The big 'SILICONE REMOVAL FROM THE FACE'-topic. Calling on all patients. Please share your story + info. Let's help each other!
- Last updated: 9 months ago
When I was in my early twenties I had silicon-1000 injected into the lips. Flash forward 10+ years and the silicone has migrated, the upper lip looks stiff and movement is impaired. The vermillion border looks full and has lost all definition, as has the philtrum column. People stare when I'm out and they make comments. My social life has been affected much more than I'd like to admit for years and years. In fact, I hardly enjoyed any social life and I have felt and feel shattered as a result. I could write a book about this, but obviously it would not be of much help. I did read a scientific paper in which the psychological effects of the disfiguring consequences of permanent fillers were compaired to having psoriasis on the face, and it definitely rings a bell. The problem however is that there seems to be very little understanding and recognition for a problem that 'we created ourselves out of vanity', whereas the psychological consequences can leave significant marks. At least that is what I have experienced.I know there are many ladies/lads out here dealing with the same concerns after silicone injections into the face. I was hoping we could start a joint topic where everyone would post his/her experience with removal of silicone from the face. An informative topic where anyone with the same concern could read up on the topic and find more info on possible ways to try to improve upon this problem that can be truly disfiguring. Silicone has probably been used for (over?) 2 decades as a permanent facial filler. One would think that after 2 decades, there should be some information on how to deal with this medical issue. I will start myself: I have seen many doctors over the years and the improvement has been very marginal to non-existent: *Lip reduction surgery: I was told targeting and removing the silicone would be impossible. Thus I underwent lip reduction surgery in which simply part of the (healthy) wet/dry mucosa was removed. If a stiff lip/loss of definition are part of the concerns you are dealing with, this lip reduction surgery without targeting the silicone, imho will do little to improve that. The lip will look less full, but the silicone will still be there and as a result the lip will still look stiff with little definition. In my case I've even wondered if the lip reduction surgery could have activated the silicone in the lips more, creating increased scarring since the lips seem to have lost a very limited amount of volume after repeated lip reduction surgeries.*Laser assisted heating: I have looked into laser assisted heating to remove silicone. I was informed by a surgeon this could improve the situation and that the heat of the laser could dissolve the silicone. I found some information about the Eufoton laser. I have not taken this step (and I would advice anyone to be EXTREMELY cautious before embarking upon this). On the other hand I would be very interested to hear if some women/men here have any experience with this. It seems like a tempting alternative to invasive surgery to the lips of course, but I'm worried the laser may in fact activate the silicone. This is my reasoning, but correct me if I'm wrong: the silicone particles are injected into many tissue layers. This laser seems to be used mostly in one tissue layer (and the idea is probably that the heat will also affect the silicone particles in surrounding tissue layers). I've seen what appear to be some results when using the laser to remove Aquamid, but the Aquamid is located in one specific anatomic zone (and again: please please do careful research before embarking upon this if you have Aquamid in your face). Aquamid is not shattered all over the place in particles, as is the case for silicone. As such the Aquamid potentially could be pushed out of the incision that was made to access the Aquamid as a liquid mass (speculating here!) As far as I have been able to find out, Silicone has a melting point of 600 degrees C (again: correct me if I'm wrong). It seems highly unlikely to me that the laser could thus melt the silicone (in fact it seems impossible to me since the laser would never reach that temperature). But I can imagine the heat of the laser could potentially activate the Silicone more causing more scarring and aesthetic issues. With that in mind, I would not dare to try this treatment out. But again: I would be very interested to hear from patients that actually have experience with this.* Removal through excision: several surgeons advised me to remove the silicone in surgery through excision. Yet other surgeons have told me this is impossible. In theory the surgeon would go in, target the silicone particles in several tissue layers and excise the silicone. Unfortunately the (scar) tissue surrounding the silicone would also be excised. I was informed this could result in serious deformities, and that still not all silicone could be targeted. In fact some surgeons have told me it would be impossible since the silicone has migrated into the wet mucosa up until the upper jaw. It would be impossible to target and remove all the silicone particles in other words. Certainly the silicone close to the surface of the dermis, and the silicone along the vermillion border could not be reached without making disfiguring/unsightly scars, I was told. Has anyone any experience with this? Was it possible to really target and remove the silicone particles that are shattered into many tissue layers as some doctors told me, whereas other doctors told me that is a 'marketing scam' and that the silicone would still be present? Was it possible to permanenty get rid of that puffy/swollen look and stiffness in the lip this way? Was the result as disfiguring as some doctors told me it would be? Did anyone get fat injections afterwards to improve the deformities the exicision caused and how were the results? Did anyone get an MRI-scan prior and after surgery to see if the excision surgery had really removed (part of) the silicone particles?* I was advised MRI-scans/ultrasound scans may show the location of the Silicone particles. Has anyone had this done, and did it indeed show the location of the particles, or was it difficult to distinguish scar tissue (fibrosis) from the actual silicone particles on the scans?'Knowledge is power, please all: let's inform ourselves and try to encourage the medical community to do the same, and look into real options to get our face, lives, our sense of self back. Please share the information you have: help yourself and others, to try to solve a problem that can affect your self-confidence so much and that unfortunately does not receive the recognition it imo deserves. I have seen many doctors trying to sell me (very) expensive procedures to improve upon the problem that imo may have worsened my condition. And aftewards as a patient you have to live with the damage and scars that treatment could cause by yourself. So please, let us inform ourselves, and get as much info out there as we can. There are many topics and reviews about silicone removal and they are all tremendously helpful in itself, but I hope we can start a joint topic for anyone to find where we can gather all that info, so that it is easier to find all that info.Thank you for any contribution and good luck to all ladies/guys with this problem!