When Oscarina Busse’s young daughter mistook her mom’s backside for a full, lumpy diaper, Busse knew it was finally time to see a real doctor about her butt injection surgery.
Busse is one of many people who have suffered the consequences of illegal butt injections, which Wilbert Cooper recently wrote about in VICE.
Cooper, a guest Monday on "Open Source," said that while researching the story, law officials and doctors all said they are seeing more cases of illegal butt injections and the ensuing complications.
"I think it's a serious issue, and it's definitely one that police officials on the federal level, on the local level, and in the state of Florida and Miami, and also doctors and physicians feel is definitely on the rise," Cooper told Leon Krauze on "Open Source."
"Every person I talked to, every expert pretty much told me that we're going to see a lot more of these cases happen in the future," Cooper said.
There’s no way to record the exact number of people seeking the surgery, since it’s illegal and therefore not officially recorded. But a report from the Associated Press last year said doctors and officials have confirmed they are seeing an increase in the people who have gotten the injections.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta told VICE ass augmentation is the new boob job, especially in places like Miami, where an ample rear end is of utmost importance.
“The buttock today is what the boobs were in the 60s,” Dr. Mendieta was quoted as saying. He said ten years ago, a fifth of his practice was butt augmentations. Now the procedure makes up 90 percent of his work.
Models, dancers, strippers, and regular women who just want a better butt are visiting underground “surgeons” who fill syringes and butt cheeks with substances ranging from medical-grade silicone (which is illegal to inject directly into the body) to cement and mineral oil.
"The worst part about it is you never know what they're using," Cooper said. "Even if they use medical-grade silicone, that's still not good. That's very detrimental to your health. There is no fluid that you can inject into your body, that can float freely in your body and be healthy."
Busse was lucky: After the skin on her butt became discolored, lumpy, and hard to the touch, Dr. Mendieta was willing to operate on her. He said he pulled a pound and a half of infected tissue from each cheek. He’s fixed botched butt jobs at least 30 times in his career – five times in 2013 alone.
Silicone injections are the enhancer of choice for women who don’t want to (or can’t) spend tens of thousands of dollars on a licensed plastic surgeon and then spend weeks recovering. A legal, safe method for boosting your backside does exist: A doctor uses liposuction to take fat from elsewhere on the body and then put it back in your butt. This is known as the fat-transfer method and it costs around $10,000 in the United States. (Recently it’s taken on a catchier name: the Brazilian Butt Lift.)
But it takes months for the fat to settle properly, and the procedure requires a few weeks of recovery time. Silicone injections require very little recovery time and boast instant results. Cooper told Open Source illegal butt injections cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000.
Busse said she asked around and heard through a friend about a spa with a secret menu of body enhancements, including butt injections. She got the first round in the summer of 2002 for $3,000. There were no side effects, and in 2009, she went to a different spa for another round. Six months later, things began to go downhill as she noticed the skin turning purple and peeling off. In exchange for paying less money up front for a rounder rear end, she estimates she’s paid at least $70,000 to correct the issues stemming from her illegal butt injections.