Over the last few years, one cosmetic fat procedure that has grown in popularity is a BBL or Brazilian butt lift. The cosmetic fat grafting procedure provides volume to the buttocks as well as a better contour and shape to the overall appearance of the backside of a patient. Doctors remove fat from one part of the body, via liposuction, and then cleanse and purify the removed fat. Once that process is completed, the fat is injected into the buttocks of the patient.
While this surgical technique is a very popular procedure, one United Kingdom plastic surgery organization is warning patients not to undergo a BBL. They want doctors that perform the procedure to wait until there is more data available about the performance, risks and results of the surgery.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, aka BAAPS, has announced it is officially asking all of its members to stop offering a Brazilian butt lift as one of their surgical options. In a statement issued by the organization, BAAPS said that BBLs have the highest death rate of all cosmetic procedures. They estimated the death rate to be as high as 1 in every 3000 procedures.
Even with this statistic to warn patients, the surgery keeps growing in popularity. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) says the number of patients undergoing a BBL has more than doubled in the past five years. However, the ASPS did issue an “urgent warning” about the risks of undergoing a BBL back in August.
What are the risks of a Brazilian butt lift that makes these plastic surgery organizations issue such dire warnings to potential BBL patients?
According to BAAPS, the main reason for most deaths that are linked to a Brazilian butt lift is the fact that the fat can be injected into the veins by mistake. The fat that is injected into the veins by accident has the possibility of going to areas such as the lungs, heart and brain. If the fat travels to these areas, it has a good chance of blocking the flow of blood to these organs. This medical issue is better known as a fat embolism and can be fatal to a patient.
There are other complications that can happen as the result of a patient undergoing a BBL. These additional risks and complications include such issues as scarring, bacterial infections, abscesses and tissue death.
When taking another look at the statement issued by the ASPS, the organization said the high demand for BBLs means there is more of a demand for doctors that can properly perform the procedure. This also means that more non-plastic surgeons, and even plastic surgeons that are not board-certified, are performing Brazilian butt lifts. The increase in the number of surgeons that are not experienced in safely performing the procedure is also causing an increase in the amount of complications seen after surgery.
Many patients are looking to increase the volume in their booty as well as save money on the surgery by having a BBL performed somewhere other than their home country. This is part of the trend known as cosmetic surgery tourism. However, deciding to travel out of the country to have a BBL can be a very risky decision. If a patient decides to go overseas for surgery, it can be quite difficult to check the credentials of a surgeon if they work for a private company. In addition, the ASPS said the combination of surgery and overseas travel can put a strain on the body and further increase the risk of complications following the cosmetic surgery procedure.
Since the year 2013, one hospital in the United Kingdom has reported a six-fold increase in the number of patients looking to reverse the effects of botched surgeries that were performed overseas. A large number of these botched plastic surgery procedures actually involved complications that were the result of buttock enhancement. In addition, a recent survey conducted by BAAPS said that four out of five surgeons have reported seeing an increase in the number of patients looking to have a revision performed on a plastic surgery that they decided to have performed somewhere other than their home country.
It is important that patients conduct proper and thorough research about their board-certified doctor of choice. They should read reviews from actual patients that were treated by the doctor. In addition, patients should ask to see “before and after” photos of patients that had the plastic surgery treatment in question performed by the surgeon they are thinking about using for their surgery. Once they make the final decision about which doctor to use, patients need to schedule a consultation appointment with the surgeon. The doctor will examine the patient and determine if the person is healthy enough to undergo the desired plastic surgery procedure.