This is such a hot topic right now. Hydrogel injection for tissue augmentation is not illegal. Plastic surgeons frequently inject hydrogels in the face and lips to correct thin lips and signs of facial aging. Some of the most popular hydrogel ”fillers” are Juvederm© and Restylane©, which are a hyaluronic acid transparent omogeneous hydrogel. There are longer lasting fillers such as Radiesse©. They come in 1 cc syringes and generally cost well over $600 per syringe. Depending on the hydrogel used, the results can last up to a year.
Using a hydrogel for buttock augmentation is impractical at best, and has been illegally used on unsuspecting patients (who in some cases have had serious side-effects or even died). Hydrogels are NOT approved by the FDA for this purpose. When I perform the Brazilian micro-fat transfer for buttock augmentation here at Palmer Cosmetic Surgery, I generally will inject 1600 to 2000 cc of fat. Even if I were to inject this amount of hydrogel, it would cost upwards of $1,000,000 for the product alone and the results would only last up to 1 year. Because fat is found naturally in the body, it is the perfect substance to use to bulk up the buttocks and create a natural contour. Hydrogels are bulky and it takes experience and expertise to create a smooth contour – even when used in the small amounts injected into the face.
Besides injections, there are two other methods of gluteal augmentation-buttocks lifting, in which excess skin and fat is surgically excised, and the gluteal region is elevated, and buttocks implants.
From looking on the internet and the news, I am aware that there is a black market at play. Non-licensed people are injecting a “hydrogel” into people’s buttocks for $2000-$3000. This is a crime. Non-licensed personnel are not allowed to perform medical procedures. Next, you have to ask yourself “how are they able to do it for such a low price?” I would be seriously concerned about the impurities and possible contamination of this hydrogel.
If you are set on having hydrogel injections, you need to ask the practitioner several questions: (1) Are you currently licensed to practice medicine (MD or DO) in the United States? (2) Are you a board certified plastic surgeon? (3) Is this hydrogel currently approved by the FDA for buttock augmentation? (4) How long does this product last? (5) What happens if I have a complication? (6) At which local hospital do you have admitting privileges?
Also, ask yourself the following questions: (1) Does the person performing the procedure appear to be legitimate? (Are they a part of the community? Are they easily accessible? Do they have a website and published phone number? What medical school and residency program did they graduate from?) (2) Do I feel safe? (Is the procedure performed in a medical office under sterile conditions? If something were to go wrong, do they have lifesaving equipment in their office?)
Remember, you only have one body so choose wisely. I recommend you call our office to schedule a free consultation for a safe, FDA approved procedure to address your concerns.
For more information on this topic, I suggest you read the following links: