The Brazilian Butt Lift – or buttock augmentation with fat grafting – is storming it’s way to the forefront of most popular procedures. Patients and surgeons alike love the results that a patient’s own fat can provide, rather than relying on implants that typically do not work so well in the butt. With all of the excitement, there have unfortunately been cases of severe complications and even death.
While this is not a rare occurrence in surgical practice, and usually attributable to under-qualified practitioners cutting corners for a quick buck – many of these scenarios happened under the watch up qualified individuals. “You know, I’d love to throw stones and say that these problems were caused by non-board certified plastic surgeons, but that’s not true,” explains Dr. Jason Pozner of Florida. “Some of these procedures were done by board certified plastic surgeons with a lot of experience, so the question is why is it happening and how can we improve on this?”
A Potential Flaw with Fat Grafting Techniques
The main culprit in many of the extremely severe and sometimes fatal buttock augmentation procedures is fat finding it’s way into the veins, leading to heart failure. After the fat is removed from unwanted areas via liposuction, it is then re-injected into areas where volume is needed to contour. If the injection enters a vein, the fat can cause blockage and lead to severe complications – including death.
“As surgeons we need to understand what is happening and come up with guidelines and training to prevent this,” says Pozner. “I think it’s because of too much fat being placed too deep under the muscle, but we need a full evaluation of this – just like what we did with breast implants some time ago.”
Dr. Jamil Ahmad of Toronto also shares his concerns with the latest findings of buttock augmentation complications and reminds patients that their safety is only as good as the qualifications of those who perform surgery. “When you hear about new procedures and start to hear about complications, as plastic surgeons it is our job to find the best way and the safest way to get great results,” he explains. “You know when people show up in the news time and time again with severe complications, and deaths of healthy patients, it’s very worrisome. When there are trends like that, it goes beyond plastic surgery to the medical licensing boards to look very closely. People who are not qualified to provide medical treatments, people who are not performing them in adequate facilities, that has to stop.”
And while there have been anomalous complications that the most of elite of surgeons are now tending to in order to find safer techniques, it is always imperative to find someone board certified to perform your procedure. Not only are the immensely trained and experience, they are in the know – if not leading – regarding the efforts to discover the drawbacks of procedures and how to make them better. This is the person you want to trust your life with, not those who skimped training and experience to make the fastest buck.