Is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) safe?

With shockingly high mortality rates, the BBL procedure has received scrutiny from both the media and plastic surgeons. The debate as to whether a BBL is safe still continues, with a press release on the 4th October 2018, from the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) stating “Crucially, the Brazilian Buttock Lift is a complex technique, and its death rate of 1/3,000 (or as much as 1/2,000! is the highest for any aesthetic procedure. " and recommending that surgeons do not perform this procedure until more data has been analysed.

The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)techniques explained

A BBL requires only a local anaesthetic and involves utilising, two techniques. First liposuction or liposculpture is performed, normally around the abdomen, hip, lower back and thigh areas, to harvest fat. The second technique involves injecting into multiple areas in the buttocks, the purified fat, to increase size and improve shape.

According to the data, the risk of fatality is a result of the fat being injected into veins, which then causes an emboli (blockage of a blood vessel). When an emboli travel to the heart or lungs this can then result in the death of the patient.

In contrast to the recommendation given in the UK by the BAAPS, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) considers a BBL to be a safe procedure when performed using the correct surgical techniques. Additionally, ABCS members are required to have received extra training to learn how to effectively apply the correct techniques, to undertake a BBL and fat grafting.

One report of complications following a BBL performed by an American surgeon called Dr. Harry Intsiful states 'her intestines were punctured in eight different places during the surgery, leading to additional emergency surgeries and a life-threatening infection.' With such high associated risks, it is essential you check your surgeons' qualifications and experience and don't rely on the information you have found on plastic surgery websites that profit by promoting surgeons. Checks to ensure your surgeon is qualified and has received specialty training in plastic surgery - LINK to plastic surgeon page

Minor Risks of a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

• Liposuction and liposculpture may result in an irregular surface of the skin where it has been performed, causing noticeable dips and ridges.

• Fat cells can die and be reabsorbed resulting in uneven contours or lack of shape and repeat fat grafts may be required.

• Fat cells can harden into small lumps as a result of fat necrosis (death of cells) and may need to be surgically removed.

• Hematomas and seromas can be caused by liposculpture and fat grafting

• Infection which may need to be treated with an IV antibiotic drip.

• Nerve damage may result in numb areas of skin which may be permanent

Recovery time after a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

To improve the success of the fat cells that have been injected surviving it is vital to carefully follow all of the post-operative instruction s provided by your plastic surgeon. Below is just a guide to the timelines of recovery and should not be taken as medical advice.

First two weeks after a BBL

You must not sit on your buttocks or lie on your back to go to sleep. The only exception is when you need to use the toilet.

Up to eight weeks after a BBL

After two weeks you may be able to start sitting down using an inflatable support ring often referred to as a donut. You will normally be able to stop using this after eight weeks following the procedure.

Six months after a BBL

You should be able to ascertain your final results at this point and may decide to have additional fat grafts if you are not satisfied with the size and shape of your buttocks.

Maintaining the results after a BBL

The most effective way to maintain your results after a BBL is to keep your weight steady. Significant increases or decreases in weight have the potential to impact the results due to the loss of fat cells.

Questions to ask your plastic surgeon before a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

• Will you use a local anaesthetic and is sedation available?

• When did you perform your first BBL and since then how many BBL procedures have you performed?

• How many BBL procedures do you perform on average per month?

• Have you recorded any fatalities following a BBL?

• In the past 12 months have you had to admit any patients to intensive care after a BBL?

• What were the complications that resulted in the admittance of a patient(s) to intensive care after a BBL?

• Can you confirm that all hospital and consultant fees are included if I need further care or repeat procedures due to complications?

How to improve recovery after a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

Deep oscillation therapy, increases blood flow and encourages faster lymphatic drainage. This results in quicker regeneration of tissues which leads to a quicker and smoother recovery after a BBL. Plastic surgeons and other medical practitioners have been recommending deep oscillation therapy for many years following either liposuction, liposculpture and autologous fat transfer, and has also been approved by the FDA for both before and after a surgical procedure. You can safely have deep oscillation therapy as soon as 1 day after the procedure, although you may be recommended to wait 7 days or longer and must follow the advice of your plastic surgeon.

Deep oscillation therapy is clinically proven to: • Decrease bruising and swelling • Reduce pain • Faster recovery from local odema • Decrease the risk of infection • Speed up the elimination of interstitial fluid • Improve healing • Reduce skin trophicity (death of skin cells) • Improving • Stimulates the production of collagen, naturally improving skin elasticity • Promote healing and reduce scar tissue and fibrosis • Improve the rate of delivery of nutrients to the tissues and speed up tissue regeneration • Stimulate the process to speed up the removal of toxins (detoxification) • Promote and increase muscle tone

Posted on Aug 01, 2020

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