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Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safe?

If you dream about having a more hourglass-type figure with a rounder, firmer backside, you’ve probably given some thought to having a Brazilian butt lift. You love the end results, but you’ve also read some articles saying that they’re dangerous and that doctors in some countries have stopped performing them. We know this can be scary so to help you make an informed decision, Dr. Ortiz, a renowned plastic surgeon in Raleigh is answering the question, “Are Brazilian butt lifts safe or not?”

How Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Performed?

A Brazilian butt lift is a fat transfer procedure. A cannula, or slim tube, is inserted into a specific area, such as the belly, thighs, or hips, and fat is removed via liposuction. The fat cells are cleaned and processed, then injected into the buttock. Transferring the fat adds volume to the area, creating a rounder, fuller backside.

Risks Involved in Brazilian Buttock Lifts

As with any surgery or cosmetic procedure, there are side effects and risks involved. The most common side effects are swelling, soreness, and bruising where the fat was removed through liposuction as well as the injection site where the fat was placed.

Very rarely, severe side effects or reactions may occur, including:

  • Infection in either the liposuction or injection site
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fat embolism, where fat inadvertently gets into the bloodstream and travels to the heart or other areas.

These complications can be serious, even fatal, if not treated immediately. However, they are incredibly rare and can be avoided with proper surgical practices as well as proper post-care practices.

Inferior Gluteal Vein

The main concern with the Brazilian butt lift is a fat embolism and was the reason the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons recommended members pause performing BBLs. This results when fat cells are injected and inadvertently enter the bloodstream and obstruct major blood vessels. Often this is due to intramuscular injections in which veins run deep within the tissue; the cannula pierces the vein and cells enter the bloodstream. At particular risk is the inferior gluteal vein – a large vein running through the area.

By avoiding the intramuscular fat injections and keeping the fat in the subcutaneous layer and above, this significantly reduces an already low risk of fat embolism.

Avoiding Risks and Getting the Best Results

As we mentioned, serious complications are very rare, and often avoidable.

To minimize any risk, we recommend the following:

  • Only work with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They have more training and knowledge and are dedicated to performing procedures safely. Many complications occur from procedures performed by unlicensed practitioners.
  • Stop smoking, vaping, or using nicotine products four to six weeks before and after the procedure.
  • Wear your compression garments for the specified time period.
  • Keeping the incision and injection sites clean.
  • Follow your physician’s instructions, particularly those related to getting up and moving. While you never want to push yourself too much, you also don’t want to be too sedentary. Simply walking around the room periodically or light stretching can be a literal lifesaver.

Schedule a Brazilian Butt Lift Consultation Today

We hope this article has provided you with a bit more in-depth insight and eased some of your concerns. If you’d like to learn whether a BBL is right for you or ask more questions, schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ortiz today by calling our office at  919-532-2270 or fill out the form below to get started.

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