Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 267–276 | Cite as

Injectable silicone: Cause of facial nodules, cellulitis, ulceration, and migration

  • Marvin J. Rapaport
  • Charles Vinnik
  • Harvey Zarem


Fifty-four patients with problems following “medical grade” silicone injections into the face and legs were seen from 1974 until 1995. Complications consisted of chronic cellulitis, nodules, foreign body reactions, and movement of material to near and distant parts of the body. These difficulties usually demonstrated themselves many years after injection. It is suggested that problems occur despite good technique, good material, and small amounts injected. Because the side effects are unpredictable and often uncorrectable, further studies must be performed to insure silicone’s safety.

Key words

Silicone injections Complications Cellulitis Nodules Foreign body reactions Silicone migration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Achauer B: A serious complication following medical grade silicone injection to the face. Plast Reconstr Surg71:251, 1982Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barlow R, Torres W, Sones P, Someren A: Sonographic demonstration of migrating silicone. Am J Roentg135:103, 1980Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blumenthal R: New York Dermatologist is fighting FDA over silicone injections. The New York Times, July 19, 1984Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Castre J, Brun P, Soler P, Basset F, et al: Acute and latent pneumonitis after subcutaneous injections of silicone in transsexual men. Am Rev Resp Dis135:236, 1987Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Celli B, Kovnat D: Acute pneumonitis after subcutaneous injections of silicone. (Letters to the Editor) N Engl J Med309:856, 1983PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Clark D, Hanke C, Swanson N: Dermal implants: safety of products injected for soft tissue augmentation. J Am Acad Dermatol,21:992, 1989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Couland J, Labrousse J, Carle P, Vilde F, et al: Adult respiratory distress syndrome and silicone injection. Toxicol Eur Res5:171, 1983Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Delange C, Shane J, Johnson F: Mammary silicone granuloma. Arch Dermatol108:104, 1973Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Duffy D: Silicone: a critical review. Adv Dermatol, Yearbook Medical Publishers, 593–110, 1990:93–109Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ellenbogen R, Ellenbogen E, Rubin L: Injectable fluid silicone therapy. JAMA234:309, 1975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Griffing N: How I erased deep laugh lines (and got my Madonna smile). The New York Times, July 19 1984Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Guttman C: Injectable silicone for small augmentations: twenty year experience in humans. Am J Cos Surg1:1, 1984Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Guttman C: Silicone provides safe, effective repair for defects of nose, lips. Dermatology Times12: 1991Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hennes R, Gaurus H: Orbitale spatkomplikationen nach subkutaner silikoninjektion. Fortschr Ophthalmol86:249, 1989Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jhastre J, Basset F, Viau F, Dournovo P, Bouchama A, et al: Acute pneumonitis after subcutaneous injections of silicone in Transsexual Men. N Engl J Med308:764, 1983Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kozeny G, Barbato A, Basai V, Ventuno L, et al: Hypercalcemia associated with silicone-induced granulomas. N Engl J Med311:1103, 1984PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Le Van P: The causes and prevention of poor cosmetic results from injection of fluid silicone. J Dermatol Surg Onc4:328, 1978Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Milojevic B: Complications after silicone injection therapy om aesthetic plastic surgery. Aesth Plast Surg6:203, 1982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ohtake N, Koganei Y, Itoh M, Shioya N: Postoperative sequelae of augmentation mammoplasty by injection method in Japan. Aesth Plast Surg13:67, 1989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Orentreich D: Leg ulcers following subcutaneous injection of a liquid silicone preparation. (Letters to the Editor) Arch Dermatol125:1283, 1989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pitanguy I, Mayer B, Mariz S, Salgado F: Uberlegugen zur anwendung von flussigem dimethylpolysiloxan in der plastischen kopf-und halschirurgie. Largn Rhinol Otol67:72, 1988Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rae V, Pardo R, Blackwelder P, Falanga V: Leg ulcers following subcutaneous injection of a liquid silicone preparation. Arch Dermatol125:670, 1989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rathjen AH: Down Corning replies (Letters to the Editor) J Dermatol Surg Onc4:437, 1978Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Selmanowitz V, Orentreich N: Medical-grade fluid silicone, a monographic review. J Dermatol Surg Onc3:597, 1977Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Travis W, Balough K, Abraham J: Silicone granulomas: report of three cases and review of the literature. Hum Path16:19, 1985PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Vilde F, Arkwright S, Galliot M, Galle P, et al: Pneumopathie mortelle liee a 1 injection sours-cutanee de silicone liquids dans le partiesmolles. Ann Path3:307, 1983Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Vinnik C: The hazards of silicone injections. JAMA 253, 1976Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Webster R, Hamdan U, Fuleihan N, Gaunt J, et al.: Injectable silicone for small augmentations: recommendations for controlled release to medical profession. Am J Cos Surg1:11, 1984Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Webster R, Hamdan U, Fuleihan N, Gaunt J, et al.: Injectable silicone: its history and its current status. Am J Cos Surg3:31, 1986Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Webster R, Hamdan U, Fuleihan N, Gaunt J, et al.: Injectable silicone for soft facial tissue augmentation. Arch Otol Head Neck Sur112:290, 1986Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Webster R, Hamdan U, Fuleihan N, Gaunt J, et al.: Rhinoplastic revisions with injectable silicone. Arch Otol Head Neck Surg112:269, 1986Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Winer L, Sternberg T, Lehman R, Ashley F: Tissue reactions to implanted silicone liquids. Arch Derm90:588, 1964PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wustruck K, Zarem H: Surgical management of silicone mastitis. Plast Reconst Surg63:224, 1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Editor, Silicone Pneumonitis. Lancet 8354:833, 1983Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin J. Rapaport
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles Vinnik
    • 1
    • 2
  • Harvey Zarem
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Las VegasUSA

Personalised recommendations