The Canadian News

Ontario woman says $10K cosmetic eye procedure ‘destroyed’ her life

  • Pat Foran
  • CTV News Toronto Consumer Alert Videojournalist

Tracey Hassell of Georgetown, Ont. said her life’s biggest regret is getting cosmetic eye surgery three years ago, which she got because she was starting to notice bags under her eyes.

“I constantly feel things in both corners of my eyes, and it obscures the way I see things. I can no longer see very well,” said Hassell.

When she went to see a cosmetic surgeon, Hassell said she was told she needed a procedure called an orbital decompression, which was far more serious than she realized.

According to the European Society of Ophthalmic and Reconstructive Surgery’s website, “Orbital decompression is major surgery, and should only be considered after careful discussion with your ophthalmologist and with an understanding of all the associated risks.”

Hassell said she was unaware it was such a risky procedure.

“He stuck so many needles in my eyes, I don’t even know what they were for,” said Hassell.

Hassell said her life now involves constantly wearing eye masks, taking medications, and eye drops to deal with the botched cosmetic surgery.

The former fitness model left her sunglasses on when she spoke with CTV News Toronto but shared before and after photos showing how she looks now.

Tracey Hassell before her cosmetic eye procedure. (Courtesy of Tracey Hassell)

It’s not just that she is unhappy with the outcome of her appearance, she says she is in constant pain and has been left with poor eyesight.

“I can’t drive. I can’t read. I can’t watch a movie with my husband. I’m basically housebound,” said Hassell.

The original surgery cost $10,000, and Hassell spent another $5,000 trying to correct the problem.

She said has been back to the doctor who performed the original surgery 20 times, but he will no longer see her, and her eyesight issues remain.

Plastic surgery is a multi-million dollar business in Canada, and the number of people seeking procedures has increased over the past three years.

Dave Hassell told CTV News Toronto when his wife first suggested cosmetic surgery, he told her it wasn’t necessary, but then felt he should support her decision. Now, he wishes he hadn’t.

“I would really say if this is the way you were born and it is pretty close to normal, then leave it alone, because the risk factors we’ve been through over the past three years are staggering and certainly not worth it,” he said.

Hassell says she wanted to share her story as a cautionary tale that cosmetic procedures are not guaranteed, and things can go horribly wrong.

“I had a wonderful life before, and it’s been destroyed because of a couple of bags under my eyes that really weren’t that noticeable. Complications can happen, mistakes can happen, some of them are irreversible, some of them can ruin your life,” she said.

“I think people need to realize that aging is a natural process and we should love ourselves the way we are. I shouldn’t have been judging myself, and I shouldn’t have thought, ‘If I do this, everyone is going to accept me better, and everyone’s going to like me better.’”

Hassell says she is hopeful she can find some relief from the pain of her eye surgery gone wrong

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