American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Breast augmentation should never involve raw silicone injected directly into the breast

Some women are born with small breasts and want slightly bigger breasts. Some women after pregnancy want fuller breasts. Either way, many women are flocking to underground clinics for breast augmentation. and choosing risky alternatives to medically proven augmentation methods – endangering their future health. It is important to always note that when receiving plastic surgery, it is vital that your doctor has met the requirements needed to be able to perform the specific procedure. You will need a board-certified plastic surgeon who has demonstrated that he or she has completed the requirements, training and ethical standards. Doctors who have the certification are held to a much higher standard. As the patient, your number one priority is safety.

There have been numerous reports of many off-label items being injected into the breast—everything from raw silicone and synthetic oils to tire sealant and cement. Not only are these items not safe, but they can be potentially deadly.

A patient came to me not too long ago with breast problems due to raw silicone being injected into her breasts. Her breasts became hard which caused a lot of pain and problems for this lady.

Due to the severity of her botched breast injections, I had to remove the silicone that was embedded in breast and scar tissue. Having raw silicone injected into your breast will ultimately make your body build scar tissue around the silicone, causing pain and hardening of the breasts over time. I highly advise staying away from silicone injections, as it will increase your chance of having breast cancer and complications in the future.

It is vital that you, as a patient, understand the type of procedure you are asking for and the type of material that will be put in your body. Consider the consequences that many women with silicone injections will eventually go through. The duration of the procedure to remove silicone injections and then complete an appropriate breast augmentation with implants to reshape the breast takes about 3-4 hours. The surgery for the patient I mentioned above consisted of four major steps, which started with the incision, then removal of the silicone injections, then sizing her breast and lastly inserting silicone implants to give her breasts the shape she desired. The scarring expected from the insertion of implants is minimum underneath the breast. This procedure, removal of raw silicone injections and breast augmentation, is about $9,000 to $12,000.

My advice for women interested in reshaping or improving the fullness of their breasts is to go to a reputable, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Do not go to the clinic simply because your friend or your friend's friend has had success there.

Most importantly, please realize as you are considering different means of breast augmentation that while fillers may not cause damage today, they can cause catastrophic damage to the breasts in the future. They may require complete removal of the injectable plus all depressed tissue. This is obviously not something a patient would agree to if they knew the risks up front. In addition, there are unknown hazards in using injectables like raw silicone and tire sealant.

The only injectable material I suggest for breast augmentation is the use of your body's own fat. Other medical injectables are not FDA-approved for the breasts. All other injectables like raw silicone, tire sealant, cement, etc. are, of course, not recommended. Also, all injectables (besides fat) may cause breast cancer.

Make sure if you are looking for breast augmentation that you see a properly trained, board certified plastic surgeon who will use medically proven methods to help you safely improve the size and fullness of your breasts. You owe it to yourself.

Note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a safety communication to warn against the use of silicone injections for body contouring and enhancement.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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