Silicone pneumonitis, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage and acute respiratory distress syndrome from gluteal silicone injections

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Fatal complications from illegal cosmetic injection of nonmedical-grade liquid silicone (polydimethylsiloxane) by unlicensed providers are becoming more common. Silicone embolization syndrome (SES) can rapidly progress to pneumonitis and diffuse alveolar hemorrhage. Prompt and aggressive management with high-dose steroids and lung-protective ventilation strategies to minimize acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can be lifesaving. We present the case of a patient presenting with abdominal pain and shortness of breath who quickly developed respiratory failure. The patient recently had received bilateral gluteal silicone injections from an unlicensed provider.

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