As celebrities like Kim Kardashian have made voluptuous backsides in high demand, a group of plastic surgeons have issued a new warning to fellow doctors performing a procedure known as the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). The Brazilian Butt Lift, which has been increasingly in high demand, carries an “unusually high mortality rate,” that is “greater than any other cosmetic surgery,” according to a new warning to surgeons performing the procedure from a task force backed by international board-certified plastic surgeon societies, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
As many as one in 3,000 people who undergo the Brazilian butt lift die, according to the warning. What is a Brazilian butt lift? The first thing you should know about the BBL is that it’s not really a lift. The cosmetic procedure enlarges the buttock area through the injection of fat. That fat is usually taken from other parts of the body ― usually the abdomen and thighs ― for additional contouring effects. The procedure has become increasingly popular over the past few years (perhaps a result of the Kardashian effect).
Why is it so dangerous? The BBL is a risky surgery because of a number of different factors. For instance, there are a lot of blood vessels in the buttock area that can be torn or punctured if the fat is injected too deep. As a result, the fat can make its way into the circulatory system and travel to the lungs, which could lead to a pulmonary embolism. “[A pulmonary embolism is basically a blood clot in the lungs], and you can’t get oxygen to your body because there’s obstruction, and that’s fatal,” he said. “You really don’t have much time to do intervention. It’s something a patient can’t [always] recover from, and it can be immediate.”
Other elements that can affect the outcome of the procedure, include the amount of fat that’s injected, the angle at which it’s injected and the type and size of instrument (a cannula) used. What needs to be done to make the BBL safer? In response to the high mortality rate associated with the BBL, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Plastic Regenerative Surgeons and the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science are planning to form a task force that aims to develop safety guidelines for the procedure.