The cost of cosmetic enhancement has given rise to a black market of underground service providers who prey on men and women looking to enhance their beauty without the high price tag. The results range from simple disappointment over procedures that don’t work to disfigurement and life-threatening allergic reactions leading to death.
Source: Huffington Post
In the U.S., for example, law-enforcement officials and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons view black-market butt injections as a burgeoning epidemic. Men and women seeking rounder fuller buttocks are literally putting their lives on the line. The trend has alarmed public health officials and plastic surgeons who say the injections can maim or kill recipients.
In Venezuela, Astrid de la Rosa was left bedridden for two years after her liquid silicone buttock injections migrated into her spine, paralysing the supporting muscles.
There is little data on the procedures or injuries they cause in Australia, but doctors and authorities say they are seeing them more often. Online forums used to set up the illegal procedures have attracted thousands of responses. Some men also seek out buttock enhancements, but the treatments are much more popular among women.
“These butt-pumping procedures are typically performed by back-alley quacks—rogue nut jobs with suitcases full of dirty needles and flasks full of muck,” reports Vice Magazine. Because of its clandestine nature, it’s impossible to know exactly how many people are illegally inflating their butts like balloons, but the number is definitely growing.
Don’t Play Doctor
Many people dealing in black market cosmetic enhancement lack any kind of specialised training, but that’s just the tip of an iceberg of problems related to black market treatments. According to authorities, providers obtain silicone not intended for medical use, in large volumes at low prices.
The crude treatment consists of shooting a liquid substance such as silicone or mineral oil directly into a patient’s buttocks and hips through a syringe. Pumping someone’s body full of free-flowing substances like silicone is extremely dangerous, which is why, since the late 60’s, the U.S. and other countries have made it illegal to inject such fluids into the body for cosmetic purposes.
There is no safe substance to inject into your body to create more volume, not even medical-grade silicone, but these black-market “butt doctors” have, according to victims, used harsh substances like concrete and the industrial silicone sold at hardware stores in their procedures. “It’s like going to Home Depot, buying some industrial silicone, putting it in a syringe and injecting it,” said Dr. Renato Saltz, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery told the Huffington Post.
The madness doesn’t stop with the injections. When the treatment is complete, the exterior flesh wounds are sometimes closed with Super Glue to prevent the toxic slop from leaking out.
Liquid Silicone Bad, Encased Silicone Good
Silicone itself is not the problem. Encased silicone used as buttock and breast implants is still considered safe. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, doctors in the U.S. performed more than 3,700 of those legal procedures last year, at an average cost of about $US4,670. In a Florida criminal case, a plaintiff paid $US2,000 for injections at home, according to police reports.
It’s liquid silicone that causes problem. Liquid silicone injections can trigger a strong autoimmune response when the body tries to expel the foreign substance. The result can be inflammatory reactions such as polyps, boils, skin discoloration, and even necrosis.
Liquid silicone has also been known to migrate through the body and fuse itself to organs or enter the bloodstream. This migrating silicone can spread infection throughout the body and cause septic shock, leading to the amputation of the infected area or, in the worst cases, death.
The bottom line: The cost in pain and suffering is NEVER worth the low price of illegal medical treatments and cosmetic procedures. Make sure you always sight the product being used to treat you before agreeing to it being injected.