For those who want a permanent beauty solution, a liquid silicone face injection sounds very convincing. The injection is currently popular as an off label practice that provides permanent augmentation, particularly for patients with retinal detachments. The permanence derives from the liquid silicone becoming encased in scar tissue. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, there’s a bit more to this subject matter. Patients should be wary about two potential concerns.
The first concern regards the silicone’s purity. Rather than using the ophthalmologic silicone that is approved by the FDA, many practitioners will treat patients instead with low grade silicone. Another concern is that after the silicone is injected, the area may appear unnaturally large and disproportional as the surrounding facial structures continue aging. As the procedure cannot be reversed, permanent distortion may occur.
Within the scar, the liquid silicone beads greatly intermingle with subcutaneous tissue. For lip procedures, the silicone would not only make the lips bigger, but also affects the lip muscle, influencing lip movement during speaking or smiling. To surgically take out the silicone would get rid of muscle tissue and leave scarring, resulting in a painfully long recovery and swelling for months. Although some practitioners inject steroids to lessen the scar, most patients are still left with abnormally shaped lips with disproportionate size.
With the damage already done, how can patients undo the aesthetic consequence of silicone injections? Dr. Andrew Kornstein of Manhattan, New York thinks he has an answer. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, he has successfully used Ulthera to decrease the lip volume of a woman with silicone lip distortion, all without the downtime of surgery.
Ulthera uses ultrasound therapy to heat collagen, lessening the scar volume while causing the scar to be more linear and less bulky. There is no discomfort as a dental block is used. Ulthera is able to help restructure the lips by shaping the collagen and allowing the scar tissue to become more malleable as the mouth moves, much as a potter can remodel clay. Through several sessions, the lips take on a more functional shape, and improvement can be seen at two weeks and beyond. This use of Ulthera is a very viable option, all without the trauma of surgery.