Safety in The Brazilian Buttlift
For over 20 years, the Brazilian buttlift was taught to young surgeons as a method to improve the body contours and to augment hip and buttock projection by liposuctioning unwanted areas of fat and transferring that fat to the buttocks and hips. The transfer of fat to the muscle layer was preferred as the vascularity of the muscle was better and allowed for better fat graft viability or take. There is truth to this. However, there was a really unknown danger of performing the surgery in this way. The fat even though it was injected through blunt cannula it was somehow able to get into the venous system and cause fat emboli, which could lead to death.
Although doctors knew about fat emboli as a cause of death in the Brazilian buttlift and other procedures as well including liposuction and orthopedic procedures and this was certainly not considered malpractice or negligence, no one realized the extent to which these fat emboli were occurring. In 2017, a survey was taken of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons to ask about experience with the Brazilian buttlift and the rate of fat emboli. Although only a small percentage responded, there were over 130 fat emboli reported. This number indicated that this occurs about 1:1000 procedures. As a result, some recommendations were provided to improve the safety of this procedure.
Larger cannulae and more superficial injection into the fat and under the skin were recommended. Injecting into any portion of the muscle may cause the fat emboli to get into the venous system and result in emboli and death.
Dr. Hughes recognized the need to shift the paradigm in 2015 when he shifted to a totally subcutaneous or under the skin procedure, which you can see on his you tube videos. For over three years and 1500 BBLs, Dr. Hughes has not had a single incidence of a fat embolus. I can assure you that this much better statistically than average. In addition, this method may wholly eliminate the risk.
Dr. Hughes has still been able to transfer volumes of fat as high as 2000 cc per buttock, but this is never deeper than the skin level.
Just this month, the global task force recommended performing the procedure in the subcutaneous level or NOT AT ALL.
Safety is always number one for patients, but there are admittedly times when science gets ahead of itself. Dr. Hughes recognized the problem with injecting fat into the muscle several years ago and altered his technique accordingly.
Dr. Hughes also performs many buttock implant surgeries for patients who are disinclined to have the Brazilian buttlift surgery or who want to have buttock implant surgery.