Injecting a toxin to reduce skin wrinkles isn’t unusual— after all, Botox derives from a toxin. But what one Romanian woman believed to be a similarly harmless treatment turned out to be anything but when she learned she had been injected with snake venom.
Racula Crisan, 38, went to a clinic to have Botox injections at the recommendation of plastic surgeon Adrian Oancea, 47. The injections were administered below her eyes and in her lips. Hours later, she was admitted to the hospital for swelling and her face was paralyzed for nearly a year, Central European News (CEN) reported.
Crisan has taken Oancea to court claiming, “When he testified, he said he did not actually know what it was that he gave me because he’d ordered it from a Chinese supplier— and the writing was all in Chinese.”
Crisan, who lives in the town of Alba-lulia in central Romania, told CEN that the Ministry of Health told her lawyer that the substance is not authorized for use in the country, and a search on the Chinese provider’s website revealed that the product used was viper venom.
“My face was paralyzed for about eight months to one year,” Crisan told CEN. “My lacrimal glands [the ones that make tears] were paralyzed, and I had to permanently use pharmaceutical drops. I could not use any facial muscles: I couldn’t laugh, I couldn’t cry. It was terrible.”
Now, two years of intensive medical treatment has given Crisan back control of about 70 percent of her facial muscles.
Oancea was suspended from the Alba County Hospital but still sees patients privately.
Snake venom is used as a wrinkle-reducing treatment, but it is supposed to be put in a cream that’s used on the surface of the skin, not injected, undiluted, into the skin itself, CEN reported.
Crisan’s trial started two years ago, but she still awaits a verdict.