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    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    SILICONE WARNING. A Cheap, Fast and Possibly Deadly Route to Beauty

    The New York Times documents that nationally, reports of buttock enhancement using silicone and similar thick liquids have surfaced from the Northeast to Miami.Across the Internet, chat rooms, Web sites and blogs have sprung up discussing buttock injections. The injections are administered at home, in motel rooms, in makeshift offices or at “pumping parties,” where the guests take turns injecting one another.”

    In the last 10 months, New York City's health department-- the city's poison control center has received three calls...from doctors who have treated patients injected with silicone elsewhere."

    This seems to be kind of an underground occurrence, so it's difficult to get numbers of actual events and to know exactly what these people are being injected with. ... It's important to note that none of the products that are reportedly being used are approved for this purpose.

    Silicone was not approved for injection into tissues at all, only for use in the eyes and in certain implants where it is contained and cannot leak into tissue.The victims-usually women- may be unable to afford conventional plastic surgery and tap into it through unlicensed practitioners working through word of mouth and the internet.

    The danger is that silicone can migrate through tissues, leading to ugly lumps and chronic pain as well as death if it migrates into vital tissue like lung and kidney. Industrial-grade silicone usually is bought at a hardware store. But there have been reports of the use of substitutes like castor oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and even automobile transmission fluid.

    A Word of Warning on Cosmetic Surgery:

    I recently read that “Hospital anesthesiologists were negligent in multiple cosmetic surgeries, causing three deaths”: A hospital and attending anesthesiologists have recently settled a malpractice lawsuit regarding errors during a face-lift procedure. A 56 year-old-woman died of cardiac failure caused by an overdose of local anesthetic. Alarms that monitored the woman’s blood oxygen “were accidentally turned down so that they were inaudible”. That same year, famous author Olivia Goldsmith died during cosmetic surgery at the prestigious hospital as a result of errors and still another woman suffered brain damage after a face-lift.

    Even when performed by leading physicians the same risks of necessary surgery are not that much different than for other surgical procedures. One begins to think of a “nip and tuck” surgery with light humor. But when you review some of these reports you should realize you are taking a risk with any cosmetic surgery and should fully discuss this with your doctor.

    In the next column we will deal with Botox warnings.

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice.
    For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.


    1. I've had friends over the years that have had to have silicone breast implants taken out and got quite ill.

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