Risks of Silicone Lip Injections

What is the current status of the risks and FDA approval for Silicone lip injections? What results can be expected from the microdroplet technique? Is this recommended for augmenting the border and fleshy portion of the lips? Thanks so much for any advise.

Doctor Answers 8

Silicone injections to lips

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I strongly disapprove of silicone injections.

I am the unfortunate position of taking care of many of the patients who were treated by the disgraced Argentinian doctor. Many received silicone injections to their lips.

At first, silicone injections look great. For years, in fact. Then, a blunting of the normally distinct and beautiful vermillion roll and white roll occurs. The lips appear "sanded down". Next, silicone starts to move to the bottom of the lip. A trout-lip deformity results. Inside the mouth, the lips thicken. People start chewing inadvertently on their very thick lips.

This deformity is untreatable except by cutting out tissue, which of course leaves scars.

There are ways of managing the silicone injections, but they are only temporizing.

Long term, patients with silicone begin to look freakish. They develop chronic edema which is also untreatable and deforming.

I am very disturbed about the resurgence of silicone injections. It should not, in my opinion, be used in patients.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Silicone injected into the lips can lead to serious complications.

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Although there are medical uses for silicone, injection into the lips is not recommended and is not approved by the FDA. 

You will however, find dermatologists that are willing to do this. A serious and very possible complication is your body reacting to the silicone and creating severe scar tissue known as granulomas. If this should occur, the drops of silicone cannot be removed and a portion of your lip may have to be removed to fix this problem. We have had to perform this in our practice as well.

One reason you may see disagreement in the answers to this question are that dermatologists are usually the practitioners who inject the silicone but the plastic surgeons are the ones who see and treat these patients when they develop the serious complications.

Silicone Injections into Lips

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Thanks for your question -

Silicone injections are not FDA approved and represent a potentially dangerous technique for lip augmentation.

I have had several patients who have come to our office for correction of free silicone injections. This technique can lead to swelling, pain and chronic inflammation long term.

I hope this helps.

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Silicone lip injection complications

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Silicone injections should not be used for injection into the lips. The variable safety profile of silicone underscores the need to exercise caution with the injection of silicone and its inherent treatment after injection.
In my office, I have personally seen dozens of patients with poor results and facial deformities caused directly by the injection of silicone into the facial anatomic units, including the lips, eyelids, nose, cheeks, and jawline. These patients require extensive non-invasive and surgical procedures to minimize the inflammatory component associated with silicone injections.
As a national referral center for silicone injections, I would caution patients from undergoing silicone injections to the face.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Strong objection to silicone injections

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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.

Silicone In Right Hands Is Excellent for Lip Augmentation

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Silicone is an excellent filler for lip augmentation. Its use for lip augmentation is considered an "off-label" use (as it is a approved for another use by the FDA), but it is absolutely safe and an excellent treatment option in the right hands. Many procedures or materials used in cosmetics are done or used "off-label".

I do not agree with many of the other answers. I have tremendous experience using silicone for lip augmentation and have not had any complications other than bruising, bleeding and swelling, which can occur with any type of injection. If occurring, these will resolve after 5 to 7 days.

Complications of lumps and bumps ore over augmenting usually happen when people who are not experienced or who are not board-certified physicians, inject silicone inappropriately. Please feel free to view my photo gallery or website for more information and before and after photos. Silicone is permanent, precise and gives the most natural-looking results, and as such, is the filler of choice for lip augmentation.

Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Silicone in lips

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Silicone, although approved for certain ophthalmologic procedures, is being used "off-label" for cosmetic uses by some physicians. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) still does not approve its use. Yet, I have seen patients with this product.

The major downsides are potential for granulomas (lumps), infection, and the extreme difficulty to remove it. I recently had a woman in my office who I had to do a lip resection on to reduce her very large lips. You can't just suck the material out because it often is in every layer of the tissue in micro-droplet form.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

I do not recommend silicone injections

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I would not recommend it. Silicone particles could be felt in the soft lip. There is also the potential for having an inflammatory reaction that could require surgical removal of the silicone. There are so many products on the market that you could use instead of silicone.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.