Doctor agrees to halt injections of liquid silicone FDA fights to stop wrinkle treatments

March 01, 1992|By Philip J. Hilts | Philip J. Hilts,New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- A New York doctor has agreed to end his 40-year practice of injecting liquid silicone into the bodies of patients to try to erase wrinkles.

The agreement of Dr. Norman Orentreich, which came in a consent decree signed Friday with the Food and Drug Administration, was the FDA's first success in its effort to stop plastic surgeons and dermatologists from injecting silicone into patients. The government said the practice was illegal and sometimes caused catastrophic health problems.

The Justice Department also went to U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeking an injunction to stop Dr. James E. Fulton and doctors at his two Los Angeles clinics, Vivant Fulton Pharma-Cal and Acne Research Institute, from performing such injections.

The agency is still investigating two other doctors in Los Angeles and Miami.

Patients who have received the injections over the years have suffered various problems, depending on the amount and the location of silicone injected.

The problems have ranged from lumps and open sores to death in the rare cases when silicone migrated to the lungs.

Under the consent decree, Dr. Orentreich, his brother David S. Orentreich, and Dr. Michael A. Kalman, partners in the Orentreich Medical Group in Manhattan, are permanently prohibited from using, making, selling, advertising or shipping liquid silicone. They have agreed to destroy any silicone they now have.

Under the agreement, the doctors do not admit any wrongdoing.

Since the 1970s, Dr. Orentreich had fought the agency over the issue, arguing that the treatment had few risks.

He had said in interviews that he had injected more than 100,000 patients, including himself and many celebrities.

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