BBL or Brazilian Butt Lift surgery, also known as gluteal fat grafting has been a popular plastic surgery procedure in the last couple of years. Thousands of women wanting to round out their bottom or correct their shape have undergone BBL to achieve their dream of a more beautiful body. BBL surgery involves the suctioning of the patient’s existing fat tissue from another part of their body (harvesting the fat) and injecting it into the gluteal area (buttocks). Unfortunately, this plastic surgery has been associated with many deaths.
According to the Emergency Order issued by the Florida Department of Health and the Board of Medicine on the standard of care for BBL surgery in Florida, the death rate for Brazilian Butt Lift surgery is the highest “than with any other aesthetic surgical procedure.” The mortality rate is 1/3000 patients. The majority of the deaths are caused by fat embolism, which occurs when fat gets into the bloodstream and blocks circulation. You can read more about this here. The problem is so bad that the Florida Department of Health issued two Emergency Orders restricting how plastic surgeons perform the procedure.
On June 7, 2019, the Florida Board of Medicine found that the risk of death increases when the fat is injected beyond the subcutaneous tissue, into the muscle, and under the muscle. Therefore, the Board issued an emergency rule prohibiting plastic surgeons from injecting the fat “below the superficial gluteal fascia. “But, this rule did not seem to affect the death rate from BBL surgery. Plastic surgery patients continued to suffer from fat emboli when the cannula accidentally was inserted too deep. Therefore, on June 14, 2022, the Florida Department of Health and Board of Medicine issued a secondary emergency rule, further restricting how plastic surgeons perform BBL in Florida. This time the Board mandated two additional restrictions. First, plastic surgeons are now required to use an ultrasound device to help guide the cannula as it is inserted into the tissue to prevent accidental piercing of the gluteal fascia. Second, plastic surgeons cannot perform more than three (3) Brazilian Butt Lift surgeries per calendar day. The Board found that, if done correctly with an ultrasound device, a surgeon cannot possibly do more than three BBL surgeries per day.
Recently a famous Instagram influencer died at 29 years old after suffering a complication from a botched BBL surgery.
If you are considering BBL surgery or any other plastic surgery, you should understand your risk of suffering a serious adverse effect.