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Biogel injections leave beauty-seeking women deformed

Plastic surgery is generally considered safe and is widely seen as a remedy for imperfections, but some Russian women have learnt a grave lesson in the dangers of artificial beauty.

Most people can live with their imperfections – but not everyone.

Olga Korsak’s concern over her asymmetrical breasts led her to a plastic surgeon, but the operation left her horrifically scarred and traumatized. She says a ‘Biogel’ injection was to blame.

Olga eventually had to have both breasts removed and suffered years of painful operations. And what is more, she is not alone.

“Women, a large number of people, were used as guinea pigs for tests. Women were suffering, losing their breasts, mammary glands, buttocks… One woman, after gel had been injected into her hip, had to have her leg amputated. These women became cripples,” Olga Korsak says.

Though originally considered a less invasive and inexpensive alternative to silicone implants, Biogel appears to have inflicted horrendous damage and is affecting thousands of women across Russia, surgeons say.

Unlike silicone implants, which are contained in shells and do not leak when damaged, Biogel goes straight into the body. And that, medics say, creates a breeding ground for infection.

What is worse, doctors say Biogel is also not easy to remove.

“The skin color was changing. Moreover, some patients were facing complications from inflammation. We had to make cuts to remove the gel. Then we discovered it was extremely difficult to remove. It had been injected with needles, and we didn't how it was distributed through the body,” explains plastic surgeon Dr Aleksandr Nerobeev.

Many women who received Biogel injections were told the substance was harmless and natural.

Thousands of Russian women who underwent the treatment were not told the gel was still being tested. Now they, like Olga Korsak, are suffering major complications and undergo multiple surgeries to have it removed from their bodies.

The spokesman of one of the main Biogel manufacturers, Interfal, was unavailable for comment, despite RT’s repeated attempts to contact them.

Some surgeons in Russia now want the gel banned – but other doctors insist the gel is safe in small doses.

The Ministry of Health says there is not enough evidence to outlaw it.

“We told the ministry it would be helpful to prohibit using this gel, as the number of complications is quite large. I don't remember getting a reply of prohibition from the ministry,” Dr Nerobeev says.

Dr Andre Ross predicts he will see more complications in the future.

“Thousands of women were injected with this gel in the breasts, buttocks, shins and the face. A surge in complaints is likely to lie ahead. We may yet see an epidemic of people wanting it removed,” he believes.

But for women like Olga, it is too late to realize that the true cost of seeking beauty is sometimes not a price worth paying.