Doctors Talk Dangers of Non-Medical Silicone Injections


When 19-year-old Symone Marie Jones visited Kavonceya Iman Cornelius to undergo what she thought were routine cosmetic surgery injections, she never imagined it would end in tragedy. However, Cornelius was an unlicensed individual administering non-medical grade silicone injections from her home.

Considering the devastating reality of non-medical procedures, Charlotte Plastic Surgery’s own board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Stephan Finical and Dr. Kevin L. Smith, were called upon by Charlotte local news for their expert opinion on the dangers and risks associated with cases like Ms. Jones.

charlotteplasticsurgery_2015-10“There’s always a level of safety when you go to someone who has experience,” says Dr. Stephan Finical. Most notably, patients who visit an actual doctor’s office do not run the risk of dealing with the nasty, potentially fatal side effects caused by non-medical grade silicone. These effects include infections or ulcers at the injection site. Silicone can even leak into the bloodstream, travel to the lungs, and cause a fatal infection.

Indeed, that was the case with Jones. The silicone traveled to her lungs and heart, and ultimately ended in her death. Another victim, who visited Cornelius several times, received non-medical silicone injections in her buttocks and was hospitalized when the silicone traveled into her lungs.

“Medical procedures are best done in medical settings,” advises Dr. Finical. “If someone tells you they can give you a discount in their home or at a hotel room, that’s probably the wrong person.”

Many of those discounts come at a steep price. Individuals administering the injections concoct their own injectables that may contain anything from glue to tire sealant to cement. Another foreign substance routinely injected is hydrogel, a combination of polyacrylamide and water. It is illegal to administer hydrogel injections in the United States—they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they provide no lasting effects, and they are cheaply produced.

This makes them a major source of business in the underground injectable trade. More importantly, they may contain harmful contaminants that could potentially jeopardize a person’s life. There are substantial health risks involved with injecting any product that is not considered medical grade.

Some patients have developed deformities as a result of these dangerous injections, including misshapen bumps beneath the surface of the skin. Low-quality silicone can even cause breathing problems, kidney failure, and chest pain. In some cases, it could increase the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism. Yet because of the attractive low price, many patients continue to go back—and ultimately end up paying quite a bit in the end.

“Someone could have something done safely for that kind of money,” says Dr. Finical. “But the price goes down and the risk goes way up.”

That’s why it’s so critical to receive silicone injections in a licensed facility staffed by experienced medical providers. “If someone were to have a filler injected in an artery or vein in the face,” says Dr. Kevin L. Smith of Charlotte Plastic Surgery, “this can clog up that vascular system and skin can die or you can go blind, so it’s very important that somebody…whoever is doing the injections…is certainly trained.”

Medical professionals do not use foreign substances in their injectables, as many “black market” providers do. They also have a strong background in actually administering the injections, and possess the advanced techniques, skills, and training necessary to successfully produce results.

Charlotte Plastic Surgery offers a wide range of injectable procedures, including medical injections with FDA-approved products and a variety of excellent fillers formulated to reduce the visible appearance of creases, lines, and wrinkles. Moreover, patients are treated with the utmost care, respect, and compassion at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.

Every step of the process, from the initial contact with the office to the moment a patient sets foot in the door, is designed to make the experience as smooth as possible, which is driven in large part by the facility’s years in business. It was founded in 1951, and is staffed by five of the most renowned plastic surgeons in Charlotte. Nurses and other staff members go the extra mile to ensure that patients are always comfortable and feel at ease before the procedure begins. All questions and concerns are addressed beforehand to ensure a smooth, seamless experience.

It is also important to note that most injectable procedures performed at Charlotte Plastic Surgery have little to no recovery time. Most patients can ease back into their normal routines right away, and there is no pre- or post-operative care required. All treatments are FDA-approved and administered by an accomplished team member. If you are interested in learning more about receiving safe medical injections and would like to look into the other injectables offered at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, fill out the contact form online to schedule a free consultation today.