The Danger with Black Market Buttock Injections

A June 24, 2015 story on CNN discussed the rapidly increasing complications from black market buttock augmentations. As the popularity of certain desired fuller buttock shapes has increased, so has the illegal and very dangerous black market for buttock enhancement. More and more patients are getting injected with industrial grade silicone and other unknown and illegal materials, and the numbers of complications are rapidly rising. Most of the persons doing these injections are not even medically trained and they often do so in very unsafe conditions such as hotel rooms, RVs, and fly by night operations. Patients have died from these injections and others are forever scarred and damaged by infections, hard painful knots, and long term, unending pain.

I knew this was a problem but it recently came home in my practice when a young lady came in for a consultation for a Brazilian Butt Lift, an accepted medical procedure where fat is harvested from one or more areas and transferred into the buttock to increase the size and shape. After our consultation and conversation, the patient mentioned that she also had had an “internet consultation” with a “doctor” in New York who promised her he could increase and shape her buttock without using fat, but just injections. The procedure was going to take an hour or less and she could fly home to St. Louis that day or the next day. The total cost was around $2000.

I immediately sat back down with the patient and talked with her about the dangers of these backroom, illegal buttock augmentation procedures.   It took an additional 30 minutes or so but it was worth it because she decided not to go to New York. I don’t know if she will ever get a buttock enlargement through safe, legal mean–but hopefully she won’t become one of those who are maimed and damaged for life by an illegal, unsafe method. As the CNN article concluded, if it sounds too cheap and too easy, it probably is also too risky.

 

Herluf Lund MD

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