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Dangers of Silicone Fillers

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Friday, July 3, 2015

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I had silicone injections in my lips 12 years ago. I was happy with the results but as I’ve aged I would like my lips to be even fuller. Why do you not perform silicone filler injections?

Answer: Silicone injections can be very dangerous. It is well known that facial deformities, loss of body parts and even death after silicone injections have occurred. Additionally, these complications can happen even 20 years after your treatment.

Amongst its most serious complications is embolization of silicone particles which can block arteries to body areas far away from the original injection site resulting in infection, tissue loss and even death. While silicone has the benefit of being a permanent injectable filler, I don’t use silicone for the above reasons.

Because of the risks of Silicone, many misconceptions exist about long term or permanent fillers in general. Many doctors and patients alike falsely assume that all long-term fillers are the same and not safe.

In marked contrast to silicone, Bellafill is a very safe long-term filler with the incidence of granulomas being less than 1 percent in the United States. Unlike silicone, the volumization that occurs from Bellafill is due to stimulation of your own body’s collagen. Additionally, the embolization risks with silicone, resulting in tissue death in areas far away from the site of injection have not been described with Bellafill to my knowledge.

Careful consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon to assess your volumization needs as well as your suitability for temporary or long-term fillers is the first step.

It is a misconception to think you should only seek a surgeon for surgery. Facial Plastic Surgeons have in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and expertise in both non-surgical and surgical facial aesthetic treatments. An alarmingly growing number of doctors, not board certified in plastic surgery, are performing cosmetic treatments. Each time you have a non-surgical cosmetic procedure by a less qualified doctor, you increase your risk of complications and poorer results. When it comes to your face, why would you consider less than a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon? Go to www.abfprs.org to verify that your doctor is board certified in Facial Plastic Surgery.
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