In the U.S., medical-grade silicone oil is FDA-approved only to treat detachment of the retina. On its website, the FDA clearly states that “injectable silicone is not approved to enhance or augment the body. Such use can lead to ongoing pain, infections, and serious injuries, such as scarring and permanent disfigurement, embolism, stroke, and fatalities.” Notwithstanding this, there are still some providers who use it as permanent filler for cosmetic purposes, especially in developing nations.
There are several reasons for the FDA’s decision, including:
- Silicone is permanent, as compared with fat injections or dermal fillers.
- It is less flexible than safer products.
- It is difficult to gauge outcomes compared with safer products.
- The body forms scar tissue around the silicone, which continues to grow and can become rigid and bumpy.
- It can drift and entangle itself with tissues, making it particularly hard to eliminate.
What is Silicone Injection Removal?
Removing silicone from the body is extremely painstaking and, because the silicone granules mix with scar tissue and can result in hard nodules and even tumors, must be performed by a qualified surgeon in an operating room, with a scalpel. It is not unusual that a surgeon is unable to remove all the silicone. Although the patient’s symptoms of inflammation, itching, redness and discomfort may be improved significantly, the patient may require future surgeries to eliminate more biopolymer.
Who Should Get Biopolymer Removal Surgery?
If you have lumps, redness, inflammation, and discomfort in an area where you received silicone injection, then this surgery might be the right one for you. Since silicone can migrate to other parts of the body, life-threatening conditions such as embolism, stroke and infection can occur. Removal surgery can prevent these conditions. Although removal is sometimes incomplete due to the painstaking process that is required, fat transfer can be performed after healing to smooth out the surface of the skin.
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Your Silicone Injection Removal Consultation
With any cosmetic treatment, your free and private consultation appointment is your chance to ask anything you want to know about silicone removal. After your examination, our Miami cosmetic surgeon will ask you questions about your general health, medications, and past medical history, and will examine your areas of past silicone injections to recommend the best option for you. They may request an MRI to determine the precise location(s) of silicone and to determine if the silicone has migrated to other areas.
The Silicone Injection Removal Procedure
Most patients that undergo silicone injection removal must be under general anesthesia or local with sedation, as removal can be painful and arduous, particularly if the silicone has migrated and/or presents as hard, painful nodules. If the area(s) of silicone are large enough, your Miami cosmetic surgeon may not be able to remove all of the silicone in the area and might suggest a secondary procedure later on. In general, however, removal of silicone must be done through excision—cutting out every piece of hard silicone.
Recovery from Silicone Injection Removal
Downtime after silicone removal can be extensive depending on the area treated. You will have sutures, bruising, swelling and pain during recovery, may need compression garments and possibly drains as well. Your Miami cosmetic surgeon will prescribe medications to address pain as well as to avoid the possibility of infection.
If your biopolymer area is just on the lips however, recovery will be simpler and quicker than in larger areas such as the buttocks.
Results of Silicone Injection Removal
Silicone removal can result in scars, dents in the skin, and/or other deformities. These dents can be improved with fat transfer in some cases in a secondary procedure. If your surgeon is unable to remove all the silicone, your symptoms either may improve, or you may require future surgeries in hopes that more silicone can be removed.
Are You An Out-Of-Town Patient?
We offer free virtual consultations through video calls to give you the estimate for your procedure. Our out-of-town patient coordinators will help you with all travel arrangements to come to Miami for your cosmetic surgery.