Astrid de la Rosa was left bedridden for two years after her liquid silicone buttock injections migrated into her spine, paralyzing the supporting muscles.
In Venezuela, 17 women have died in the past 12 months as a result of liquid silicone buttock injections. The procedure, which according to Jesus Pereira, the president of the Veneuzelan Plastic Surgeons Association, an estimated 30 percent of Venezuelan women aged 18 to 50 have undergone, attempts to achieve a figure thought to be more attractive to Venezuelan men.
While the death toll resulting from these injections has risen since they became widely available in 2008, it has done little to curb the trend of Venezuelans seeking a quick-fix solution to what they perceive as physical inadequacies. Despite being illegal in Venezuela (sale of silicone carries a two-year prison sentence) the country’s Association of Cosmetic Surgeons estimates that 2,000 women every month are receiving injections of this biopolymer, either at home or illegally at unlicensed businesses.
As we have seen in the U.S., because the practice is illegal and can result in criminal charges against the fake practitioners, fitness or beauty-related business that offer the injections in secret or conduct “pumping parties”.
Activists say more has to be done to educate young people about the dangers of liquid silicone and the procedure itself.
It’s astounding that people will choose to do this considering the potential consequences. Education is a necessary route to eliminate the availability.