Let me first start by saying that this is my personal and professional opinion as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and it comes from both my training at Columbia Presbyterian and from my private practice in NYC, Yager Esthetics. Although I do not know any Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who do the procedure in the US, and to my interpretation of the legal guidelines it is not FDA approved even as an off label use as this type of silicone has no approvals, I am sure it happens.
Despite the increasing number of horror stories reported in the news in both Spanish and English, I was still asked this week by a friend what I thought about her undergoing the silicone injection in a woman’s apartment for $1500 a session. She had no idea it was illegal or unsafe.
Virtually every week, I get calls from women and men who have had silicone placed in their bodies who are having problems. Some have open wounds and nasty infections, others have lumps, darkening of the skin, migration of the product to other body areas, redness, heat and pain. This can happen immediately, or many years later. In large quantities, I feel that liquid silicone is a ticking time bomb.
I have patients flying in from other countries, Florida, and states up and down the Eastern Seaboard for me to try and remove the silicone, and help them with these often life altering complications. While I do not enjoy these procedures, I do them because they are necessary and patients do not have many places to turn as most doctors will not even try to help.
I plead with you to not inject silicone in your body. Let us work to educate our friends and families so that no more deaths and disfigurements come from a lack of awareness.
By now, most people are aware that silicone injected into your body is not the safest option. The illegal practitioners working out of apartments and the back room s of spas and salons know enough to lie to the public and say it is Botox, or collagen or Biopolymer.
The danger not only comes from the people that you hear about on the news using silicone from Home Depot to plump up peoples buttocks, but from medical grade silicone as well. But WHY is silicone so bad to use in your body?
There is only one type of silicone that is FDA approved as safe to use in the US, and it is for an eye disorder. There are a very few doctors in the US who use silicone for cosmetics, but only in tiny microdroplet amounts in the face. The body can tolerate tiny amounts of medical grade silicone carefully placed, but this is not what is being done.
Large volume silicone is poorly tolerated in liquid forms, and serious complications can occur even years later. Pockets of infection, lumps, migration of the material to other areas, discoloration of the skin, redness and swelling that come and go for years, and chronic pain are not infrequent. But why do people continue to have these silicone injections?
In most people, problems do not occur, especially right away. By the time they notice the error, they have already sent dozens of friends for the treatment. The big danger is that the problems that do occur are sometimes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to correct.
My advice is to be smart, and only have a licensed doctor inject you with anything. Make sure you see the bottle or syringe, so you are sure of what it is, and the location is clean and professional. You only get one face and body, so protect it.