What Are the Risks of a Brazilian Butt Lift? Experts Explain the Side Effects

On the subject of beauty procedures, arguably none have gotten extra consideration—each good and unhealthy—than the Brazilian butt raise, a.ok.a. the BBL. Attribute it to social media or a basic tradition shift, however the booty continues to have a significant second. In accordance with The Aesthetic Society, buttock augmentation elevated by 37% between 2020 and 2021 alone.

And whereas no butt augmentation process is with out danger (and illegal-market butt injections, specifically, could be fairly problematic), the BBL is extra infamous than the remainder, with plenty of buzz about its related risks. So is that this unhealthy status warranted or simply overblown hype? And what, precisely, could make a BBL doubtlessly harmful? Forward, prime plastic surgeons reply these questions and clarify methods to keep away from the key dangers of Brazilian butt raise surgical procedure.

What’s a BBL? | What could make a BBL harmful? | Unwanted effects of BBL surgical procedure | BBL vs. different butt-enhancement procedures | decrease the dangers of a BBL

What’s a BBL, precisely?

A Brazilian butt raise is a beauty surgical process that modifications the dimensions and form of an individual’s butt utilizing their very own fats from different areas of the physique. “Fats cells are eliminated by way of liposuction from the stomach, hips, thighs, or decrease again,” George Bitar, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Washington, DC, tells SELF. “The extracted fats is then purified and strategically injected into particular elements of the derriere to assist sufferers obtain their desired dimension and form.”

“Contouring the physique on this approach makes a BBL a really impactful process that may rework somebody’s form in ways in which merely aren’t potential with butt workout routines alone,” Alex Earle, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami and president of the World Affiliation of Gluteal Surgeons, tells SELF.

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Why is a BBL doubtlessly harmful?

To be clear, no beauty process—even one thing thought-about minimally invasive, like injectable eye fillers—is risk-free. However there appears to be a endless stream of stories tales and stories detailing Brazilian-butt-lift-related issues and even deaths. (Google “BBL gone improper” and also you’ll see what we imply.) A 2017 paper within the Aesthetic Surgical procedure Journal discovered the demise price related to BBL surgical procedure to be as excessive as 1 in 2,351—greater than another beauty surgical procedure, together with tummy tucks, which had been beforehand the riskiest, Steven Williams, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Oakland, California and founding father of Tri Valley Plastic Surgical procedure, tells SELF.1 (However observe that the demise price has declined considerably since that examine was printed—extra on that time in a minute.)

So what’s behind such an alarming quantity? The 2017 analysis exhibits that the reason for demise within the majority of those instances was a pulmonary fats embolism. Throughout a BBL, fats is positioned into the butt with an extended cannula (a skinny, straw-like tube) that’s inserted below the pores and skin, Dr. Earle says. “If the surgeon is inexperienced or doesn’t have sense of anatomy and goes too deep into the muscle, the fats can find yourself injuring the superior and inferior gluteal arteries,” he explains. “These blood vessels have a direct path to the center, so in the event that they’re injured and fats will get into them, that fats can go into the center and lungs and the affected person can die instantly.”

It’s scary stuff for positive, which is why a number of cosmetic surgery societies, together with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), fashioned the Activity Power for Security in Gluteal Fats Grafting in 2018. Their aim: Create new tips to make Brazilian butt lifts safer. These included suggestions equivalent to injecting the fats solely within the subcutaneous house above the muscle (immediately below the pores and skin) and utilizing bigger cannulas that don’t bend, which make it simpler to see the place the tip is, says Dr. Bitar.

Implementing this protocol seems to have had the supposed impact to this point. By 2020, deaths related to Brazilian butt lifts had dropped to roughly 1 in 15,000, in line with a examine printed within the Aesthetic Surgical procedure Journal.2 “This price is on par with that of very generally accepted procedures, equivalent to tummy tucks,” says Dr. Earle. (The truth is, one other 2020 examine in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical procedure places the BBL demise price at 1 in 20,000, in comparison with 1 in 13,000 for a tummy tuck.)3

And specialists proceed to place further BBL tips in place. This previous June, The Aesthetic Society launched new suggestions, stating that every one surgeons ought to use ultrasound expertise earlier than and throughout the fats injection portion of BBL surgical procedure.4 “This transforms the process from one that you’re primarily doing blindly to at least one in which you’ll see precisely the place the cannula is, guaranteeing you keep within the protected house between the muscle and the pores and skin, tremendously minimizing the prospect of a fats embolism,” Dr. Earle explains. These most up-to-date tips additionally advocate that surgeons carry out not more than three BBLs per day, citing surgeon fatigue as one other potential purpose for issues and issues.

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