Posted in: Plastic Surgery in the News | October 29, 2011 | Comments Off
This week a 30 year old woman was rushed into the hospital short of breath and coughing blood and almost died after being injected in her buttocks and other areas with liquid silicone at a house party. The silicone was not medical silicone found in implants, but instead liquid silicone similar to the type that one could purchase in hardware stores. A 22 year old woman who showed up at UCLA Medical Center from similar injections performed in Mexico died despite the physicians’ best efforts. There are many other cases of similar deaths and complications from these procedures which are illegal.
Liquid silicone can be absorbed into the blood stream and travel to the lungs and brain causing “silicone embolism syndrome” which can be fatal. Death when it travels to the lungs is 20% and when it travels to the brain is almost 100%.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cautions against these illicit procedures which may be on the rise because of patients’ inability to afford licensed plastic surgeons. Patient’s are advised to do their homework and make sure their physicians have the proper training and credentials.
I recommend that patients who wish to to have volume added to their face, buttocks, or other areas see a trained plastic surgeon for a consultation. Your surgeon will be able to discuss with you different options that are the standard of care for achieving your desired shape. When patients ask me about uncommon alternatives or cheaper options in foreign countries, I always remind them that for elective cosmetic surgery, safety and health come first. The rules and regulations here in the United States are to protect patients and are based on established standards of care. Doing something outside these standards is never work risking your health or your life.
Dr. Catherine Begovic M.D.
Last week I saw a few of my patients who recently had labiaplasty. They really felt so much better after having had their surgery and were thankful their OB-Gyn had made the suggestion they have the procedure done. A “labiaplasty” involves trimming some of the excessive labia that shows or hangs. Although it is considered to be vaginal cosmetic surgery, I would argue that in many cases the procedure is more than that – it really improves women’s quality of life. Now, every woman’s anatomy is variable but in general, most women do not like having their labia minora protrude and hang. This can become more noticeable after pregnancy. Sometimes, women are born with significant asymmetry between labia – one is much larger than the other. Most of my patients cannot wear leggings, workout clothes, or even have pain when wearing jeans. They complain of discomfort during common activities like exercising or riding a bike. In many cases, the main complaint is women feeling self-conscious during intimacy.
I know it sounds like a painful surgery, but my patients are usually pleasantly surprised at how quickly they recover. I recently authored a book chapter in the“International Textbook on Aesthetic Surgery” on “Female Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery” which describes in detail the steps of different techniques. In general, the excess labia is carefully trimmed and shaped. The surgery takes about 2 hours. The suture line is hidden along the inner edge of the labia. All sutures are dissolvable so they don’t need to be removed after surgery. Most of the swelling goes down in just a few weeks and patients can return to normal activities within a month or so. For more details please go to the Procedure Section of my website http://www.makeyouperfect.com/procedures/labiaplasty/
Dr. Catherine Begovic M.D.