Dr. Rod Rohrich on Injectable Silicone for Breast and Body Contouring: Stay Away


Rod Rohrich, MD, FACS, is a Dallas-based plastic surgeon and Professor of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Continuously recognized as one of the best plastic surgeons in America, he is also an internationally-renown expert in his field. He is particularly known for his unique artistic skill in restoring youthfulness and definition to the human face and body.


Dr. Rohrich recently co-published an article in which he warns against the use of injectable silicone as means of breast and body contouring.


Body augmentation, in particular that of the breasts and buttocks, is becoming increasingly popular. However, in hopes to improve their physical appearance, patients are turning to illicit silicone injections as temporary improvement alternatives to expensive surgery. Injecting silicone into breasts or any other parts of the body, or the use of fillers, as means of enhancement is referred to as “pumping.” However, in line with a recent statement released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Rohrich advises against breast and body contouring via injectable silicone.


The FDA’s warning regarding injectable silicone that is either in liquid or oil form is due to several widely reported risks that are noticeable either soon following injections or months or years later. These include infections, chronic pain, silicone granuloma formation, permanent contour deformities and embolism.


Part of the reason behind the FDA’s warning against injectable silicone is the industrial-grade material that is used. The oil form of a liquid polymer of dimethyl siloxane is typically found in lubricants and caulking materials and does not have FDA approval for the use in breast and body contouring. Unlike the FDA-approved silicone that is intended for ophthalmic use, the low grade oil’s higher viscosity and molecular weight cause it to induce more inflammation. Adding to the overall danger of the injectable silicone is the fact that it is not regulated and is thus possibly contaminated with impurities and other agents. It is also administered by unlicensed medical staff in nonclinical settings or in countries outside of the United States.


Joining the FDA in warning against the use of injectable silicone as means of breast and body augmentation are the American Society of Plastic Surgery as well as the National Coalition for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Health, who have all issued warning statements to patients about the aforementioned risks and pitfalls.


According to Dr. Rohrich, “Injectable forms of silicone are permanent, and the effects of treatment cannot be reversed. The silicone can migrate within the body and produce foreign body reactions.” Furthermore, removal of the silicone involves multiple stages of surgical excision, which causes scarring and may not even entirely remove all of the material. Furthermore, the silicone is administered via injection into a blood vessel, which comes with its own risks, including clot formation and possible risks for pulmonary embolus, stroke and even death. These risks typically manifest themselves within a few days post-injection.


Dr. Rohrich’s concludes his warning with a remark that “Any patient interested in breast or body contouring should seek consultation with a board-certified physician or surgeon. These patients should not receive any silicone injections to enhance the appearance of their breast or buttocks.”


About Rod Rohrich, MD

Dr. Rohrich is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and runs his clinical practice at University Hospitals/UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute. He is a professor and founding Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.


Currently a President of the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rohrich’s holds several professional Society and Association memberships, including the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), where he was President as well as on the Board of Directors for some time, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), where he also served on the Board of Directors for a period of time, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and President of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a Founding Member of the Board of Governors of the National Endowment for Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Rohrich has been the recipient of numerous prestigious national research, teaching, and distinguished service awards during his academic career in plastic surgery. He is a patent holder on a new breast implant and has developed educational models for bringing emerging technology to plastic surgeons. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and an editor for Selected Readings in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Rohrich has published more than 600 peer review articles, 50 chapters and five textbooks in plastic surgery ranging from rhinoplasty, craniomaxillofacial trauma, secondary rhinoplasty and ultrasound-assisted liposuction. He has been a Visiting Professor to over 150 national and international societies. His repertoire of delivered scientific presentations on all aspects of plastic surgery includes 1500 talks.

Dr. Rohrich is also a philanthropist. He has served on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes, Save the Children – Dallas, Dallas Chapter of the American Cancer Society, on the Evergreen Gala Advisory Board, and he is a Founding Member of the Dallas for Children Foundation. Together with his wife, Dr. Rohrich has been Honorary Co-chair of the Dallas for Children Foundation. He also organized an East Dallas Mobile Health Unit that assisted in the immunization of homeless and underprivileged children. Each year, the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. foundation also supports a medical student who will practice primary care in his native state of North Dakota. He has also both performed and taught plastic surgery in Third World countries, specifically reconstructing severely burned and congenitally deformed children.

Visit Dr. Rohrich’s website to learn more about his practice and services.


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