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      Edinburg surgeon removes toxic silicone from victims

      What was supposed to be a beauty enhancement turned into aches and pains for two Hidalgo county woman.

      The cause of the pain was large amounts of liquid silicone that was injected into their buttocks.

      It had become very disfiguring, Dr. Filiberto Rodriguez said. Their skin started becoming very thin and ulcerating and it was very painful to sit on it.

      The women claim Nohemi Gabriela Gonzalez gave them the injections.

      Gonzalez approached the woman at a nail salon and convinced the pair to get the enhancements.

      She told them they were being injected with collagen, Rodriguez said. Collagen is also not FDA approved for injections.

      In actuality the women were injected with a toxic liquid silicone.

      For years they searched for a surgeon to remove it.

      They were told the surgery was risky because their skin had become paper thin and removing the silicone would leave a large crater in their buttocks.

      They were referred to Rodriguez who is one of the few surgeons in the Valley that can remove the silicone then reconstruct the damaged area by inserting a solid silicone butt implant under the muscle.

      Both women underwent surgery recently.

      I don TMt know how (the injections) are done, I don TMt know the sterility of the technique, Rodriguez said. But I know no physician would inject liquid silicone to augment any body part because it is known to be dangerous.

      More than 20 other victims have come forward, and one is believed to have died from her injections.

      Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino now believes Gonzalez performed these injections for over ten years and on more than a hundred clients.

      These people are really victims, he said.

      Unfortunately not everyone can or should have the silicone removed.

      If you have had the injections and haven TMt had any problems, be thankful and leave them alone, Rodriguez said.

      If the injections are painful you should make an appointment with a general surgeon.

      But if the infection has gone too long without treatment, the person may have to live with the silicone for the rest of their lives.