Recent medical and consumer literature have highlighted that reports of adverse events, including death, from silicone injections for cosmetic purposes have been increasing.
In studies presented at CHEST 2011, the 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), in Honolulu, Hawaii, researchers from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana; Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan; and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, California all reported cases of near-lethal and lethal silicone use. Legitimate use of liquid silicone injections during plastic surgery is rare; however, illegal use in quasi-sterile conditions is rampant. Despite silicone being considered chemically inert and used in implantable medical devices, injectable liquid silicone has demonstrated potentially deadly results. In one of these three studies, the patient died, while two patients were hospitalized and experienced respiratory and nerve damage caused by receiving injections of liquid silicone. Furthermore, death from silicone embolism syndrome has been reported to be as high as 33%. Soft tissue injection for cosmetic purposes is especially dangerous and frequently deadly, at the very least resulting in a number of complications throughout the body. Considering the potential outcomes of respiratory distress and potential death, people should be informed about the potential deadly consequences of their choices.