Hydrogel injections to the buttocks – Don’t do it!

A screenshot of a product description of hydrogel for butt injection.

In 2007, I wrote a blog post about Hydrogel for Buttock augmentation. In the post I detailed my reasons why I did not think it was a good idea to do a Buttock Augmentation or Butt Lift with hydrogel.  The only thing that has changed since I wrote that post is that I have seen many patients who have suffered terrible damage from hydrogel injections!  My position remains the same: Hydrogel to buttocks: Don’t do it! To recap….

Reasons NOT to have Hydrogel injections for Butt augmentation

1) Not FDA approved

For the amount of filler needed to get a proper Butt augmentation or buttocks lift, the costs are prohibitive. Even if the costs were not an issue, the use of hydrogel for Buttock augmentation is not FDA approved in the USA as far as I am aware.

2) Complications are severe, tragic

Apryl Michelle Brown.

The long term results are not very well documented in the scientific literature, but there are plenty of well documented cases in the media of deaths, disfigurement, amputations, and organ failure as a result of these non approved injections.

Essence Magazine detailed the exclusive story of Apryl Michelle Brown (photo: Kawai Matthews), who lost all four limbs due to silicone butt injections. To learn more about these tragic events with various injections, read Shot Girls by Vanity Wonder or the details of the very sad story of Apryl Michelle Brown.

3) Injectors are not licensed

There is a virtual cottage industry of “injectors” plying their trade in hotel rooms and backdoor clinics. Having an ‘injection’ is a medical procedure. It should be performed in a sterile environment.  Medical procedures should be performed by a physician who went to Medical School. These ‘injectors’ are generally unlicensed, dangerous and unscrupulous.

hydrogel to buttocks–don’t do it!

-Dr. Rodriguez

Despite all this, what is truly puzzling in the responses I get to my 2007 blog post discouraging hydrogel usage. In the comments a lot of people are asking me if I do the hydrogel, or could I recommend one who does. ?? I do not recommend it! Would you pay any amount of money for a procedure that can disfigure you, maim you, or even kill you? Even if it is cheap?

Recently I received a sad phone call from an out of town patient. Her buttocks are disfigured because of hydrogel injections from a fraudulent practitioner. Like most patients, she did the hydrogel because it was offered cheap. Medical Procedures should never be evaluated with cost as the primary factor. It is OK to look for bargains with clothing because you can always throw the clothes away. It is not OK to look for bargains with surgery because you only have one body.

So what is the right option to enhance your buttocks?

Fat transfer by a board certified plastic surgeon

If you want a bigger, more prominent buttocks, the best option is a Brazilian butt lift procedure performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. The Brazilian butt lift uses Fat transfer techniques. A Fat transfer uses your own natural fat, and the technique produces long lasting results. It is not just a matter of making your butt bigger, but improving your whole figure. When expertly done it’s as risk free as you can get. In over 300 cases of Fat transfers I have only had one minor infection, which resolved without any consequences. There is practically nothing else I do that has this record of safety.

A collage of photos of a patient before and after a Brazilian butt lift procedure.

If you want more prominent and perky buttocks, look for a board certified plastic surgeon and have the Brazilian butt lift procedure. It is possible to get not only a beautiful Buttock augmentation or Buttock lift, but a beautiful new figure. The Brazilian butt lift not only augments your buttocks, but it resculpts your entire body torso. View our procedure photo gallery to see some of our patients’ before and after pictures.

Some patients are also candidates for the B’more butt lift , which is a sculpting around the buttocks area to make them look more prominent. The B’more butt lift is a more affordable option than the Brazilian butt lift because the procedure can be performed in a much shorter period of time.

However, if you can not afford either procedure, then don’t resort to Hydrogel Injections. Either save your money to have the right procedure with an experienced surgeon, or don’t do anything at all!

Want to learn more about better Butt augmentation options?

Contact Us to schedule your in-office or virtual consultation for just $30 (which gets applied to your surgery when you book). Or just give us a call at 410-494-8100! Note: Virtual consults can also be used to get second opinions.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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47 thoughts on “Hydrogel injections to the buttocks – Don’t do it!”

    • Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez says:

      They are difficult and require an MRI to determine where the filler is prior to a definitive surgical plan
  • Dianna manriq says:

    Hi Doctor, I’m very regretful what I did 2012. I had macrolane Injected in my butt. Not quite sure if it was macrolane, didn’t bother to really get the product tested at the time. I did research the product and I thought it was okay. Everything went well had no problems at all. Just discolouration which I notice after having hot baths!!! which I’ve stop now. Would having bbl fat transfer help the colour or make it worse..
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dianna: The effect with hot baths leads me to believe you may have some remaining inflammatory changes around the macro lane. Fat grafting, when done correctly (small fragments injected slowly and spaced out) can be helpful to calm down inflammation. Fat grafts as commonly done (large fragments done in bulk injections) can cause even more inflammatory reactions. If you are going to have this done, do it with someone who does microinjections. Contact Leeza at leeza@cosmeticsurg.net if interested. Thanks for reaching out!
  • Bri says:

    I had injections 7 years ago. 500ml each cheek. Was told it was hyaluronic acid but I'm pretty sure that was a lie. I had no complications or symptoms minus some slight discoloration on my butt. In 2013 I had a bbl performed. Had no issues with the surgery everything went smoothly. Recently as in the past month I will get a light throbbing sensation inside my cheek sporadically. So naturally I am starting to get concerned. I was ready to have another bbl but now I am not sure if that is a good idea. I was under the impression that when the fat is transferred the cannula may disturb the filler and possibly cause it to spread of migrate or even travel and throw a clot or something really bad. Please tell me what you think. Reading these other reviews I see that you sort of advocate getting fat transfer to break up the scar tissue and that it actually helps us. I really look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Bri: The first thing to do is to get a good idea of what is going on. I would get an MRI of the buttocks to see an idea of what is happening under the skin. Only after you have that information at hand can one begin to guess what the appropriate therapy may be. If you had a BBL in 2013 and you feel like you need another one, the first has probably resolved. If you do a BBL well, the result should be permanent.
  • Daisy says:

    Hello dr I got injections. Not really sure but me and my cousin got them around the same time. I got them in may 2016 I'm 100% they were gel. I went to Vegas in July and say on the hot floor during a pool party. Couple days later I realized my but was red. I thought it was a big sun burn but it hasn't gone away. I had minor pain at first but it's still red around and it itches once in a while. I'm a little scared my cousin has nothing on hers. What do you think can be going on cause I was fine?
  • Jeanina Beckham says:

    had shots of hydrogel on my buttocks about 2 years ago . First the bruises then the pain which i was told it would go away in a few days but never went buttocks. also is uncomfortable when i sit for long periods of time. And it burts or feels warm and itching. Am all typed of worried what is goin on? I have shortness of breath lost over 60 pounds ? I dont know what to do?
  • Maria says:

    Hey Doctor Rodriguez; Question and more of a concern, I had shots of Biogel or clear Gel on my buttocks a month ago.. First the bruises then the pain which i was told it would go away in a few days. It still hurts like if i was exercising. Or muscle pain, also is uncomfortable when i sit for long periods of time. And it burts or feels warm and itching. Am all typed of worried what is goin on? What can i do? Also what is the difference between biogel or hydrogel. ?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Maria: I cannot tell you the differences between the various compounds are there because they are not regulated by FDA and it's very hard to get accurate information. You should get an MRI to see where the compound was injected and see if there is compound near major nerves that may be causing your symptoms. You may also consider anti inflammatories under doctor supervision. But most of all go see a doctor.
  • abby says:

    hi COURTNEY! i need to know your condition now? i think we have the same concern.. i feel d same as urs, pain in my legs and knees sometimes:( did u had already surgical operation for the removal of hydrogel? how are u now? i really need your advice.. thanks!
  • abby says:

    i had hydrogel butt injection that was year 2004. i think 60(cc) shots in each cheek, w/ out any pain in my legs and knees.. but now (after 11 yrs) sometimes i feel pain in my legs and knees? what should i do? do i need to have it surgical removal soon? i'm really worried..pls. i need your advice.. thankyou!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Abby: Probably you don't have much of the PMMA (I assume it's hydrogel) left but there is bound to be some scarring. I would suggest for you to get and MRI to see if there are any identifiable masses. If not, the injection of your own body fat would help to resolve some of the scar issues. Let us know after you get an MRI of the area.
  • Waleska says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I read your article and it is very informative; I wish all this information would have been out there eight years ago when I got my "plant oil and water" injection. I have done research now, and there's not really much of an advance as to how to treat this problem... it is either to "cut" or leave alone, and continue to bring it into light so many other women do not consider this as a choice. Do you remove this from the body being that you are a reconstructive plastic surgeon?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Waleska: At this point, probably very little of the original material remains and it has been replaced by dense scarring. The solution is fat grafting because the fat grafts restore the tissue that is missing and the stem cells in the graft help resolve the scar tissue. If you are interested you can contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net to arrange for a virtual consultation about how to address your problem.
  • Courtney says:

    Hello doctor, i had a quick question. I had silicone injected into my butt almost a year ago...a little over 450cc in each cheek .I haven't had any deformities or discoloration or hardness.. Yes I sometimes have pain in my legs or knees but I am guessing that is my nerves and my body rejecting it. I was wondering two things...1) do you personally perform removal of silicone? And 2) besides having sometimes pain in my legs, should I even consider removing it? Also are there medicines out there I can take that can help...thank you !!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Courtney: Unfortunately, removal of silicone may leave a lot of scarring. You would need an MRI or CT scan study to determine where the silicone is in order to ensure precision at the time of surgery. The pain is probably related to pressure of the silicone on the nerves. This may get better with time. Unfortunately, the only solution for silicon injection is surgical removal. There is a medication that helps with nerve related pain, it is called Neurontin. Ask your physician about it.
  • Girly says:

    Hey doc I get hydrogel butt injection like 2years ago but now my butt is disclosures is there anything I can use are take so it can go away please am very uncomfortable
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Girly: Without getting any more detail, it is difficult for me to give a recommendation. If you are interested in a virtual consultation Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg may be able to help you out.
  • Chantal says:

    I got shots of liquid silicone 7 years ago, or at least what I thought it was, and luckily I haven't had any complications from it. I haven't done anything since cosmetically to my body up until now, but I would like to and have the means to do so. I'm looking into getting a Brazilian Butt Lift and was wondering because I had the shots done before, would it be a problem to get that procedure done even though its only using my own fat? Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Chantal: The shots were a long time ago and I think you would be safe now. If anything the processed fat has an antifibrotic effect that may help you against further problems with the silicon. This has helped me in the past, using fat grafting to salvage patients who had silicon shots to the face. Anyways, I will give your info to Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net, and she will answer more of your questions and maybe even set up a virtual consultation via phone or Skype. Looking forward to hearing from you!
  • maria says:

    Hey doctor it's been 1year I got hydro gel and way it can get removed I did a MRI came back good they said but I'm scared I seen that model with her problems I don't want the same PLEASE HELP ME
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Maria: It is very complicated to have it removed, but I think fat grafting would help by resolving some of the scar tissue and incorporate living fat tissue into the hydrogel deposits. Contact Kelly at kelly@cometicsurg if you want some more info.
  • Michele says:

    Doctor I have had injections over 4 years ago and ever since I have had red spots on my hips and pain under my right buttocks. Should I be concerned? Should I remove it?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Michele: Unfortunately, removing the material may be difficult. Best to go to a doctor and have it examined to ease your mind.
  • Michele says:

    Dr. I have had hidrogel injections about five years ago. I feel pain down my right leg and right under my buttocks and After the incident that happened with a model from my country, brazil, Where she was hospitalized for injecting hidrogel in her legs, i am freaking out, and very worried this pain im feeling is a warning that an infection is ocurring Please help Thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Michele: I think you should go to a doctor in your area and have the area examined. At 5 years after I doubt this is an infection, but scar formation around nerves can cause a lot of pain. Infection is usually associated with throbbing pain, swelling and redness in the area.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Kela: I have done implants in the past but I do not like them because there are a lot of problems associated with them. They can put pressure on nerves and cause a lot of pain, they can also get infected or displaced. Fat is so much better because it feels completely natural and its your own tissue. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net if you want more info, she'll be motte than happy to help.
  • Gigi says:

    So I have a question...I've had silicone injections in my butt years ago...it was obviously industrial and it has hardened. I don't want to have it removed because I do not want to deal with the disfigurement so I was wondering what I be able to do anything else to improve what is already there and slightly softened what has hardened I do not have enough body fat you have that transfer...so my second question would be what if I had my moms fat inject it into my butt with that be A safe alternative?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gigi: Having your mother's fat injected would NOT be a good idea. It would be rejected and would probably make you very sick. I have grafted people in the past who had other types of injection such as PMMA. In any case, call Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net for further info and maybe even a virtual consultation. Hope to hear from you soon!
  • Pam says:

    Hi doctor I had 3 session if hydrogel about 4 years ago and now one side is getting hard lumps and I often feel pain going down my leg and shortness of breath I'm really worry can I be getting a blood clot after so many years could the hydrogel have traveled? Help
  • Pam says:

    Hi doctor I had 3 session if hydrogel about 4 years ago and now one side is getting hard lumps and I often feel pain going down my leg and shortness of breath I'm really worry can I be getting a blood clot after so many years could the hydrogel have traveled?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Pam: I do not think you are getting a blood clot after all those years. The hard lumps and pain going down your leg are probably due to the scarring that happens around hydrogel. If there is hydrogel near the sciatic nerve it could probably be pressing on the nerve and that is what creates the pain going down your leg. You should have an MRI of your buttocks done to see if they can detect scar tissue surrounding the sciatic nerve.
  • Leticia says:

    Thank you for you response its a releif to hear from you i really appreciate your information.now what kind of doctor should I go to I have been searching and found out that I need to see a rheaumotologist is that correct or seeing my primary care provider fine?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Leticia: Perhaps the rheumatologist may be able to help you, perhaps not. You will need an MRI scan to see where the inflammation and/or masses are. After that you may or may not nned surgical intervention, but that decision can only be made after specialist input.
  • Leticia says:

    Dr I got the butt hydrogel injections about 2 months ago and I'm having painful side effects I had four injections in each total of eight the bruising are still there, itching never stops I feel painful pulses inside. my right side starting from my hip to my feet is feeling very sore as if i excersized alot but only the right side im very scared and need help to figure out what's wrong would you now who I can see for help? I have no where else to look for help
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Leticia: Go to a Plastic surgeon in your city. They can initiate a work up. You will need an MRI scan to see where the injection is. But first off all you have to go to a Doctor in person, nobody can help you through the internet. Go see a doctor in person, he will be able to at least refer you to the right person.
  • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

    Horrific stuff. "It is not OK to look for bargains with surgery because you only have one body." So many of the health problems facing society could be solved if people really took this thought to heart. When people overeat, overindulge in alcohol, etc., are they truly aware of what they are doing to their body? They may understand it in the abstract, but the reality of their only body being damaged, possibly beyond repair, generally escapes them. It's tragic.
  • Claudia says:

    Dr. I got the biogel injections in my buttocks about 7 years ago... Although thankfully i have not had any serious side effects like disfigurement of the area... The area usually does feel sore somewhat even after 7 years and sometimes i feel sharp pains in my legs. I was wondering if there is a surgical way to remove the biogel?? Or if the issues im having now are indications of worse side affects to come.. Im truely very worried.. Can this gel travel from the but to elsewhere in the body? Any suggestions or help would really be appreciated
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Claudia: Trying to remove it now may be more trouble than it's worth. The shooting pains are from pressure around the nerves.That will fade in time, massage to the area helps. I don't think the gel will travel, and although I can't predict the future, I think any serious problems would have manifested by now.