A brand new global task force has now been established to address the rapidly rising death rate as a result of the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure.
Quickly gaining notoriety around the world for its risky nature and high probability of complication or death, the Brazilian Butt Lift is said to, according to the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), have a mortality rate of 1 in every 3000 – higher than any other cosmetic procedure.
The procedure, which involves removing fat from an area of the body via liposuction and transplanting it into the buttocks via injection, is continuing to grow in popularity, particularly in the US. In fact, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery recorded a 26 per increase in the number of procedures in 2017 compared to the previous year.
“The butt is becoming the new breast,” says Dr Tim Papadopoulos, Specialist Plastic Surgeon and past President of ASAPS.
The new task force, dubbed the “Inter-Society Buttock Fat Grafting Task Force”, sees five leading global plastic and cosmetic surgery-related organisations come together to investigate the procedure’s risk and improve client safety.
These organisations include the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Plastic and Regenerative Surgeons, and the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science.
“The Task Force is concerned with the high mortality rate of this operation and is aggressively investigating ways to make this procedure safer,” says Papadopoulos. “The rate of death is far greater than any other cosmetic surgery. Having said that, there has been no reported case of a death from BBL in Australasia. This may be due to the cultural and ethnic differences and perceptions of beauty regarding the derriere.”
The popularity of the procedure is believed to be driven by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, whose body shapes do not necessarily appeal here in Australia in the same way they do internationally.
“The cause of death is fat emboli-globules of fat that inadvertently enter the gluteal veins and swiftly make their way up to the heart and lungs, causing patients to arrest and die usually in the operating room during the procedure or in the recovery room shortly after. These emboli are unique to the buttock area, as fat injections in the breast, face and thighs don’t produce this same phenomenon.
The gluteal veins’ distinctive anatomy makes them especially vulnerable because they’re very big and thin, and only one tributary away from the inferior vena cava, which is the major vein in the body running from the pelvis to the heart. If a surgeon nicks one of these gluteal veins or they tear because of traction from pooling of fat beneath the muscle, it’ll act like a siphon, sucking in fat around it, and ultimately sending fat up into the heart. This will cause electromechanical dissociation where there is an ECG trace but no palpable pulse.”
“Any patients interested in the procedure should research and trust only FRACS-qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons to perform this procedure at accredited and licensed facilities or hospitals.”