Dangers of cosmetic surgery on the cheap

February 8, 2011 8:14:35 PM PST
A doctor warns of the dangers of doing any cosmetic procedure on the cheap, especially one that can kill you.

Dr. Kirk Brandow, a board certified plastic surgeon in Bala Cynwyd, has a simple message for people seeking discount silicone injections into their buttocks from unlicensed physicians - "You have to be crazy to do that."

That's because it's both dangerous and illegal.

In fact, the only legal indication for silicone injections is for people with a very specific optical disorder.

"And they use medical grade, very fine, pharmaceutical grade silicone. Other than that, there is no FDA approval for silicone injections," Dr. Brandow said.

Dr. Brandow says people seeking a quick fix for a plumper posterior to look more like curvy celebrities like Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian need to know what they will endure at the hands of these unqualified practitioners.

"They use a needle and they inject industrial grade silicone, which we don't even know if it's even purified. Those needles, when you pass through the buttock, you can inject it directly into a vein, that's how these patients are getting these terrible complications," Dr. Brandow said.

Many victims have suffered disfigurement or long term health problems.

Action News learned of at least four women killed after the silicone they were injected with made its way into their bloodstreams and eventually reached their lungs.

"The silicone will act as a plug and it can go into the lungs and produce pulmonary embolisms, or plugs, so you can't breathe," Dr. Brandow said.

Properly licensed cosmetic surgeons who perform these kinds of procedures use fat injections or implants to achieve the desired effect.

Dr. Brandow says going about this the proper way will cost you a lot more money, but it could save your life.