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Task force issues warning about Brazilian butt lifts

A specially set up task safety issues concerning gluteal fat grafting procedures has issued a warning about the risks associated with gluteal fat grafting

Marketed as ‘Brazilian butt lifts’ or ‘BBL’, the Inter-Society Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force reports that the procedure has the highest death rate of any aesthetic procedure, currently estimated at one in 3,000, patients.The task force represents plastic surgeons worldwide and was launched earlier this year with the aim of promoting patient safety and awareness, and to conduct studies to develop specific safety guidelines.

The BBL surgery technique is the process of re-contouring the lower back and loins with liposuction and re-injecting the unwanted fat to augment the upper buttocks in order to create a pert, lifted effect.

The findings of the task force’s enquiry revealed that the common cause of death in these cases is by surgeons injecting more deeply than they had intended, leading to complications with the heart and lungs.  The task force urged all surgeons performing Brazilian Butt Lifts to ‘immediately re-evaluate’ their techniques.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) released a statement to reiterate warnings about the danger of surgery abroad and to and raise awareness of the potential for serious complications relating to BBL surgery.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAAPS Member Bryan Mayou said: “Fat grafting is an established technique carried out by surgeons across the globe for number of reconstructive and aesthetic problems. However, many of those offering the procedure, particularly for BBL, are without training in these techniques. BBL's popularity is often promoted by celebrities via unmonitored social media marketing, targeting young and vulnerable people.

“Surgeons carrying out this procedure must have proper knowledge of anatomy and training in fat grafting techniques and it is imperative that they are properly-qualified plastic surgeons, who perform the surgery in an appropriate hospital setting.

“Patients should avoid anyone offering the surgery outside a clinical setting and remember that BAAPS is firmly against cosmetic surgery tourism, which purports to offer discount prices when patients travel abroad. The standard of care is not equivalent in every country and, by making the decision to undergo cut-price surgery, patients risk serious complications and even death.”

In response unusually high mortality figures, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, International Society of Plastic Regenerative Surgeons and the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science, formed the Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting with the goal of conducting studies to develop specific safety guidelines.

It will continue to review and share additional information on this topic to ensure that plastic surgeons and patients are up-to-date on the latest statistics and practices.