BBL History Lesson - Popularity and Possible Problems

Posted May 19, 2022
BBL history

The Brazilian butt lift (BBL) has continued to grow in popularity to the point that it was named the fastest-growing cosmetic procedure in the world in 2018 (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). In addition, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery said the number of BBL procedures has grown 77.6% since 2015. Let’s take a look at why the BBL has grown in popularity and what the future looks like for this procedure.

Brazilian Butt Lift – A Look at its History and Growth in Popularity

The origin of the treatment dates back to Brazil and the year 1960. During that year, a surgeon named Ivo Pitanguy founded the first plastic surgery training center in the world. In that center in Brazil, he pioneered the technique that would become known as the Brazilian butt lift and the doctor also started to teach surgeons all over the world how to perform the surgery.

Fast forward several years and the BBL made its way to the United States where celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj gained fame for their looks as well as their musical talents. The media began to recognize the fact that Lopez and Minaj were being admired for their butts as much as their singing and rap skills.

South Florida grew to be recognized as the plastic surgery center of America thanks to the fact that residents of Florida can often wear bikinis all throughout the year. By 1999, it was reported that more than one in ten plastic surgery procedures (performed by board-certified plastic surgeons) were being performed in Florida.

There is also a large number of doctors in the state of Florida performing multiple plastic surgery procedures in many medical fields. This is due to the fact that Florida, much like every other state in the USA, allows medical doctors to practice and treat patients in any field as long as they have the permission of the patient. In other words, the doctor cannot perform plastic surgery in a hospital or surgical center if they are not trained and board-certified in the procedure. However, doctors can legally decide to open their own clinic in order to perform a treatment like liposuction even without the proper training or certification from a medical board.

BBL Death Rates Examined

As the popularity of Brazilian butt lifts has grown, a 2017 study published in the National Library of Medicine showed the worldwide mortality rate was around 3000 with 25 of those deaths occurring in the United States in the five years prior to the study being published.

The year 2019 saw an estimated mortality rate of one in 14,921 while 2020 showed the estimated mortality rate being one in 20,117. (The International Open Access Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons provided these figures.)

The main cause of BBL deaths has been shown to be the result of an improper technique being performed. There are instances where the fat that is injected into the buttocks can travel through the body to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. This is one of the reasons that many doctors limit the amount of fat they will inject into the body.

Brazilian Butt Lift Limitations and Recovery

Brazilian Butt Lift Limitations and RecoveryThere are limitations to the amount of fat that can be transferred to the backside of a person while still maintaining a natural look. Not all of the fat will survive the transfer process which means it might take multiple procedures to achieve the desired results.

Each patient will need to wear a corset-like garment to keep their body shape in place for about three months after the procedure. This garment is necessary while the new fat is connecting with the fat that already exists in the treated area.

Patients will need to sleep on their face for about six weeks while also using a special pillow for sitting once the doctor approves the act of sitting down.

BBL – How to Find the Right Doctor

The best way for a person to make an educated choice about having a Brazilian butt lift is performing as much research as possible. They can find the board-certifications of their doctor of choice online on in order to make sure the surgeon is properly trained in performing a BBL.

It is also important to schedule a consultation appointment with the surgeon so the medical professional can make sure the patient is healthy enough to have the procedure. The surgeon will discuss the desired final results so the patient will have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished by having the surgery.

The doctor also needs to make sure the patient is having a BBL because they want to make the changes to their body and not because they want to have the surgery in order to make someone else happy with their appearance.

It remains to be seen if the popularity of BBL will be maintained or if a new plastic surgery procedure will become the new “it” treatment. Some doctors have reported seeing changes in BBL requests from making the booty as big as possible to simply wanting a rounder figure. The changes in butt contouring requests might signal a change in the popularity of BBL in the coming years.

- MA


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