In the quest to fend off the signs of aging, many men and women find that healthy living and anti-wrinkle lotions and potions fail to deliver the youthful looks they desire. As reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total number of plastic surgery procedures performed in the US increased 3% in 2008, with the number of Botox and hyaluronic filler injections increasing 8% and 6%, respectively.

While nips and tucks are nothing new in the anti-aging community, there's a new contender in town that offers up something previously unavailable - permanent silicone lip implants. SurgiSil, a medical device company from Texas, offers a permanent facial implant marketed in the United Kingdom as PermaLip. PermalLip has recently gained attention in the United States since being featured on The Doctors, a popular daytime television program.

In an attempt to avoid the dreaded "trout pout" look sported by many celebrities, women are turning to Perma Facial Implant, which "is contoured, has a smooth surface to minimize tissue growth, and is reversible." Unlike commonly used lip plumpers like collagen and Restylane, insertion of the PermaLip implant is a one-time procedure and, unlike injectable fillers, PermaLip can't redistribute into an undesired portion of the lip, an ugly and obvious sign of having used lip fillers.

So is PermaLip too good to be true? Ever since we reviewed the Feather Lift procedure and saw some of the nasty results of this facial implant, we've been wary of any permanent sub-dermal insertions. Various internet message boards, which are notorious for hosting scathing beauty reviews, have glowing accounts from individuals who have had the PermaLip procedure themselves -despite procedural costs of over $2000. On the other hand, the association of silicone implants and toxicity are fairly clear.

The Journal of Toxicology reported that silicone injections led to multi-organ failure. Research collected by the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) for the National Breast Implant Litigation shows that silicone has marked effects on the adrenal glands and liver, induces chronic inflammation, and degrades into smaller molecules, including silica. Silicone fed to rabbits produced widespread toxic effects including kidney and spleen damage within four months. (Stanford Medical Bulletin, 10:1 [1952], 23-26.) “That silicone is toxic in both animals and man is well proven“, stated John S. Sergent, M.D., and colleagues in Textbook of Rheumatology (W.B. Saunders Company, 1993).