Ever heard the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? Well, that phrase often does hold true in the world of cosmetic procedures.
Today’s “too good to be true” story comes to us from New York, where a young girl wanted breast implants, but her mother told her to wait. She had started to want larger breasts from a young age, but her mother would not allow her to get any surgery before turning 18.
Unfortunately for this girl, she ended up getting silicone injections done instead. She thought it would be an easier option and it was cheaper too, and available immediately—too good to be true. This turned out quite bad for her because these injections not only didn’t help, but the silicone also spread and could have killed her. She ended up losing both breasts over the whole ordeal. Let’s take a look at her story and what we can all learn from it.
What Happened with the Silicone Injections?
Nafsika Lourentzatos is the girl in question, now a woman in her 30s. When she was 17 a friend told her about the option to get silicone injections. This friend had heard of someone locally who would perform the procedure, and it was a fraction of the cost of getting implants.
Lourentzatos had already done research on implants. She assumed that injections would be safer and much less of a concern than surgery, so she went ahead.
Right away, the results were not as good as she would have liked. She felt there was barely any difference at all in her appearance. Soon after, her breasts started to develop lumps. Fast forward a few years and those lumps started moving. They were along the chest plate by the time she was 22. It was at this point that she and her mother started doing more research.
They found that the doctors who did the silicone injections were not certified to practice in the US. In fact, they were arrested in Columbia. This discovery was only the start of the bad news.
Lourentzatos saw a doctor who did several tests and advised that she should have both of her breasts removed. This was advised as a way to get the silicone out of her body completely. At the time, she didn’t heed the advice.
Years went by. When Lourentzatos started seeing health care professionals later in her 20s (for separate health topics), she finally knew she needed to do something about this problem. In fact, she went to a half dozen different doctors to get opinions on the matter. Every single one of them said she needed to remove both breasts. Not doing so meant risking that the silicone could get into the blood stream. If that happened, it could have been deadly.
She did opt to have both breasts removed in the end. It took several surgeries to get them removed and to have reconstruction. She’s not out of the woods yet. She may still need more reconstructive surgeries.
The takeaway? Firstly, always vet the plastic surgeon you’re considering using. That simple step alone would probably have avoided this situation.
It’s quite common for patients to simply assume that anyone who is a doctor is going to be reputable. But that’s not always the case. And in this case, the doctors were not even certified to work in the US.
If you’re considering plastic surgery in the US, it’s prudent to check to confirm the plastic surgeon is certified with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Surgery can literally change your life, so this is a matter worth taking the time to research.