Illegal Silicone Injection Use on the Rise - Young Girl Dies from Silicone Injection

Are you willing to risk your life just to get plastic surgery at an affordable price? Illegal silicone injections are readily available in the black market, and many women are undergoing a very dangerous procedure just to achieve their ideal breast size, increase the size of their buttocks, or to have their lips plumped to perfection.

These women are not going to a board-certified plastic surgeon in an effort to avoid paying high fees and costs associated with the legal fat injections, soft silicone implants for the lips, and standard fat transfer procedures.

If you’ve ever considered increasing the size your breasts, buttocks or lips with the help of plastic surgery, you may be a good candidate for the standard fat transfer treatment. A plastic surgery “black market” that involves injecting silicone – instead of fat – into the body exists because these procedures typically command very high prices. Liquid silicone injections offer an alternative to the fat transfer method and are typically cheaper. Still, silicone injections are illegal for cosmetic use in the United States because they can cause disfigurement, health problems, and even be the leading cause of death in certain individuals.

Dangers of Illegal Silicone Injections

A 20-year old woman from the UK died at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital on Tuesday, February 8 2011, after undergoing a buttocks enhancement procedure using silicone injections. According to the Delaware County Medical Examiner, it will take a few weeks to determine the preliminary cause of death in this situation, but many surgeons and experts suspect that the silicone used for her procedure could have caused a heart attack. USA Today reports that the woman flew to the U.S. specifically for this procedure and it was performed at a Hampton Inn near the Philadelphia airport. Her procedure was booked online.

A story that ran in the Huffington Post last year points to a 2006 study presented at the Radiological Society of North America meeting . Participants suffered silicone pulmonary embolism and died after getting liquid silicone injections.

Some of the documented side effects of silicone injections include:

  • Infection
  • Respiratory distress
  • Scleroderma
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Granuloma
  • Neuropathy
  • Rheumatic symptoms
  • Synovitis
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Connective tissue disorders

How Silicone Injection Therapy Works

Silicone injection therapy is a form of soft tissue augmentation and has been tested for use to fill lines and wrinkles on the face, and to correct minor defects in the facial tissues. Silicone injections have been tested for use as a lip plumping treatment. However, there are a number of complications associated with silicone injections and when the procedure is performed at an unauthorized facility or by someone who is not licensed or trained to administer silicone injections, there is also a risk of infectious diseases, hepatitis or HIV from dirty needles. (Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)

Administration of silicone injections is illegal in the United States but can be found on the black market by untrained and unlicensed providers. Many of these providers promise “discount cosmetic surgery” using silicone injections instead of the standard fat transfer procedure, and create professional-looking websites to attract patients from overseas. Most unlicensed providers charge thousands less per treatment than a legal clinic.

Douglas McGeorge, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has been quoted in several newspapers regarding the incident of the British woman who died after the buttocks augmentation procedure, saying that silicone injection therapy is like “playing Russian roulette” and that the patient is risking his or her life by undergoing the procedure. (Source:

If you are interested in any type of augmentation procedure, make sure you are working with a board-certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon who is performing the procedure in an accredited facility. Learn more about legal buttocks augmentation and fat transfer in our information guide.