Butt-Boosting Injections Hospitalize Another Woman

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In the Tampa case in 2009, the homemade injections had one mother fearing for her daughter's life.

Andrea Lee, 30, and Zakiya Teagle Carswell, 33, both were hospitalized at Tampa's Town and Country Hospital after suffering severe reactions to the shots they received from Lindsay on Jan. 29, 2009.

Lee's mother, Doretha Belnavis, said in a 2009 interview that her daughter began feeling ill around 3 a.m. the day after the injections. Belnavis said her daughter was admitted to the hospital at around 7 a.m., and doctors treated her for life-threatening damage to her kidneys.

Women Wanting Buttocks Augmentation Shoud Do Research

Belnavis said she hopes her daughter's case serves as a warning to others.

"I hope this educates the community and also people having these procedures of the side effects and everything that they can have doing these procedures," she said. "Going to someone who is unprofessional and unlicensed is committing suicide, because you don't know what you're getting. It's playing Russian roulette with your life."

In all too many cases, however, those seeking buttocks enhancement don't do much research on the procedures.

"They'll use the advice of a friend and not do their research," said Dr. Phil Haeck, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Too often we hear, people went to a spa and they never saw a doctor -- it's beyond belief what you hear people will do without at least checking credentials."

Haeck there is little regulation of which medical "professionals" can do injections. So even if a consumer goes to an M.D., Haeck recommends asking tough questions:

"Where were you trained? Do you have a state license in a medical specialty and is it posted?" suggested Haeck, adding that patients should also ask how many of the same procedures the doctor has done before. Even if an assistant ends up injecting Botox, Haeck said patients should be alarmed if a doctor has never taken their medical history, or if they can't tell that the needles have been sanitized.

If the women in New Jersey and Florida had researched a bit more, they might have realized that procedures to plump the behind don't typically involve injections of foreign material.

Saltz said doctors mainly use three techniques.

There's "fat injection, sucking fat from your tummy or from your thighs and injecting it into your buttocks," said Saltz. Another technique is called a "butt lift" or "a body lift."

"It's a great technique if a patient loses a lot of weight," said Saltz. "What you do is just lift up and remove the rest of the extra skin.

"Or there's gluteal augmentation using implants," said Saltz.

Those implants may be medical-grade silicone, similar to the ones used in breast augmentation.

Those Seeking Butt Enhancement Should Exercise Caution

But many doctors are seeing lay people who assume anything with the word "silicone" in it means it is the same substance as what plastic surgeons use. The public might even ignore how doctors use silicone in implants.

Dr. Rhoda Narins, a clinical professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine, said that such unfortunate cases are an all-too-common result of people seeking cosmetic enhancement at the hands of untrained professionals.

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