Company which botched BBL in hotel room banned from operating in Glasgow

A woman required emergency hospital treatment following a BBL procedure carried out in a function room in March.

Company which botched BBL in hotel room banned from operating in Glasgow

A company which carried out a Brazilian Butt Lift in a hotel function room in Glasgow has been banned from the city after a woman needed emergency hospital treatment.

Environmental health officers served prohibition notices on two companies and an associated individual practitioner preventing them from carrying out “high risk” Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) and breast augmentation procedures anywhere within the city’s boundaries.

The companies are Lift Aesthetics and London BBL Limited, while the individual practitioner is Ricky George Sawyer (DERMATOX LTD), STV News understands.

The action was taken after a woman required emergency hospital treatment following a BBL procedure in a hotel function room in March this year.

Other local authorities in the UK have received complaints after similar procedures were carried out resulting in people suffering serious health complications such as sepsis.

“People need to be extremely careful when considering undergoing cosmetic procedures. If they go wrong – the consequences can be painful, disfiguring and require emergency medical treatment.”

Councillor Ruairi Kelly

The Health and Safety Prohibition Notices prohibit those involved from undertaking any BBL or breast augmentation procedures within any premises or locations within the Glasgow City Council local authority area, until evidence can be provided that these procedures will be carried out safely.

If those involved fail to comply with these notices, a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of a prosecution, where the offender could face imprisonment, a significant fine, or both.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow’s convener for neighbourhood services, said: “Action has been taken by the council’s environmental health team in a bid to prevent procedures being carried out in unsuitable and non-sterile locations. Three prohibition notices have been served on two companies and an associated individual practitioner.

“People need to be extremely careful when considering undergoing cosmetic procedures. If they go wrong – the consequences can be painful, disfiguring and require emergency medical treatment.

“Our environmental health officers are also carrying out inspections of aesthetic clinics in the city to help safeguard the public and will continue to take enforcement action when required.”

The prohibition notices were issued on May 9, 2024. The companies and individuals concerned have a 21 day period within which they could appeal. 

STV News has approached Ricky Sawyer, London BBL Limited and Lift Aesthetics for comment but has not received a response.

The woman who was taken to hospital after the botched BBL treatment has told STV News she is “really happy” that the ban has been put in place but called for it to be extended further.

“I was so worried about them coming back and anything else happening to anyone else,” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

“It’s a dangerous procedure. I was silly, I should have looked into it a bit more and I didn’t because of the celebrities.

“I knew in that room it was wrong and had a gut feeling it wasn’t right, but they are so good at making you feel at ease.”

The woman, who required emergency treatment after the procedure, said other women in Glasgow had travelled from the surrounding areas.

“I definitely think the ban should go further – they’ll roll it out further than Glasgow and go somewhere else,” she told STV News.

She also called for the Scottish Government to do more to crack down on people who are not medical professionals carrying out injectable procedures.

“There are people who shouldn’t be out there messing with people’s faces and bodies, I think it’s a good idea that only nurses should be able to carry out these treatments,” she said.

“It’s overflowing, there’s too many people doing this.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The safety of non-surgical cosmetics procedures is a concern and is something we are actively working on.

“It is a fast-changing sector, and any potential legislation has to be robust and future-proofed, so we are working with key stakeholders to get those details right.”

On Monday, the council said that in a separate incident thousands of pounds of unlicensed products used in cosmetic injections were seized from a warehouse in the city in a separate incident earlier this year.

Boxes of dermal fillers, needles and vials of Botulinum toxin, commonly known as botox, worth thousands of pounds, were seized by officers from the Criminal Enforcement Unit (CEU) of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in January.

Environmental health officers from the council and MHRA officers inspected the premises at an industrial estate in the north of the city after receiving complaints from the public and concerns raised by Police Scotland about the type of products being stored, distributed and sold from the premises.

During the inspection, a number of unauthorised aesthetic products including almost 400 non-compliant dermal fillers and 320 non-compliant needles/cannulas were seized as well as more than 180 vials of unlicensed and suspected illegally traded botulinum toxin.

Last month, people were urged to contact the City of Edinburgh Council if they had booked a procedure known as a non-surgical Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin is a medication used to manage and treat therapeutic and cosmetic purposes.

It is commonly referred to as botox after the trademarked brand of the same name.

The injections relax facial muscles to smooth out lines and wrinkles, such as crow’s feet and frown lines. Dermal fillers are injected into the face and lips to fill lines and wrinkles and add volume to areas such as cheeks. 

Botulinum toxin, which is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) should only be used if prescribed by a competent person (e.g. doctor, nurse, etc.) and following a one-to-one consultation between the client and prescriber. The Botulinum toxins should also be labelled with the name of the person receiving the injections.

Aesthetics clinics which employ a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse or dentist, must be registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). But there is no such requirement on those which don’t employ a registered medical professional.

The Scottish Government is considering developing a Licensing Scheme for aesthetic activities.

What is a BBL?

A surgical fat transfer involving the bottom is often known as a Brazilian butt lift (BBL).

A surgical fat transfer is cosmetic surgery to move fat from one part of the body to another. It’s also known as a “fat graft” or “lipomodelling”.

The aim is to remove unwanted fat from an area of the body, such as the tummy or thighs, and use it to smooth or increase the size of another area, such as the breasts or bottom.

A liquid BBL uses hyaluronic acid filler and is touted as a cheaper alternative to the surgery. It typically costs between £2,000 and £3,000.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance used in dermal fillers.

The NHS warns that BBLs can be expensive, the results cannot be guaranteed, and there are risks.

In the UK, a surgical fat transfer usually costs between £3,000 and £8,000, depending on the procedure you’re having and size of the area being treated.

There may be additional costs for consultations, aftercare and any further treatment sessions you need.

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