Apryl Brown has begun speaking out about the incredibly damaging effects that illegitimate cosmetic surgery had on her life. In June 2010, Brown almost died after contracting staph infection thanks to silicone injections she had received. Her limbs had started to become necrotic, and had to be amputated. After 27 surgeries, Brown is alive and speaking out about the experience.
In 2004, Brown was a successful hair stylist, and mother of two girls. While working on a client, the client mentioned that she did silicone injections on the side — which could help Brown get the rounder butt she had always wanted. After two treatments, Brown says she realized she was putting her body in danger and never went back. Over the next several years, her implant sites became increasingly painful, and finally, a serious enough problem that they risked her life.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons cautions that this is a growing problem. Because procedures like injections are low risk, many people assume that it’s possible, and even safe, to bypass doctors in order to save money. “I think that’s awfully seductive to a person who doesn’t know there’s a problem,” explains Dr. Richard Glogau, who has had patients come to him after receiving botched injections elsewhere.
Besides the risk that comes with cutting a trained medical professional out of the loop, buying injection materials over the internet carries an additional risk in that often, consumers are not buying something that is safe to inject in the body. The materials shipped to them are not safe injection materials but are fiberglass and silicone — materials more appropriate for a car or a home than a human being. Brown discovered that the material injected into her body was bathroom caulk.
“All I would ask them to do is, when you have that first thought, make sure they have a second thought about it and do a little research,” says Brown, who, at age 47, has had to re-learn how to do everything from walking to eating with the help of prosthetic devices. She says she doesn’t want pity, but for people to learn from her experience.