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What is Silicone Embolism Syndrome & How is it Treated?|Symptoms and Risk Factors of Silicone Embolism Syndrome

What is Silicone Embolism Syndrome?

Silicone embolism is a condition in which silicone or a cosmetic implant enters the blood vessel and blocks it. It is termed silicone embolism syndrome when the blood vessel gets blocked with one or more embolisms. It is a rare condition and is known to affect circulation and breathing.

Silicone embolism can also prove to be fatal if not treated. It is believed to be a result of illegal, nonmedical silicone injections.(1)

What is Silicone Embolism Syndrome?

Silicone embolism can occur accidentally when silicone is injected into the blood vessel. If someone experiences coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, or difficulty in breathing after a cosmetic surgery, he should reach for the nearest emergency help.

Risk Factors for Silicone Embolism

People with silicone in their bodies are at risk of a silicone embolism. The risk factors for silicone embolism include:

  • Silicone breast implants
  • Silicone injections
  • Silicone breast implants with silicone shells

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the warning signs of embolism. This can help them in seeking emergency help as soon as the signs are visible.

Symptoms of Silicone Embolism Syndrome

In most people, the symptoms develop a few days after the silicone injections or any other cosmetic procedure.

The common symptoms of silicone embolism syndrome include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Confusion
  • Unwell feeling

A person with silicone embolism may experience one or two of the above symptoms. The symptoms may be intermittent or may come and go.

Treatment of Silicone Embolism Syndrome

Diagnosing the underlying problem correctly is very important for a healthcare professional. It is not necessary that the implants are the cause of embolism. They can occur also occur due to clotting of the blood and their treatment is different from the treatment of silicone embolism.(2)

The treatment of silicone embolism may begin with the doctor taking the complete medical history of the person. The doctor should also be informed about the silicone implant in the body if present.

Silicone embolism does not have any specific treatment. In other embolisms where blood clot is the reason, blood thinners are used.

The treatment recommended for silicone embolism syndrome include:

  • Giving oxygen to help a person breathe easily
  • Blood transfusion
  • Sometimes steroids are given to reduce inflammation. They also help in dilating the blood vessels
  • Antibiotics may be given to treat the infection due to blockage
  • Proning or face-down position is recommended to help with breathing

How to Prevent Silicone Embolism Syndrome?

Avoiding cosmetic surgery is the best way to prevent silicone embolism syndrome, but this cannot be possible for all.

Therefore those undergoing silicone implants or silicone injections should speak with the doctor and discuss the options and risks related to the procedure. Also, treatment should be taken from a skilled and experienced professional as it also reduces the risk such as injecting silicone into the bloodstream.

Silicone embolism syndrome is a rare condition and it is not possible to completely prevent it. A person, who has undergone a silicone implant or silicone injection, should be mindful of the signs and symptoms of silicone embolism syndrome and immediately seek attention if any of such symptoms are observed.

When to Contact a Doctor?

Silicone embolism syndrome is a medical emergency and people who think their symptoms point towards it and have gotten a recent silicone implant or injection should immediately contact a doctor.

The doctor should be informed about all the symptoms a person is having.

If a person has concerns about developing embolism or has any other complications due to the implant, it would be good to get the implant removed.

Silicone embolism, a rare complication of silicone implant or injection is a life-threatening condition. It is important to seek treatment for it immediately. Only a doctor can diagnose it and differentiate it from other blockages.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 17, 2023

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