Junk in the Trunk: Amateur Buttock Enhancements can Kill

The arrest of a Florida man for allegedly performing buttock injections with a variety of home-improvement products may seem shocking to outside observers.  Not so in South Florida.   We see a few a month.   Some are not happy with the results; it’s lumpy, uneven, or otherwise abnormal.  Those are just some of the patients.  To see the others, we’d have to make rounds at the cemetery.

Amateur buttock enhancers are fairly prominent in the region, where there is higher than average demand for all sorts of cosmetic procedures.  Buttock shaping is a popular procedure, and is fun and fairly straightforward to do.  Properly selected patients tend to do well and satisfaction rates are high.

Perhaps due to the economy, or to ignorance, some people allow lay-practitioners (some may be partially medically trained) to inject substances into their buttocks, hoping to get the same effect as a proper cosmetic surgery.  There are two things to keep in mind regarding this concept:

  1. There are only two medically legitimate ways (in this country) to reliably augment the buttocks:  with silicone implants or with fat grafting.

    Silicone implants are less commonly done since there are generally higher rates of complications than with fat grafting.  They can be appropriate for thin patients who do not have enough donor area fat.  But in general, fat grafting is the preferred procedure and makes up the majority of buttock enhancing procedures.

  2. Home-improvement substances such as caulk, silicone, Fix-a-Flat and cement (to  name a few) are not supposed to be put in your body.

    Though this should be obvious, not everyone realizes it.  These substances are not designed for medical use, and can have all sorts of complications.  There can be infection, hardening or destruction of tissue, and embolization (stuff entering blood vessels and clogging up the lungs or other organs).  Any of these events can lead to irreparable tissue problems, disability, or death.

Some victims may believe that they are under the care of real medical professionals, (though I don’t know too many colleagues who perform procedures in basements or hotels).  Others may not think these substances are harmful, or believe they are legitimate in other countries but not in the U.S. (they’re not).

Here is a brief list of similar incidents:

Miami, June 2008

Miami, September 2010

Las Vegas, April 2011


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