Silicone Injections 30 Years Ago, and Now Puffy/Swollen?

I had a lot of silicone injected in my cheeks about 30 years ago.. They are very puffy, smooth with no lumps but quite swollen looking. Is there hope to get at least some of this removed? Steroid injections did not help.

Doctor Answers 3

Silicone in cheeks

Silicone injections in various parts of the body has been done quite frequently all over the country.  The difficulty with silicone injections begins with the quality of the silicone itself.  I have seen many cases where industrial grade silicone has been injected inside the human body.  This can be a tremendous disaster.  Problems can include infections, granulomas, cellulitis, and persistent skin infections, disfigurement and skin dimpling.  It is very easy to have silicone injected, but very difficult to have it removed.  The removal can frequently be very complex and involved lengthy surgery. Multiple operation is not uncommon.   It is not uncommon to expect scars in locations that would otherwise be undesirable.  If you do have silicone, or are having problem with silicone that was injected by a non-healthcare provider then you should certainly seek medical attention.  Some solutions include IV antibiotics, oral antibiotics and surgery after the inflammation has subsided.  Removing the silicone is not just a cosmetic issue but also an issue of better health.  Depending on the type of silicone injected concerns with autoimmune diseases and infections are foremost.  Taking medications such as ibuprofen or cortisone is only a temporary measure.  The real solution is surgery.  Not all plastic surgeons are willing to operate on patients who have had silicone injected in their body.  Many of these cases are not covered by insurance because they were performed for cosmetic reasons.  My recommendation to anyone that has had silicone injections and wishes to have it removed, is to seek a board certified plastic surgeon who is likely willing to do more than 1 operation as well as willing to do some of these operations in a hospital setting. I have had patients visit me for removal of silicone and the discussion to proceed is never an easy one.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Silicone complications from injection

I see many complications from silicone injections by other physicians.  I perform silicone injection removal or IIT to reduce swelling and inflammation. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Swelling 30 Years After Filler Injections

I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in using liquid injectable silicone. I can say that I have been using silicone as a filler for over 5 years and my father for over 40 years and neither one of us has had any permanent or serious complications. Swelling 30 years after injections may not be related to the silicone, but the best way to help would be by evaluating you in person and going over the injection history with you.  If necessary, there are several treatment modalities to correct the swelling one of which includes steroid injections.

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.