INSIDE EDITION Investigates Illegal Back-Room Butt Enhancements
Having a plump, curvaceous behind has become an asset in Hollywood. Women are paying a lot of money to look like Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian by enhancing their behinds.
It's become the latest craze in cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons say the only way safe way to do it is through surgical implants, or by transferring fat from another part of one's body done by board certified doctors.
But, Lisa Guerrero and the INSIDE EDITION I-Squad found a shady, underground world of unqualified people who allegedly injected their customers with strange cocktails.
Many women were promised beautiful behinds, but were left disfigured and scarred. In some cases, they died as a result of these toxic injections.
In one case, a woman in Florida, allegedly injected herself and her patients with things like cement and Fix-A-Flat - sold for tire repairs.A far cry from the celebrity sex-appeal so many were hoping for.
Gabi Castillo always envied Jennifer Lopez's sexy moves. She wasn't satisfied with her own curves, so she paid $6,000 to get a more voluptuous backside.
"I felt I would look sexy if I had a big butt," Gabi told INSIDE EDITION.
Not long after the procedure, a lump appeared on her behind. It grew into a life-threatening infection that was eating away at her skin and muscle.
"I remember the horror of not knowing if I was going to live," she said.
Doctors told Gabi, she'd been injected with an unknown, contaminated substance.
She had to undergo 28 surgeries, which removed the infection, and most of her behind. Today, she's left with permanent scars and has to wear prosthetic pads just to feel normal.
Miami plastic surgeon Constantino Mendieta told INSIDE EDITION, "Without knowing it, these patients are rolling the dice. They're actually playing Russian roulette with their health."
So, who are the people performing illegal back-room procedures?
An INSIDE EDITION I-Squad producer went undercover and met with one of them.
Her name is Malena Jackson. With $500 cash in hand, our undercover producer met Jackson at a motel outside Cleveland.
"It's a risky, risky business," she told our undercover producer.
Jackson runs her own injection business, complete with a PowerPoint presentation – and pictures of her clients' before and after photos.
"I have over 30 clients."
She said she has even had injections done herself, and showed off her large behind to our producer.
"You have nothing to worry about," Jackson said about the injections.
But, she is not a doctor and what she is doing is illegal.
As she was about to take our producer to another location for the injections, INSIDE EDITION Chief Investigative Reporter, Lisa Guerrero walked into the motel room and let Jackson know who were really were.
"Do you realize you're putting people's lives at risk by doing these illegal injections?" Guerrero asked, as Jackson took off running.
"Are you a doctor?" Guerrero asked again.
Jackson never answered INSIDE EDITION's questions.
It turns out that secret meetings in motel rooms are not the only way people are finding ways to enhance their behinds.
The I-Squad found you can actually do-it-yourself, by ordering an online kit from buttinjectionkits.com.
INSIDE EDITION sent a money order for $600 to a New Jersey address, and a week later – our kit arrived.
The kit came complete with ordinary band-aids, alcohol swabs, a single pair of rubber gloves and 30 giant syringes filled with a gooey substance the website said was medical grade silicone oil.
We hired a lab to test the substance inside those syringes. The lab found those 30 syringes were filled with a type of adhesive used in things like toothpaste and detergent. And, that gooey substance was far from sterile.
Gabi Castillo has a warning for others considering these procedures, don't do it. "It's not worth it, it's just not worth it."