Black Market Shots: Risks of Unqualified Surgery

Every year, countless surgeries go awry due to some different unprecedented reasons. For practiced and skilled cosmetic surgeons, these problems might be minor or can be solved by revision surgeries. For legal invasive and non-invasive surgeries, hope for revisions are available, but how about illegal silicone shots, surgeries done in beauty parlors, massage spas or even at the patient’s own homes administered by unqualified persons? What could be the repercussions?

Governmental organizations would often issue out different warnings to stop the spread of illegal cosmetic procedures and yet there will also be deaf ears turned against it for the sake of a cheap beauty choice albeit very dangerous and insurance less venture.

In the US alone, according to the data gathered by ASPS, 13 million cosmetic related procedures have been performed in 2013. In UK, the number is up to 50, 000. Add up more procedures performed in cosmetic surgery center countries like Australia, South Korea and Brazil, and the number seemed too huge to fathom. But come to think of it, if this is the number of legal procedures, how huge would be the market for illegal surgeries? Sadly, authorities can’t be able to keep track of these happenings. And this adds to the concern.

In 2006, according to the Radiological Society of North America, 11 transsexuals had pulmonary embolism after a black market liquid silicone injection . The study had 44 people studied in the course of 15 year period. This example though is just a speck in the universal spread of illegal cosmetic procedures performed  in all genders.

Black Market Cosmetic Procedures

Black market procedures often include all things offered in legal clinics, only you’ll have it half the price. The perpetrators of such businesses often perform procedure in all setting one can imagine except in licensed clinics. After the surgery, these people may dock authorities in case something happens or they may continue and go on with business in case the patient is lucky enough not to get infections.

Many of the major places that get to witness these procedures includes beauty parlors or spas all over the world. The problem here is, if it isn’t about the materials used (silicone, injections and other substances needed), then the issue could steam from the unsterilized environment. In another scenario, the environment and the materials used might be good but the expertise who administers the procedure is highly questionable. The probability of botching up everything is more than high.

People who patronize the black market shots and procedures are often those who can’t afford legal procedures (black market surgeries and shots are 50% or more, lower in price), those that are trying to scrape off a savings instead or those that has been hearing a successful surgery from a friend and has been convinced.

Different Procedure Offered

In the news (we will review some of those recently covered later), the various consequences of these black market medical malpractice has been due to procedures targeting certain body parts for operations.

The chart topper though includes those procedures that may only need a syringe and a shot of be it a filler, fat transfer or Botox. These procedures are often easiest to administer but has one of the highest possibility to fail.

Butt enhancement and breast enhancement are two of the most requested procedures in the underworld. These would often require a silicone shot or if one is brave enough, some filler operation using silicone implants. Although some of the black market offerers may use the real silicone used for cosmetic procedures, some may swindle patients with industrial silicone not meant for the body and can be bought on industrial stores which is proven to be fatal.

Other operations performed in the black market include Botox, silicone shot for the face for volumization, rhinoplasty and other surgeries.

Many who fall for these kind of procedures though aren’t just attracted by the cheap cost, they are often convinced by the black market’s no question asked policy wherein they can have every request they want which most legal practitioners may decline. Often promises were made and in the patient’s case, they have higher expectations too.

Aside from the industrial grade silicone, other substances present in the black market cosmetic procedures are:

    1. Paraffin wax
    2. Oils, cooking oils
    3. Glues
    4. Brake fluid
    5. Bathroom caulking
    6. Hydrogel
    7. Liquid silicone injected directly (permitted silicone are often encased)
    8. Paraffin
    9. Petroleum jelly
    10. Saline
    11. Tire sealant

These substances are often injected in a patient’s body masked as the real substance used in most surgeries. And the consequence? Irreparable damage to the body tissues or at times, death.

Tales of Consequences

Various negative effects of such foreign and unregulated substances to the body include:

    1. Skin infection
    2. Abscesses
    3. Tissue death
    4. Migration of substance to ones lungs and lead to death (pulmonary embolism)
    5. Kidney and internal organ damages
    6. Pain
    7. Substances turning to rock hard nodules in the face
    8. Amputation
    9. Blood clots
    10. Inflammation

Specific person who has been victims to these practice has either come out or hide altogether. Some has been highly publicized too. Back in 2010, six women in New Jersey develop complications after undergoing black market butt enhancement procedures.

Another example is the case of Renee Talley who had her bum injected illegally that later on it became lumpy and the injected material unnaturally gathered. In Thailand, another example of these practice has been done on a man wherein he took risks and had his penis injected with olive oil to enhance the size. This drastic move had resulted to penile cancer.

Claudia Aderotimi is another example whose botched butt enhancing procedure has lead to the leaking of the silicone filler into her bloodstream killing her.

In Florida, a woman named Lee Howard made news and has met death after getting a liposuction procedure from an unlicensed doctor. Howard has been found to have excessive lidocaine in her body the mixed with other drugs prescribed to her.

The License and Expertise is Worth the Price

Although black market procedures were as tempting as a pie, still the drastic and permanent damages it can incur aren’t worth its price. The risk is greater and every promises is too good to be true. The above cosmetic procedures gone awry should serve as a warning against black market shots one is planning to have.

Black market surgeons may do the task without asking, but licensed and ethical surgeons may have to go with you all the process including all precautionary measures plus all the possible consequences to help limit the possible risks.

For a successful surgery, not only will a high grade and medically approved substances should be used, it should also be administered by a licensed cosmetic surgeon who has the expertise,  skill and the training.

Government Moves Over Black Market Procedures

Although the rules are still lax in this issue, several governments all over the world has already been campaigning and is doing moves to prevent further demise in the cosmetic surgery field. These has include tighter rules on cosmetic procedure and getting to those who are doing the illegal practices.

The UK has issued a review on the regulation of cosmetic interventions while the US has been cracking down on illegal practitioners and distributors of cosmetic surgery related substances. Australia on the other hand imposed stricter law on cosmetic procedures which involved limits of procedures among teens and children and prompting the review and strengthening of implementation of their framework on cosmetic medical and surgical procedures.

Image Credit: stevendepolo via Flickr