While medical grade silicone is appropriate for certain FDA-approved purposes, such as buttock implants, it is not approved for cosmetic injections. However, a number of news reports have hit the media saying unlicensed providers are injecting liquid silicone into people to make a quick buck. It has been reported that the silicone being used is not medical grade. It is industrial silicone that can be purchased, at a cheaper cost, from hardware stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Not only that, these materials are being mixed with toxic filler-type materials such as motor oil, cement or lamb fat to keep the cost even cheaper. Therefore, the FDA has recently issued a safety alert warning the public about the horrific risks of liquid silicone injections.
Aaron Rollins, a Beverly Hills liposuction surgeon, has been helping the FDA spread the word about these hideous injections. In a recent magazine interview, he stated that people all over the country “are dying from these shots” performed to plump their skin, lips, breasts and buttock. “It may look good at first, but over time, the body forms scar tissue around it, so the injected area keeps growing and growing, as the silicone weaves its way into your tissues, becoming lumpy and hard, and nearly impossible to remove.” Since silicone intertwines with the body’s tissue, more than just the silicone will need to be cut away.
It is crucial that people understand that injectable silicone is highly migratable and unpredictable. When injected in the lips, the size and shape of the lips can vary on a daily basis. The liquid silicone can shift or concentrate within one area and create a bulging portion of the lip. Repairing lip augmentation from liquid silicone can cost around $10,000 and total satisfaction cannot be guaranteed. When injected into the buttocks, it can spread throughout the body and/or appear as golf ball-size lumps. To have this remedied, the surgeon may need to cut it away or perform a procedure known as a Brazilian butt lift to acquire fat for a transfer to hide the bulge of the silicone. While butt injections may seem to be a relatively simple concept, all injectable treatments should be performed by a skilled doctor due to the importance of technique for a safe and natural outcome.
There have been reports about “pumping parties”, held at hotels, where unlicensed doctors from other countries inject patients with massive doses of silicone. This is even true of popular plastic surgery locations like Beverly Hills. A provider who is not adequately skilled in human anatomy and technique is likely to inject the silicone into a blood vessel. If this happens, the material can migrate to the heart or lungs, blocking the blood flow, and potentially causing a stroke or heart attack.