Mara Micevic of Oakville received Evolence injections in January 2007 from a local laser and spa clinic after the center promised she could improve her looks and achieve a more youthful appearance. Ms. Micevic states that “she didn’t think twice” about getting the injections because she had known many women who had gone to these types of clinics and had been able to improve their appearance.
However, Micevic reports that immediately after Evolence was injected into her lips, she could feel a set of “small balls” under her skin and was assured that they would disappear. Eight months later, she developed a bump under her top lip that began to ooze pus and blood. Soon after, her whole face was swollen and she got infections over her entire face.
Ms. Micevic contacted the manufacturer in 2008, she found out that Evolence was not indicated for use in the lips at all. However, the filler had been marketed as an all-natural filler for lip augmentation in the United States and in Canada, and was made available at several medical spas and cosmetic surgery centers around the country.
Evolence is among the newest dermal fillers on the market, an injectable that promises to fill out fine lines and wrinkles instantly and produces natural-looking results. It costs approximately $500 per injection, and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans are spending approximately $800 million per year on injectables.
Some injectables, such as collagen fillers, do have a high risk of allergies and doctors may need to do a test before administering the entire injectable.
For Micevic, the side effects were enough to prompt a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and related companies who are failing to warn the public about the risk of injury, scarring, infection and disfigurement from using Evolence. Two other women in Richmond, B.C. have also launched a notice to sue over Evolence in December 2008.
On November 3, 2009, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would discontinue the manufacture and marketing of Evolence products.