Respiratory Disease following Illicit Injection of Silicone: A Case Report

Case Rep Med. 2013;2013:743842. doi: 10.1155/2013/743842. Epub 2013 Jul 15.


Unregulated, pseudomedical procedures risk serious sequelae even when otherwise safe compounds are used. Silicone is commonly used legally in cosmetic procedures owing to its durability, resistance to heat and aging, and low immunogenicity. However, inappropriate or illegal silicone injection can pose severe local and systemic complications including serious pulmonary compromise. We describe the case of a 30-year-old female who presented with hemoptysis and progressive shortness of breath following illicit silicone injections to the gluteal fat and was found to have new, diffuse, bilateral, ground-glass opacities on contrast-enhanced pulmonary computed tomography. Transbronchial biopsy elucidated that this was a lipoid pneumonia-type injury secondary to silicone infiltration.