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Brazilian Butt Lifts: The Riskiest Type of Plastic Surgery

Inspired by a cohort of curvy celebrities and reality TV stars, numerous patients in recent years have sought to surgically enhance their backsides. A procedure known as the Brazilian butt lift (BBL) appears to offer an ideal solution for those desiring that perfectly voluptuous figure. The BBL typically involves using liposuction to remove fat from one area of the patient’s body—such as the stomach or thighs—and injecting it into the buttocks. For patients without a sufficient surplus of fat, implants may be used.

While this procedure may sound straightforward, the BBL has become a source of controversy in the medical community due to an alarming statistic: approximately one in 3,000 BBL patients die, making it the deadliest type of plastic surgery. Other particularly risky procedures include tummy tucks, liposuction, and liquid silicone facial injections.

Why is the Brazilian butt lift so dangerous?

Patients are at risk of death or serious complications from BBL surgery when fat is accidentally injected into one of the large veins in the gluteal muscle. These fat clots may then travel to the heart or lungs, which can quickly lead to organ failure.

In an attempt to reduce the risk associated with BBLs, the Florida Board of Medicine recently issued a rule requiring doctors to inject fat above the gluteal muscle, rather than into or below the muscle, where there is a greater risk of piercing a vein. Unfortunately, however, adhering to this rule does not necessarily render BBLs safe: at least three patients in Florida have died since the rule was implemented, and some plastic surgeons have noted that it is extremely difficult to avoid the muscle during this type of procedure. As a result, many plastic surgeons decline to offer the BBL or even believe that it should be banned in the U.S., as it has been in the United Kingdom.

How can plastic surgery patients ensure safety?

As with any other type of surgery, all cosmetic procedures carry some degree of risk. For patients seeking to enhance their derrieres, it’s important to understand that the medical community is divided as to whether BBLs can ever be performed safely. Beyond that, the following steps can help patients improve their chances of a complication-free plastic surgery:

  • Verify the credentials and reputation of your physician and/or surgical center. Ensure that your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has adequate experience performing your desired procedure, and search online to see if the practice has had any recent name changes, board complaints, or reports of patient deaths.
  • Before the procedure, schedule an in-person consultation to discuss your goals, medical history, and the risks associated with undergoing surgery. Be on alert for red flags, such as the doctor glossing over the potential risks or pain associated with the procedure.
  • Bring a trusted friend or relative with you to appointments to serve as a patient advocate—preferably someone with medical knowledge.

Have you, a loved one, or your client suffered harm as a result of a BBL or other surgical procedure? If so, the medical malpractice experts at Leighton Law are here to help. We have secured some of the largest malpractice verdicts in Florida, and we regularly counsel other attorneys on how to navigate these complex cases. To learn more, visit https://leightonlaw.com/medical-malpractice-lawyer-miami/ or call us today at 888.988.1774.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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