Pumping is the common slang for injection of silicone gel (usually industrial silicone) into the body in a crude attempt at aesthetic modification, it is not to be confused with the practice by some trans men of using a vacuum device to enlarge their clitoris for later metoidioplasty.
Pumping usually takes place during a pumping party, in a motel room, or rarely, a private residence. Locations of pumping parties are usually spread via word of mouth or by text message. It is illegal in most places due to being technically practicing medicine without a license.
Pumping started to take off in 2000 when the first pumping parties took place using liquid construction silicon to "enhance" various parts of their body. (namely lips, cheeks, chin, breast and buttocks) While pumping is a phenomenon usually done by trans women desperate for a quick and cheap fix to beauty, there have been women assigned at birth who have fallen prey to the allure of the idea of looking better on the cheap.
The risks of pumping range from the immediate such as an infection from shared needles, unsterilized silicone and unsanitary injection, to long term effects such as autoimmune disorders, and pitting of the areas where the free silicone has migrated to other parts of the body. Death is a very real possibility as the result of pumping.
Removal of silicone
Removal of free silicone is, in a nutshell, done by surgically opening the affected area up and scraping off the silicone from the affected tissues. This does not usually result in complete removal of the silicone, nor on its own, restore the aesthetic damage done after long term free silicone use.
In March 2001, Vera Lawrence died of a heart attack after 20 injections to her buttocks. The person who did the injections, Donnie "Viva" Hendrix, later resumed her "practice" after being released from the Tomoka Correctional Institution and has been arrested again for offering silicone injections without a medical license.
- Silicone Injection Causing Acute Pneumonitis: A Case Series by Ana C. Zamora, Harold R. Collard, Lourdes Barrera, Felipe Mendoza, W. Richard Webb and Guillermo Carrillo (Lung, Volume 187, Number 4, August 2009)
- Liquid silicone breast cosmesisâ€”pros and cons of a conversely discussed material in a case report of silicone pneumonia in a transsexual male by Christian Weinand, and Ananth S. Murthy (European Journal of Plastic Surgery, Volume 32, Number 4, August 2009)
- Dermolipectomy of the Thighs and Buttocks to Solve a Massive Silicone Oil Injection by Hugo D. Loustau, Horacio F. Mayer and Luciano Catterino (Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Volume 33, Number 4, July 2009)
- Large volume liquid silicone injection in the upper thighs: a never ending story by S. O. P. Hofer, A. Damen and J. P. A. Nicolai (European Journal of Plastic Surgery, Volume 23, Number 4, May 2000)
- Silicone Embolism Syndrome: A Case Report, Review of the Literature, and Comparison With Fat Embolism Syndrome by Andreas Schmid, Assaf Tzur, Lidiya Leshko, and Bruce P. Krieger (CHEST: June 2005 vol. 127)
- Despite risk of death, disfigurement, some get black-market silicone injections by Cristian Salazar, Associated Press, January 10, 2010
- Woman pleads guilty to illegal silicone butt injections - By Alexandra Zayas, Times Staff Writer, July 28, 2009
- Silicone Disasters & Aesthetic Revision (by Dr. Harold Reed) contains photographs, before and after, of male clients who injected substances into their genitals
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