The Brazilian facelift is on the rise.
This is not surprising given the growing obsession of popular culture with the big and happy behind. From Jennifer Lopez to Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian, paraphrasing Sir Mix-a-Lot, we love big butts and we can not lie. But according to a recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, BBL, as it is also known, is one of the most dangerous cosmetic procedures.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. But LBT patients have an alarming death rate: about 1 in 3,000 people undergoing procedure die, or 0.033%, compared to 0.002% of all office cosmetic procedures, according to a 2016 study published in Aesthetic Surgery Newspaper. This has raised red flags in the plastic surgery community. And the cause of these deaths is worrying: the fat injected too deeply can enter your circulatory system, eventually leading to pulmonary embolism.
According to Dr. Douglas Senderoff, a certified plastic surgeon based in New York, BBL is associated with the highest complication rate of any plastic surgery or non-emergency surgery in healthy people. It’s “too high,” he said.
Of course, any death or complication of an elective procedure is, by definition, unnecessary.
To find out more about the procedure and why it’s so dangerous, HuffPost spoke to Senderoff, as well as Dr. Alan Matarasso, President-Elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and Dr. Lara Devgan, Medical Director of RealSelf . , a place where people can share their experiences in cosmetic surgery and connect with doctors.
What is a Brazilian butt lift?
The first thing to know about the BBL is that it’s not really about an elevator.
“It’s a bit inappropriate,” said Matarasso, explaining that the aesthetic procedure expands the buttocks area through fat injection. This fat is usually taken from other parts of the body, usually the abdomen and thighs, for extra contour effects.
The procedure has become increasingly popular in recent years (perhaps because of the Kardashian effect). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has announced that its members and other certified surgeons have performed 20,301 buttocks with fat graft in 2017, up 10% from 2016.
According to Matarasso, increasing popularity makes sense. “People like the idea of using their own body fat,” he said, pointing out that there was more than one “general change” in the shape of his body. “For example, you can reduce the thighs and widen the buttocks, and go together.”
Devgan agreed and said that people are attracted to the BBL because it leaves more hourglasses to patients. “You lose importance and fullness of the abdomen and waist, but you gain importance and fullness of the buttocks,” he said.
Why is it so dangerous?
BBL is a risky surgery because of a number of different factors.
For example, there are many blood vessels in the gluteal region that can be broken or perforated if the fat is injected too deeply, said Senderoff. As a result, fats can enter the circulatory system and reach the lungs, which could lead to pulmonary embolism, he explained.
“[A pulmonary embolism] is basically a blood clot in the lungs, and it can not carry oxygen in your body because there is an obstruction, and it’s fatal,” he said. “You do not really have a lot of time to do the surgery, it’s something that a patient can not [always] recover, and it can be immediate.”
According to Matarasso, the amount of fat injected, its angle of injection, as well as the type and size of the instrument used (a cannula), can also influence the outcome of the procedure.
Devgan said that other factors, such as the patient’s position on the operating table, the patient’s weight and the duration of the procedure, that “may last a little longer so that it stays a little more time for anesthesia “, may have negative effects on the result.
BBL can have a series of life-threatening complications, such as bleeding, infections, and skin scarring, Matarasso said. According to Senderoff, patients may also have adipose necrosis in which injected fat cells die, resulting in firm lumps that can cause infection.
What are the alternatives?
A Brazilian facelift is certainly not the only option for those considering improving their funds. But each procedure has its own risks, so it is advisable to consult a doctor before making any decision.
Senderoff said that gluteal implants are still a common procedure for patients seeking to increase the size of the area permanently. There is also a real surgical gluteal uplift, which, according to Matarasso, is usually done on people who have lost a lot of weight.
It is also possible to combine fat injections with implants, said Senderoff. In this way, the doctor does not need fat to build the central volume of the buttock. He described this method as a reasonable approach because it allows greater precision.
Doctors can also do what’s known as an automatic augmentation, says Matarasso, which involves lifting the buttock and reshaping the extra tissue into a flap, which gives a more well-formed back. He stated that this surgery was generally safe, but was associated with cuts and scars that did not necessarily come with the Brazilian butt lifter.
Non-surgical options are also available, with the gluteal augmentation of Sculptra being the most popular, said Devgan.
“It is an injectable filler that stimulates the body’s collagen and can be injected to improve gluteal formation and reduce the appearance of cellulite,” he said. “The limit of this technique is that it takes a lot of products and a lot of time for the results to be achieved.”
The charges last from two to five years and the resulting collagen induction lasts indefinitely. Patients should return after four to five years for another treatment.
There is also EmSculpt, which according to Devgan is a “mostly electrical muscle stimulation” designed to encourage your body to build muscle mass. Although he is often used to model and circumvent the abdominal area, he also stated that EmSculpt was also sold as being suitable for non-surgical gluteal ascents.
Exercise is of course the most natural alternative. Matarasso noted that while it is possible to develop muscles and expand the gluteal region, it is more difficult to reduce the size of other areas.
What needs to be done to make the BBL safer?
In response to the high mortality rate associated with BBL, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Regenerative Surgeons of Matter Plastic and at the International Federation of Therapeutics Adiposa and Science have formed a working group that aims to develop safety guidelines for the procedure.
Devgan, Matarasso and Senderoff agreed that the BBL mortality rate is too high and requested that some modifications be made.
“I think there needs to be more awareness and regulation in the sector,” said Devgan. “I think people who are not trained in plastic surgery should not follow this procedure, and I think the public should be more aware of the existing risks.”
“It’s really unacceptable, what’s happening is outrageous,” said Senderoff. “The question is, can this be avoided or is it something that will happen continuously with this operation?” I think it’s up to every plastic surgeon to really explain the risks and not be so indifferent to this operation. ”
There’s very little regulation
“Plastic surgery has become the Wild West,” said Devgan, adding that “all kinds of doctors, whether or not they have formal training in the discipline, will come out, hang the tile and perform plastic surgery. ”
Senderoff admitted that it is scary to think of the number of uncertified people who practice BBL, but noted that there are also board-certified plastic surgeons who have experience with these complications.
“The operation is risky in itself, and if you entrust it to people who are not well trained, it’s even more dangerous,” he said.
Of course, the surgical interventions in the “alley” continue to occur (as can be witnessed by the rapper Cardi B). In other words, people who are not doctors practice cosmetic procedures, injecting “inappropriate substances” such as silicone into people’s bodies, which is extremely dangerous. Matarasso said.
“Unfortunately, it is not as rare as you would like,” he said, adding that there are many articles in medical journals on how to deal with the complications of these poor quality procedures. “Every day, a person goes to the ER with silicones” or pieces of hard tissue that form around the silicone gel that has migrated from the injection site or implant.