"They told me it would clean out your pores good for collagen production and overall good for your skin," says Daphne.
After the laser procedure, Carroll was swollen, in pain, having trouble breathing.
"I described if you hit your thumb with a hammer and you feel that throbbing," says Daphne. "It's that through my cheeks."
That's the pain that still exists today. The La Vergne woman rarely drives anymore because nerve damage in her face also affects her eye sight.
"It's like she went and paid somebody to abuse her," says Zane.
It's a story that sadly doesn't surprise Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Amy Ortega.
"It's really difficult to walk in with minimal training and be able to do these procedures the right way and get a nice result and also in the safe way for the patient," says Dr. Ortega.
"I think from the other stories I've heard about I'm just lucky that I made it through it," says Daphne.
Most notably, Kanye West's mom, who died after cosmetic surgery from a provider who was not qualified. In 2010, a Miami mother of 6 died after the procedure performed by a person who was not a doctor, and there are others. Dr. Ortega spent 15 years in school, at least 3 more than a regular surgeon, learning the specialized techniques of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
"A lot of people don't realize it is not illegal to call yourself a cosmetic surgeon whether you trained in cosmetic plastic surgery or whether you did no training in cosmetic plastic surgery," says Dr. Ortega. "So this can be very confusing."
Dr. Ortega says medical professionals and even physicians are flocking to the field of cosmetic and plastic surgery because it's more lucrative. An Eagleville woman wasn't asking for much, just a straight nose after a horse riding accident left it broken when she was a kid.
"In this area," says Lisa Burns. "The nose got crushed and it kind of crammed it up into the skull and cracked here."
Burns did not go to a board certified plastic surgeon. Since she was also having breathing trouble, she had the work done by and ear nose and throat doctor.
"I was thinking a doctor is a doctor, he's trained in fixing the nose," says Burns. "He said he could do it so I assumed he could do it."
After her first surgery, Burns says her nose was still crooked and scarred, so she had to find a board certified plastic surgeon to redo the job.
"Was another $20,000," says Burns. "So I've got $40,000 in my nose."
The problem has become so pervasive, legislators are working this session to regulate some portion of the industry, particularly laser surgery. This bill would follow 28 other states that already put stiffer regulations on people working in the field.
"Here in Tennessee we require cosmetologists to acquire 1500 hours to learn to cut hair," says Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna). "THis state someone can use a laser with 0 hours."
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is doing its part to educate would be patients with a full on public service announcement. We never like to leave you after a report like this without showing you where to turn. First, write down this website: certificationmatters.org. You can check medical credentials and find out if someone is board certified in plastic surgery. Second, check out Daphne Carroll's website. Just Google "public warning on cosmetic lasers". There's a lot of helpful information there. If you've been injured, report it to the Tennessee Department of Health at (615) 741-3111.
Monday, February 6 2012, 11:20 PM CST
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