Urgent Warning Regarding Fat Grafting to the Buttocks or Brazilian Butt Lifting (BBL)
Last month, five American and International Societies (ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, ISPRES, and IFATS) issued an Urgent Advisory to surgeons regarding the “alarming” number of deaths associated with the surgical procedure commonly known as the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).
According to the advisory, the death rate with fat grafting to the buttocks is as high as 1:3000 cases. Most deaths are reported to have occurred during surgery and the cause of death is uniformly the inadvertent injection of fat into the large veins associated with the buttocks or gluteal area. The fat then travels to the heart and lungs causing cardiopulmonary failure or arrest.
The Task Force has concluded that the practice of grafting fat into the large muscles of the buttock is unsafe and FAT SHOULD NEVER BE GRAFTED INTO THE GLUTEAL MUSCLE.
The Task Force further advises that fat grafted into the subcutaneous plane is safe and acceptable.
The urgent advisory issued by the Task Force is highly commendable and consistent with the mission and ethics of all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons which is to place Patient Safety first. The popularity of fat grafting, fat transfers, Brazilian lifts, etc has unfortunately invited a diverse array of practitioners to attempt the procedure in a wide range of settings. I have personally seen and treated cases where materials such as silicone caulking have been applied by unscrupulous practitioners offering the Brazilian Butt Lift. It is high time that professional societies caution both the public and professionals regarding the potential dangers associated with BBL.
While fat grafting remains the gold standard in gluteal augmentation, the application of fat to deeper planes poses a real danger to patient safety as articulated in the Urgent Advisory. No doubt, I and my colleague Plastic Surgeons will promptly incorporate the recommendations and modify our practices accordingly.
The action taken by the Task Force in conjunction with a multiplicity of recognized professional societies illustrates the important role that Board Certifications and professional memberships play in the advancement of education and best practices in all fields of medicine. Consumers should pay careful attention to the Board Certifications, memberships, and commitment to professional standards of all the physicians they choose for consultations and treatments.
Remember — no elective aesthetic/cosmetic procedure or deal is so good that it’s worth dying for.
To learn more about your options for an improved body contour and gluteum, please arrange a consultation with Dr. Reddy.
Dr. Reddy is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a proud member of ASPS and IFATS.
P. Pravin Reddy, MD is a Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.