Woman Disfigured From At-Home Silicone Injection

Reporting
Esme Murphy

(WCCO)

In a down economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut corners even when it comes to beauty. Products like Botox, silicone and Restalyn are being used by everyone from Hollywood stars to your next door neighbor.

A black market has developed for some of these and other products. One Twin Cities mother decided to speak out about what happened to her after she tried to save money by injecting herself with silicone.

“I really though that I was getting a bargain and I really didn’t do my homework like I should have,” said the woman who did not want to be identified.

Her lips and left cheek are disfigured from silicone she self-injected. She was trying to make her upper lip fuller and fill acne scars.

A year and a half ago, another doctor had given her silicone injections. That treatment went well but it wasn’t cheap. It was $2700 for a series of three treatment.

So she turned to the Internet and found a site advertising silicone for $10.

The site clearly says the product is to be used externally as a personal lubricant. She thought because it was 100 percent silicone she could inject it. She bought the syringes at a local pharmacy.

“Initially I thought I did a good job,” she said.

However, within a day her lips and cheek were disfigured.

“Its very frightening, its very embarrassing having to be in public,” she said.

The doctor who is helping her, Dr. Edward Szachowicz, fears in this weak economy more and more patients may try to do their own injections. At his office the price of injectable fillers ranges from $250 to $800. The products last anywhere from four months to up to 18 months.

“I believe that what happened to our patient is a sign of the times,” said Szachowicz.

Szachowicz said patients are turning to the Internet, especially overseas sites.

“They are actually getting product in their hands that wasn’t previously available,” he said.

Now this Twin Cities mother will be going to California to consult with a plastic surgeon. She faces thousands of dollars in medical bills.

“I feel that some of it can be fixed. I don’t know how much,” she said.

Now she wants to warn others.

“Don’t do it,” she said. “You don’t know what you are getting especially if you’re buying these products off the Internet.”

While doctors warn about trying to inject any of these cosmetic fillers, silicone carries one of the biggest risks because, unlike Botox and collagen, which eventually are absorbed into the body, silicone is permanent. (wcco.com)