en español: Inyecciones de silicona
Do not get silicone injections. Injected silicone can and does kill several transgender women a year and disfigures many more. Rather than just say it’s bad, it’s important to get the word out with examples of why it’s bad.
In many places, silicone injections (getting “pumped“) is illegal and can be very dangerous. Because this site uses a harm reduction model, the information below is designed to reduce the chances of injury or death if you decide to get it done anyway.
I’ve compiled a list of articles as well as selected medical data, starting with published reports of death and disfigurements in our community. I’ve also started a list of tips on reducing risks.
The most common causes of death immediately following a silicone injection are from an immune response which causes the lungs to fill with fluid, or from a pulmonary embolism. Imagine literally drowning in mucus and silicone filling your lungs. Not a great way to go.
Both an immune response and an embolism can cause rapid and certain death unless immediate emergency medical attention is sought at the first sign of itchiness, dizziness or difficulty breathing. One way to reduce risk is to do tiny amounts in several sessions, rather than huge amounts, especially on the first session.
Below: a woman who got silicone injections into her breasts for two years, starting at age 23. By age 29, she had been diagnosed with tumors, which required surgical removal of the silicone and tumors. She had numerous corrective surgeries following getting the silicone scraped out, which required removing more skin and eventually her nipples.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.siliconeholocaust.org/siliconestories2.html
Next: How to turn into a moon-face trout-pout mess
In this section:
Tips for reducing the dangers
Selected medical papers
Silicone injection websites
Silicone deaths and injuries
Overdoing it: silicone can only add to the face
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Most plastic surgery procedures used in facial feminization reduce the size of features, like nose, forehead, or chin. Silicone and other fillers can only add to the face, so some people try to use it to make other parts of the face look proportionally smaller. Besides adding it to cheekbones and lips, some even use it to fill in a brow ridge, cleft chin, etc. These additions give a very characteristic moonfaced look. Go to any drag pageant, and you’ll see a few women who have overdone it. Many women I know who got their lips pumped keep their mouth in this open fish-faced manner.
Some women are actually going for this garish, exaggerated look. However, if you’re young and wish to pass, I strongly advise not doing silicone in your face no matter what, even if you decide to risk putting it in your breasts or butt. It’s just too hard to do right, and it’s more likely to shift or cause problems later.
Check out some other people who overdid it, including Amanda Lepore. There’s also this.
If you decide to do it anyway
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So, you have looked through all of these warnings and still think it’s a good idea. Here are my tips for getting the best results with injectable silicone:
Go to a country where it’s legal and performed by experienced physicians. South America is the best bet. I wouldn’t do it in Mexico, personally.
Barring that, go talk to the local drag queens– the ones who win pageants. They can hook you up with someone who rolls through town every now and then. This is your best bet for getting high-quality medical grade silicone done by someone with experience and skill. However, most of these people who do pumping are not medically trained. One that killed someone in Florida in 2001 was a housecleaner, and I know a TG woman who does it who is a construction worker.
Don’t get referrals from hookers or poor girls (esp. Latina chicks, in whose community it’s especially popular but often done under the worst conditions). The silicone will probably not be medical grade, and it’s likely they’ll overdo you because their clientele thinks more is more. Ever seen one of those bubble-butt queens in a club or on the track? Scary. The medical conditions will probably be less than ideal if you go the street route. One that got arrested in New York was filling used syringes out of a dirty coffee mug full of silicone. Mmm.
Don’t get too much done at once. This is the most common mistake cosmetically, and the most common cause of death. It’s one of the reasons it got outlawed. People were doing too much at once, and it can’t settle properly if there’s too much introduced at one. Get a small amount, let it settle, then get more. You’ll have more problems with migration if you do too much at once. Getting too much at once may seem like a money saver, but it’s the best way to get some complications. You’ll feel tissue tearing away from the muscle if the silicone is placed at the right depth. If it’s too shallow, it can make this skin discolor, usually darkening from the torn capillaries.
Make sure the conditions are as sterile as humanly possible. You’ll probably get it done in a hotel room or somebody’s apartment. Make sure you watch them unwrap the syringe. Inspect the silicone and the container. Ask what grade it is, and see if they have proof. Make sure it’s medical grade 360 and not that industrial grade shit. Make sure they sterilize your butt before they do it.
Do not get tempted to pump your face. The likelihood of migration seems to be higher, and it has to be done with a subtlety few can master. Beauty is a question of millimeters, and it’s easy to go too far. (There are a handful of doctors in the US using medical grade silicone face work, such as Orentreich Medical Group. This off-label use is controversial, but if you are considering putting silicone in your face, I strongly recommend doing it under the care of a medical expert who is either a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist.) Everyone’s seen those scary queens who are all lips and cheekbones. For an example, see below.
Do not put pressure on the area for a few days after injection. This can cause it to ooze out the injection holes or take an undesirable shape. This is especially true for the butt. Don’t take a hot bath for a few days after.
Massage the bubbles out. It hurts like a mother, but you gotta do it. You’ll feel them pop. It’s usually helpful to do this after a very hot bath.
It’s going to hurt like hell if you sleep, sit on or bump your silicone for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Bumping it even years later can hurt for some people. Try to sleep on your stomach till you feel healed.
You’ll have a row of track marks on your ass– usually four to eight running vertically along the center of the cheek. You’ll also have it along your hips if you get them done (which I figure you will). If done under sterile conditions by someone good, they should fade in time.
I have felt silicone boobs and butts of friends, and I will admit that sometimes it feels quite natural. At other times, it feels lumpy. It can look good, but it does settle over time and can give you a droopy butt, especially if you do too much. Only way to fix problems is usually to live with it or have ’em go in and scrape it out. Messy.
Now, about those risks… I strongly urge you not to get this done unless you have very seriously thought about the long-term health risks. Adverse reactions to the injections may include swelling, reddening of the skin, lumpiness of the area treated and development of soft tissue tumors.
I have three close TG friends who had injectable free silicone. Two were showgirls for a long time (one still is)– one had way too much, the other had about the right amount, if you’re going for that drag aesthetic. A third (the most passable) had minimal amounts.
The one with minimal amounts has some sort of autoimmune problem that has doctors baffled. She has what looks like an enormous raised welt covering her right shoulder blade, except it’s firm to the touch, like a giant cyst, possibly a lipoma. Many specialists, herbalists, acupuncturists, etc. later, it’s still there. Oh, and she’s 30.
Is it related to silicone? Maybe, maybe not. That’s the weird thing. Introducing foreign materials into the body, especially products that have not been evaluated for safety and effectiveness, could cause all sorts of problems. It’s what they call an unknown risk.
I strongly urge you not to get silicone injections. The risks of death, injury, poor cosmetic results, and long-term problems are just too high.
I have a friend who transitioned who was a stripper for many years, and her booty is way better than anyone I’ve met who had silicone. She got hers through diet and specific butt exercises. She is utterly unclockable, and has the most knockout body of any woman I know personally, from our community or not. Personally, I’d give that a shot before getting pumped. But it’s your call. Hope this helped.