South Florida

Black Market Cosmetic Procedure Haunts Patients Years Later

What to Know

  • Illegal fillers are injected in breasts, buttocks and thighs
  • Doctors say procedure can leave patients deformed
  • Silicone used in black market injections is intended to lubricate machinery

Patients who received black market injections are dealing with the painful results years after the cosmetic procedures. Silicone fillers to the breasts and buttocks are leaving patients deformed and maimed, according to doctors.

Alexandra Carvajalino says she’s still suffering years after getting bad butt injections. She currently runs a spa in Fort Lauderdale and helps other people enhance their looks. Coincidentally, in her early 20s, her quest for a better body ended badly.

“I’ve been dealing with the pain for the past seven to eight years, but it got worse,” Carvajalino explains, adding that the woman who injected her butt lied about the ingredients in the filler. She says she was told the product was safe and all natural. Carvajalino later learned the injection was dangerous and lethal. She now has to undergo an invasive surgery to stop the silicone from traveling through her body.

“I feel like it’s going up a little bit in my lower back,” she explains.

Dr. Shino Bay Aguilera says patients can suffer massive infections. Many are left maimed and deformed.

“I’ve seen horrible pictures of people who don’t look human anymore,” Dr. Aguilera says. He adds that one of his patients nearly died twice after getting the black market injections.

“The end result was to remove all of the soft tissue, basically leaving him without a butt,” the doctor explains.

In the past 18 years, there have been a number of deaths involving people who received toxic butt injections. The most notable case is one involving a South Florida transgender woman convicted of injecting silicone, cement, fix-a-flat and other substances into the bodies of people who paid for cosmetic procedures. One woman died after getting the injections in her hips, thighs, butt and breasts.

“They’re criminals. They don’t have a heart. They are bad people and they need to be in jail,” Carvajalino complains. These individuals usually operate without a medical license and offer the injections for less money.

In November, the Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide warning about the illegal silicone fillers. The underground industry seemed to start in South Florida and spread across the country.

The silicone being used in these black market injections is used to lubricate machinery.

“It’s not a medical product and never intended to be a medical product,” says Cathy Hermsen, Acting Director of Criminal Investigations at the FDA.

The three major warning signs that illegal filler injections might be making you sick include lesions that drain puss or other fluids, the injected area mushrooms into a huge purple or black bruise and/or the injected area becomes rock-hard like cement.

If you notice any of these symptoms seek professional medical treatment.

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