No, they're not breast-pumping parties...they're soirees where women get their boobs boosted, lips plumped, and sometimes even get more junk in their trunks.
But a 22-year-old Miami man was just arrested for injecting women's butts with illegal silicone injections, shedding light on the fact that these "doctors" are not always what they seem.
Sounds scary? It's no fluke--pumping parties are more common than you think. Here's how it works: A group of women gather together at a private home or hotel room and a person with no medical training (read: anyone from your neighborhood dog walker to a school teacher) administers silicone injections to their butts, lips, breasts, anywhere they want to plump up.
"These parties often spread by word of mouth," says one of the nation's leading plastic surgeons, Brent Moelleken, M.D., F.A.C.S. "Many times women know someone who have had a procedure done, see no immediate downsides, and are influenced by how easy it seems."
"Women also frequent these parties because they're seduced by the low cost," says Stephan Baker, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Sure, for only a few hundred dollars, they can have their breasts done, but the consequences are too often fatal."
Here's further proof: In 2004, a transgender woman experienced convulsions and died after attending such a party. And in 2001, a 53-year-old grandmother from South Florida died from a lung embolism after silicone leaked into her bloodstream. The biopsy showed damage to every vital organ in her body and 36 puncture wounds in her hips and butt.
This is why the FDA won't approve the marketing of liquid silicone for any cosmetic purpose, even the treatment of wrinkles. "Currently, the FDA prohibits manufacturers or doctors from advertising or selling liquid silicone," says Baker. "The problem is, people are buying industrial grade silicone--the kind you use to caulk a bathtub--at Home Depot, and injecting people."
And it's no wonder this practice is outlawed: "The injected liquid can--and usually does--spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream, causing infections, blood clots to the lungs, cancer, immune system disorders, and death," says Baker.
However, despite the death toll, business is booming and unlicensed "doctors" are estimated to earn up to $1 million a year. People of all ages and income levels are lining up to be injected with this illegal substance, in the hopes of looking more youthful and beautiful.
"If you want to have plastic surgery, never, ever visit one of these parties," says Baker. "Instead, do your research: Find out where your doctor went to school, and make sure he or she is board-certified in plastic surgery."
If you want to have a cosmetic procedure, learn how to choose a doctor here or click here.