Seven Deadly Complications of Silicone Injections

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


I have many patients in my Beverly Hills and Las Vegas clinic who were previously injected with illegal “raw” silicone. Often, illegal silicone injections are performed by nonmedical professionals in a back alley, hotel room or residence. The illegal silicone injections are not done by plastic surgeons, dermatologist, or even medical doctors or nurses. Almost always, what they’re injecting is not even medical grade silicone. When non-professionals acting and posing as knowledgeable, medical personnel are injecting poisons like silicone, it is not surprising that severe and deadly complications will arise. In this blog, I will discuss several severe complications of illegal “raw” silicone injections. The seven most common and deadly complications of silicone injections are as follows:



at first, there is severe pain during the illegal silicone injection. Most unscrupulous injectors do not use anesthetic or even local anesthetic. More sophisticated injectors will use numbing cream and injectables. When the silicone is injected, it expands the soft tissue and causes significant pain. Over time, injected silicone can irritate and press on surrounding nerves. Also, as scar builds around the offending silicone, the scar tissue can press or even trap surrounding nerves.


over time, scar tissue and silicone contribute to a chronic, silicone pain cycle. This leads to two common presentations: compression of the sciatic nerves and compression of the low back nerves. Compression of the sciatic nerve, results in sciatica and radiating leg pain. Also, injected silicone can migrate to the lower back and cause chronic low back pain and lumbar radiculopathy. Many patients are left with a chronic, sore injection site. If buttocks are injected, even the slightest tap on the buttocks can cause severe pain. Sometimes sitting or laying in bed causes severe buttock pain. Riding a bicycle, or motorcycle or riding in a bumpy car can elicit extreme pain.

Skin Necrosis or Skin Death

My patients often call this the “black mark of silicone injections.” Immediately after the silicone is injected, your body initiates an inflammatory response. Patients describe redness, inflammation, and itchiness around the injection site. Then, your body walls off the injected silicone with scar tissue. Once this silicone is walled off with scar tissue, your body tries to eject the product. It does this by sending messages to the skin. The skin spores dilate, and your body tries to reject the underlying silicone. Unfortunately, the body cannot get rid of all of the silicone. The skin pores become plugged with silicone, and the skin begins to die. Initially, the skin turns red. As the skin dies, it becomes purple and, eventually, turns black when it is dead.

Brain Fog

Months after silicone injections, patients describe brain fog, confusion, and inability to remember things. The current medical thoughts regarding the cause of brain fog associated with silicone are that antibodies are created during the inflammatory response to the silicone. After these antibodies are produced, they cross-react with many tissues and organs throughout your body. It is thought that some of these antibodies affect the receptors in the brain or blood-brain barrier. The antibodies are thought to alter the brain’s receptors, causing chemical imbalances.


Silicone injections have been shown to cause cancer. Once the silicone is injected, your body rapidly makes scar tissue around the silicone in an attempt to isolate the product. Since the silicone is a constant irritant, your body continuously makes scar tissue. During the creation of so much scar tissue, mistakes are made in reading the DNA. These mistakes are magnified and present as granulomas. Given enough time, granulomas can change to cancers like squamous cancer.silicone injections have been shown to cause cancer.

Elevated calcium, kidney stones, and kidney failure

The body continuously makes scar tissue around the injected silicone. Scar tissue is composed of calcium. With the creation of scar tissue, there is an increase in the calcium in your bloodstream. This excess scar leads to elevated blood calcium levels or hypercalcemia. Because there is too much calcium in your blood, your kidneys are constantly trying to excrete calcium. However, the kidneys quickly become overloaded. The calcium overload can lead to kidney stones and, eventually, kidney failure. Kidney failure requires dialysis and even organ transplant.


silicone and other injectables move throughout the body. When your injector injected the illegal product, the product had to fit through the needle. Therefore, to get through the needle, almost all injectables are liquids. Once the liquid foreign product is inside your body, the product spreads. Silicone spreads on its own and often follows gravity. Therefore, products injected into the buttocks can migrate to the thighs, and ankles. One of my patients had her buttocks injected, and six months later, all the silicone injected into her buttocks had migrated to her calves and ankles. However, silicone does not have to follow gravity. Many of my patients have their buttocks injected, and their silicone migrates upwards into their lower back, causing low back pain. Sometimes, the silicone moves and enters the lymphatic circulation. When silicone is in the lymphatic circulation, the silicone is cleared and is collected in the lymph nodes. I have many patients whose buttocks were injected, and the product migrates over the hips and into the groin or inguinal lymph nodes. These patients present with lumps the size of walnuts in the groin region. These groin lumps are lymph nodes that have trapped silicone.


When you have an inexperienced, non-medical professional injecting an illegal, permanent foreign product that causes extensive scarring and uncontrolledmigration, you have a recipe for disaster. The cosmetic deformities left by illegal silicone injections can be catastrophic. One problem is the inaccurate anatomic placement of the product. As a result, silicone should not be injected, and when it’s injected into the wrong plane, it makes matters even worse. Another problem is the uncontrolled migration of the silicone and the high susceptibility of injected silicone to become infected. Other problems include the extreme, unconstrained, and unpredictable nature of scarring around the product.

These are the seven deadly potential complications of silicone injections. If you consider injections, always check what is being injected and by whom before you inject. If you were thinking specifically about silicone injections, DO NOT GET SILICONE INJECTIONS. If you do have silicone injections, please give me a call (310)859-7770

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.