You may not know what a gluteal fat-grafting procedure is, but chances are you’ve heard of it by its common name: the Brazilian Butt-Lift. The Brazilian Butt-Lift procedure suctions fat from one area of the body (say your stomach, back or thighs) and deposits it back into your buttocks, making them fuller.
The good news is that the Brazilian Butt-Lift not only creates a sexy, bigger behind, but it also removes unwanted fat from those areas that are often difficult to remove fat from. But, according to a recent report by a group called the Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting, the bad news about the Brazilian Butt-Lift is that it’s also the deadliest plastic surgery procedure around.
In fact, according to the task force, which is made up of doctors from five global plastic surgery societies, the procedure is responsible for one in 3,000 deaths, while other plastic surgery procedures are only responsible for one in 50,000.
So, what exactly is causing an alarming rate of deaths? Dr. Bruce Chau of Berkeley, Michigan, says that fatally botching a gluteal fat-grafting procedure is a lot easier than it sounds.
“There are a lot of things that can go wrong in any procedure, but with the Brazilian Butt-Lift, the surgeon has to be implicitly familiar with the anatomy of the buttocks,” Chau says. “The fat has to be injected into the subcutaneous tissue of the buttocks, or it could very easily be fatal.”
That’s because the buttocks are far more complex a muscle group than you might realize – and to the untrained hand, the subcutaneous tissue can be easy to miss.
“Once you’ve missed the subcutaneous tissue, you’re in the muscle, which is full of veins,” says Chau. “And if that fat gets into a vein, you have a problem.”
According to Chau, those problems include fat in the heart or lungs, which in this situation is just like having a blood clot, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
So, how can patients interested in a Brazilian Butt-Lift minimize their risk? According to Chau, it’s easier than you might think.
“First and foremost, make sure you are choosing an accredited surgeon,” he says. “After that, check reviews, before and after photos, and ask around. Your health should be your first priority, not the cost.”