By John Salak –
The Brazilian Butt Lift, a medical procedure that reshapes a woman’s posterior, harkens all sorts of images and discussions about what is right, wrong and troubling about the process. What’s not in doubt, however, is that these procedures are soaring in popularity. Unfortunately, they also are raising a growing number of red flags, as doctors and patients report.
The debate over the value versus danger of the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) procedure took on a new impetus recently after The New York Times reported it is the deadliest cosmetic surgery practiced, while reality star Sarah Roza released photos of her reshaped backend and raved about how the improvements helped boost her self-image.
The Times is only one of many publications to tackle the issue, but since it is The Times, its report lent more gravitas about BBLs debate. The article centered on the surging demand for the procedure, costs, dangers and how some in the medical community are actually trying to ban the procedure entirely.
The procedure isn’t cover by insurance nor is it cheap, running about $15,000. And while it has been around for decades, buttock augmentations are soaring with 40,000 performed last year alone, the Aesthetic Society reports. This includes butt implants and the more popular method of liposuctioning fat out of a patient’s legs, lower back or tummy and injecting it into their posterior. The endgame is to have a figure a la Jessica Rabbit, Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez—a small waist and well-developed hips.
Regardless of whether this image is alluring or not, it is the most dangerous as cosmetic surgeries around with at least two deaths for every 600,000 procedures. Another group of medical professionals put the risk of death substantially higher at one in 3,000.
Granted, many other medical procedures are more dangerous, such as operations involving the cranium, esophagus or spine. The difference is that these procedures are not elective or cosmetic, which is why major medical associations in Britain have advised surgeons to stop performing BBLs until they are banned.
The idea of injecting fat into the human body is probably not a good idea on several fronts. But the foremost problem with the procedure is that any butt has lots of blood vessels that feed to the heart. Misplaced injections can wind up funneling fat into the heart or lungs, putting a patient at immediate risk.
There is also the threat of infection, scarring, pain and perhaps skin loss if deep infections need to be treated.
Beyond this, the end result may not lead to the perfect tush either. Patients can be left with a lumpy butt or uneven sides—one cheek being bigger than the other.
Plastic surgeons claim the process can be extremely safe, but that advent of cosmetic chop shops in the U.S. and elsewhere, which offer lower-priced BBLs, often put their patients at risk through uncertified or rushed surgeons. Yet these warnings, couple with well-publicized BBL-related deaths, haven’t dampened the rush to have the idealized, curvy body.
In fact, between 2015 and 2019, the number of BBLs performed grew by over 90 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Why the increase? There are a variety of reasons. Some surgeons suggest that the cost of BBLs has lowered, making the procedure more affordable to a larger audience. Others maintain the surge of TikToks, brief thematic videos, has bolstered the curvy image that led to more women signing up for BBLs. Others report that the Covid-related lockdown simply fostered a pent-up surge in demand for all sorts of cosmetic procedures that exploded once restrictions on elective surgery were lifted.
One New Jersey-based plastic surgeon, in fact, told BusinessInsider, that he is booked up with daily BBLs procedures through March 2022. “You don’t want to jinx yourself, but it’s something that I’ve not seen in 25 years of practice,” said Dr. Carlos Burnett.
Belatina.com also chimed in on the BBL debate, noting that the procedure can be handled safely but undoubtedly presents risks, especially if a patient is going outside the country to have a BBL. The first issue may be a person getting back on a plane soon after having fat injected into their posterior. It is simply not advised, the site reported.
Newsweek, in fact, noted that BBL patients should avoid sitting directly on their butts for extended periods for up to three weeks after a procedure.
Still, the search for butt-nirvana probably isn’t going to recede anytime soon. As Married At First Sight reality star Sarah Roza noted, she was always a “curvy girl” who couldn’t get the body shape she wanted through diet and exercise.
“Previously I always managed to look great in my clothes because I wore restrictive shapewear underneath my dresses everyday which was just exhausting!” she announced shortly after getting a BBL.
“I just couldn’t naturally achieve the dream body I was after no matter how hard I dieted or exercised due to my age (42) and hormones,” she added.
Now her dream and butt are fulfilled.