Botched lip op left woman 'looking like a clown'
A WOMAN who got cosmetic surgery as a birthday treat was yesterday awarded €25,000 after she ended up with a tattoo line in the wrong place.
Anne McCaffrey (62), Scholarstown Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin, won damages at the High Court after suing Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Ltd, Malahide Marina, Malahide, Dublin, which the court heard was now in liquidation.
The award included the €254 price of the original procedure and more than €700 for lip pencils and make-up, which the woman said she had to use to disguise the tattooed line.
Counsel for Ms McCaffrey, John Shortt, said she had attended an Advanced Cosmetic Surgery clinic in Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, on October 26, 2000, for semi-permanent "lip-line treatment".
He said it was a "botched job", leaving permanent disfigurement to the lower lip. The upper lip line had faded after seven years. An examination by a consultant plastic surgeon four years after the operation revealed a pink line tattooed above her upper lip with a 2mm to 3mm gap between it and her upper lip.
He said that a line had been put in the wrong place and it was visible at a conversational distance without make-up.
Ms McCaffrey said she was coming up to her 50th birthday and had decided to have the semi-permanent line as a treat. She said an anaesthetic cream was put on her lip but the procedure was "very painful".
She said when she went home her friends thought she looked like a monster. She said she did not know the line was crooked until the swelling went down two weeks later.
She contacted the clinic, who offered to fill in the gap between her lip and the tattooed line. They coloured in a temporary filler but Ms McCaffrey said she looked like a clown. "It was a treat for my birthday and it was a disaster," she said.
Mr Justice Eamon de Valera said it was not the worst case of cosmetic injury he had come across but clearly it was very traumatic for Ms McCaffrey.