Injectable treatments are one of the top cosmetic treatments for skin rejuvenation around the world. There are many types of injectable treatments to treat a wide range of concerns. Dermal fillers can smooth out wrinkles and fine lines while adding volume to areas that are deficient. The rise of injectables also means a rise in the number of unlicensed people trying to capitalize on the demand for treatment. These unapproved procedures are very risky. One of the most dangerous materials being used by fraudulent doctors is liquid silicone injections.
The FDA has issued serious warnings about the use of liquid silicone for body contouring procedures such as plumping the breasts or buttocks. According to a statement from the FDA, they are “aware of cases in which unqualified providers — some posing as doctors or licensed healthcare practitioners — have injected illegal or unapproved body fillers like silicone or oils into patients. Injectable silicone can move throughout the body and cause serious health consequences, including death…. Large-scale injectable silicone for body contouring and enhancement can also result in a painful and hard, gravel-like substance that stays permanently beneath the skin.” The statement also said, “When injected into areas with many blood vessels such as the buttocks (‘butt’), silicone can travel through those vessels to other parts of the body and block blood vessels in the lungs, heart, or brain. This can cause a stroke or even death.”
A Brazilian butt lift and butt implants are the only FDA-approved methods for butt augmentation. However, even board-certified plastic surgeons are regularly performing non-surgical butt-lifts using filler known as Sculptra. Lara Devgan, a New York-based plastic surgeon, told Allure Magazine, “I have found Sculptra to be an excellent option.”
Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic acid filler that is FDA-approved and safe to use on the face. While this type of filler has been used for decades to add volume to the hips and buttocks, it technically hasn’t been approved for body contouring. Sculptra is also known to improve cellulite dimples and soften the neckline. Even though the FDA says fillers should not be injected anywhere else in the body, physicians can use their own judgment on using fillers for “off-label” purposes.
When considering any cosmetic procedure, patients should seek out a board-certified surgeon that performs the procedure of choice on a regular basis. Patients should ask about the doctor’s credentials and know what material the doctor plans to use. Liquid silicone is never to be used as an injectable for face or body contouring due to its high risks. If the doctor is using filler that seems much cheaper than similar procedures, he or she may be using an illegal substance. Vials should always be properly sealed and labeled. Furthermore, if the label is foreign or strange looking, patients should not consent to the treatment. When a product is being used for an off-label use, ask the doctor about its risks and benefits prior to having the procedure.