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Mother left with 'Barbie lips and a piggy snout' after five surgeries

Mother claims she has been left with ‘over-inflated Barbie lips’ and a ‘piggy snout’ after five ‘botched’ surgeries – and must now return to the SAME surgeon to fix them

  • WARNING, GRAPHIC CONTENT: Ellen Gonzalez first had lip fillers in 2004
  • She knew straight away they were ‘too big’ and regretted the procedure
  • She had two nose jobs in 2016 and 2017 that left her with a ‘piggy snout’
  • Two further attempts tried to rectify her lips in 2017 and 2018
  • But she has been left with lips so puffed up they don’t meet at the sides
  • The same surgeon – the only one Mrs Gonzalez can afford – will attempt to fix it

A mother claims she has been left with ‘over-inflated Barbie lips’ and a ‘piggy snout’ after five botched surgeries.

Ellen Gonzalez wanted to have plastic surgery after being bullied as a child about her appearance, with the cruel remarks leaving her suicidal.

The 42-year-old, from Stamford, Connecticut, was devastated when she was left with lips that were ‘too big’ after having silicone injected in 2004.

More than a decade later, she decided to brave the operating table once again, with two nose jobs in 2016 – but says she was left with a ‘piggy snout’.

Things went from bad to worse in 2017 after surgery to rectify her appearance, with her nose made even larger and her lips left ‘lumpy’. 

A final attempt to perfect her pout in 2018 left Mrs Gonzalez’s lips so puffed up that they now meet in the middle but not at the edges.

She has been left unable to smile or speak properly, food falls out of her mouth and she has to drink with a straw.

Determined to ‘look like herself’ again, unemployed Mrs Gonzalez is now preparing for an operation next month. But she has go back to the doctor who has performed all her surgeries because she can’t afford anyone else.

Mother Ellen Gonzalez claims she has been left with ‘over-inflated Barbie lips’ and a ‘piggy snout’ after five ‘botched’ surgeries. She is pictured with her 14-year-old daughter Adrianna

The 42-year-old, from Stamford, Connecticut, had three procedures on her lips and two on her nose between 2004 and 2018. She is pictured recently 

When Mrs Gonzalez demanded her nose was redone for a second time, she claims she asked for her lips to be made slightly smaller too. But the result was unexpected. She went on to have two surgeries to try and rectify the work

Mrs Gonzalez, who is sharing pictures of her face as a warning of how plastic surgery can go wrong, said: ‘I wish I’d never touched my face. 

‘I feel ugly and unattractive. I don’t want to be fake anymore. I can’t eat or drink properly. 

‘Food falls out of my mouth, and if I drink liquids and I’m not leaning the right way, they come out too. I have to drink with a straw. 

‘My goal is to go back to looking like myself so that my daughters have good self-worth and self-esteem. [I don’t want them to] think that over-inflated Barbie was the only way to feel beautiful.’ 

Mrs Gonzalez first had her lips done aged 27 in 2004, a decision she says she made because she was bullied at school.

She said: ‘I went through a lot of trauma as a child which is why I got plastic surgery. I wanted to have control over my body.

‘I was bullied to the point of wanting to commit suicide and I ran away from home to get away from my bullies.

‘When bullies tell you that you’re fat, ugly, that you would be better off dead, you do anything to change that impression of yourself.’

Mrs Gonzalez revealed a friend had told her about a woman who was doing fat shots, tattoo eyebrows and lip fillers, but it wasn’t a real clinic.

Recalling her visit in 2004, she said: ‘She injected my lips and I immediately felt they were too big but she assured me they’d get smaller.’

Mrs Gonzalez claims the woman told her the procedure was non-permanent and her lips go back to normal size in ‘a few years’.

She went to see another plastic surgeon with daughter, Hailey, in 2016 because the 16-year-old had a tumour on her neck. 

He offered Mrs Gonzalez a rhinoplasty to help her breathe easier. It is unclear why she struggled to breathe through her nose.

But after the surgery on her nose, Mrs Gonzalez says she was left looking like she had a ‘piggy snout’.

She said: ‘In 2016, my daughter had a tumour on her neck and the surgeon said “I could fix your breathing problems for you too”. He told me to stop by his office.

‘He originally did a rhinoplasty, but [my nose] was turned up like a little piggy snout. It didn’t look natural.

After the first surgery to correct her lips in 2017, Mrs Gonzalez claims her stitches became infected and pus seeped from her sores (pictured)

Mrs Gonzalez’s lips are so puffed up that they meet in the middle but not at the edges

‘It was like I had two separate noses. One part was going one way, then I had a crazy-looking nose tip that was very, very pointy.’

Mrs Gonzalez demanded her nose was redone, and as she was wheeled into theatre for a second time, she claims she asked for her lips to be made slightly smaller too. 

She said: ‘The second time he went back in, he took fat from my stomach and added it to my nose. Now I’ve got an even bigger nose than when I started.

‘While he was doing that, he said he’d make my lips a little smaller too. Instead of cutting straight across, he cut one side higher than the other.

‘I asked him for an explanation and he didn’t answer me. He said it looked good and if I didn’t like them, he’d fix them again.’ 

Mrs Gonzalez was horrified to see how lumpy her mouth was. She claims her stitches became infected and pus seeped from her sores.

In February, Ms Gonzalez will go under the knife for a third time to allow the same man to operate on her lips, hoping she will look ‘normal’ afterwards

Mrs Gonzalez, pictured with her husband, Eddie, is hoping to go back to how she looked before she began having surgery, to teach her two daughters how to be confident in their own skin

Ms Gonzalez had another surgery in 2018 to create the lips she wanted. 

But since then, her bottom lip has been left ‘protruding out’ and her mouth is full of scars, leaving her too self-conscious to have photos taken

She is also unable to talk properly, suffering with a slight speech impediment due to her lips being misshaped.

Mrs Gonzalez said: ‘The bottom lip on the right side hangs down slightly. So when I close my mouth, air goes in it and I constantly have dry mouth.

‘They were very lumpy. I’ve gone through the ringer with this. It’s messed my mouth up.

‘I got infections in my lips. I had very bad luck. All my stitches opened up and it was massively infected. I used to take pictures all the time, but now I don’t want to.’

After finding herself unemployed, Mrs Gonzalez claims she has no choice but to return to the same surgeon for corrections, instead of finding someone else.

In February, she will allow the same surgeon to operate on her lips, hoping she will look ‘normal’ afterwards.

Mrs Gonzalez is now hoping to go back to how she looked before she began having surgery, to teach her two daughters how to be confident in their own skin.

Mrs Gonzalez, who had to stop studying to be a nurse because of other health problems, said: ‘I’m now out of work so I don’t have the option for another doctor.

‘The surgeon who did it is doing a re-surgery to fix it. I have literally written down three pages [of notes] and gone over it, stating “do not cut my top lip”.

‘My next surgery is in February. I’m not feeling very well about trusting him again, but I don’t have any options.

‘I’m trying to do them as small as possible. I’ve got scars on my lips now. I don’t want to keep adding scars.’ 


Lip fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance found in the skin and other bodily tissues. 

Hyaluronic acid injections are generally safe but can cause redness, swelling, bruising, itching and tenderness at and around the site of the injection.

Side effects may affect people differently and should be discussed with a specialist before the injections are done.

If someone gets cold sores it can trigger an outbreak, and the injections may not be suitable for people who are at risk of keloid scarring – when scars become large and grow out of control.

Lip fillers can get infected when: 

1. Unregulated cheap products are used which cause a reaction with the tissue leading to a secondary infection

2. When treatment occurs in unsanitary conditions like the back of a gym or a patients sofa.

3. When there’s poor aftercare for example use of make up immediately after treatment.

4. Syringes are shared. This is poor practice but common in areas where people want to minimise cost by sharing syringes between patient. 

How to get safe lip fillers:

1. As per NHS England advice ensure your practitioner is a registered medical professional.

2. Ensure treatment is within a clean clinical environment such as a clinic.

3. Check you practitioner had the appropriate insurance and is experienced at the procedure and treating complications.

4. Always ensure you have a follow up appointment available to you as part of your treatment.

5. Adhere to aftercare and ensure you have emergency contacts for your practitioner.  

Sources: Save Face and NHS 

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  • Posted on January 12, 2020