lip.
“One part of my face doesn’t work at all.
“I went quietly to the operation, firstly, because all my tests were in order.
“Secondly, because I had plastic surgery before this, I did rhinoplasty, and it went perfectly for me, without any genetic abnormalities.”
The medics who performed the initial work have denied responsibility for Yulia’s nightmare.
In a statement, Dr Khaled said the case had been “exaggerated.”
Yulia claims to have spent $37,000 to try and recover from the damage, with more bills ahead.
But she will not get back her looks from before the surgery.
She accused the surgeons of blaming her by claiming she had a condition which they could not detect prior to the surgery.
“The surgeons made me the only one guilty for what has happened,” she said.
“The doctors, who … disfigured my face, relieved themselves of all responsibility.
“I decided to have my day in court.”
‘The surgeons made me the only one guilty for what has happened’ – Yulia Tarasevich
Dr Khaled and Dr Komarov are under investigation for flouting laws on the “safety of life and health”, said the Russian Investigative Committee.
“A forensic medical examination has been appointed to determine the severity of the harm to health, and other patients who could have suffered from poor-quality services in this clinic are also being identified,” spokeswoman Anna Pushkina said.
“The investigation of the criminal case is ongoing.”