The Elephant in the Operating Room: Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safer Now?

The Elephant in the Operating Room: Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safer Now? featured image

There is a working gag on social media exhibiting customers mimicking the actions of a post-Brazilian Butt Lift affected person doing something from consuming their post-surgery salad to slowly strolling right into a room after present process the body-transforming surgical procedure. The joke is in the means the individual carries him or herself, consuming and transferring ever so delicately, as if one swift transfer may break their very costly new physique. 

The “BBL effect” taking on social is only a signal that the surgical procedure that has been thought of excessive threat hasn’t misplaced its place in our cultural zeitgeist. In 2019, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery statistics discovered that greater than 28,000 BBLs had been carried out that yr, and in 2020 the quantity went down by 22 %. A steep decline, sure, however there have been nonetheless greater than 20,000 BBLs carried out regardless of the safety-risk warnings related to the surgical procedure. With new suggestions in play and docs promoting a brand new “safer BBL” mannequin, we needed to discover out if the process’s monitor report has improved.

Safety Protocols

“Yes, BBL procedures continue to be in demand throughout the United States,” says Newport Beach, CA plastic surgeon Sanjay Grover, MD. “There have been serious concerns about the fatality rate with BBLs. Estimates were recently incorrectly reported at 1 in 3,000 cases, but this was later refuted and found to be closer to 1 in 13,000 which was less or similar to abdominoplasty procedures.”

“The biggest danger with Brazilian Butt Lifts is fat entering the bloodstream and going to the lungs,” explains New York plastic surgeon Jeffrey S. Yager, MD. “This is known as a fat embolism and can be fatal.” 

Reducing the Risk

Dr. Grover notes that final yr The Aesthetic Society fashioned a job power to judge this situation and got here out with steerage for its members to enhance security. “These guidelines included ensuring placement of fat in the superficial subcutaneous space, or over the muscle, and not in the deeper muscles where large vessels exist and increase the risk for fat emboli. The size of cannulas used was also discussed as well as location of placement.”

Plastic surgeons who frequently carry out BBLs say these suggestions have helped to vastly enhance the security charge of the procedures. “The keys to safety in a BBL are to keep the fat above the muscle, avoid the lower inner quadrant where the blood vessels are, and ensure the patient is in good health and understands the recovery process” provides Dr. Yager. 

“For safety, fat must be injected above the buttock muscle, not into the muscle,” provides Baton Rouge, LA plastic surgeon John V. Williams, MD. “When fat is injected into the muscle, the fat goes under the muscle and tears large veins of the buttock. This results in fat going to the lungs or heart, which is fatal.”

Proceeding with Caution

According to La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD, even with the new pointers, we’re not out of the woods but. “First of all, there’s a risk in any procedure. Secondly, there have been cases where the doctor said that they absolutely injected above the muscle, and in fact the patient died and it was later found that the injection went not only above the muscle, but behind the muscle. We don’t have an eye at the end of the cannula, so you can’t be 100-percent sure.”

The Strip-Mall Factor

Santa Monica, CA plastic surgeon Steven Teitelbaum, MD says the most harmful BBL circumstances come from environments the place affected person security is commonly compromised. “The bottom line is that while it is theoretically safe to do a BBL if the fat is placed only in front of the muscle, deaths are still occurring. We know that many of the deaths in Florida have occurred at businessmen-owned discount clinics in strip malls. These clinics are a particular scourge in Florida. Doctors are said not to meet patients until the morning of surgery and supposedly they have schedules that are too busy.” 

Vetting Your Surgeon

“This procedure is best performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, and you can always check this at,” advises Dr. Yager. “Research your surgeon in advance, and meet with them beforehand. The surgeon should be performing BBLs often and should be certified in plastic surgery by the American Medical Board of Surgery.”

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