The Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL, very likely has the worst rap possible for an elective cosmetic surgery procedure.
But those headlines and cautions have been aimed at the BBL, not the Skinny BBL, right?
Well, no, not all at, but there is more to the story.
The Skinny BBL and the BBL can be safely performed by numerous surgeons, and there is a simple but absolutely crucial step you can take to ensure you dramatically improve your odds of surviving the procedure.
When a board-certified plastic surgeon performs the Brazilian Butt Lift, it is statistically no less safe than when that same surgeon performs a tummy tuck (aka, an abdominoplasty.)
The Skinny BBL is Just as Safe, or Just as Dangerous
The “Skinny BBL” is no safer (nor more dangerous) than the regular surgical Brazilian Butt Lift.
The two procedures are essentially identical, with both involving the removal through liposuction of adipose tissue (fat) from the lower back, abdomen, inner thighs, or other areas, which fat is then injected into the buttocks.
“The current survey indicates that this procedure [the Brazilian butt lift] has reached a level of acceptable safety.”Improvement in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Safety With the Current Recommendations from ASERF, ASAPS, and ISAPS, March 18, 2020
The difference in terminology is due to the fact the traditional BBl is not recommended for patients below a certain BMI, or body mass index, which is exactly who the Skinny BBL caters to.
Why the BBL Has a Horrible Rap
The BBL has garnered as bad a reputation as it has due to the intricacies of the procedure. With blood vessels as large as drinking straws running through the buttocks, the odds of inadvertently injecting fat into them is high. Very high.
If or when fat enters those blood vessels, it can rapidly travel to the heart or lungs, where it causes death, usually during or within 24-48 hours after the procedure.
On top of the very demanding surgical skill required for the procedure, add Mexico and Miami-based chop shops that are staffed with doctors that lack sufficient training and certification, and who do more surgical procedures than any one surgeon could possibly fit in in one day.
Yes, that means chop shop surgeons have been known to do only parts of a patient’s BBL surgery, before turning it over to someone even less qualified to complete.
Since the cannula used to place the liposuctioned fat into the buttocks is beneath the surface of the skin (i.e., is not immediately visible), considerable education and experience is needed to ensure blood vessels are not perforated and injected with fat.
Board-certified plastic surgeons within the United States who perform the Brazilian butt lift should be very well aware of the March 2020 recommendations for safer BBL surgeries, such as the following, and you can query your surgeon of choice on these thoroughly:
- Not injecting into or below the muscle (remaining in the fatty layer above it)
- Using thicker cannulas (that will not or are less likely to bend)
- At what angle fat should be injected at (not downward).
Always Seek a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
As dangerous as the BBL and Skinny BBL are touted to be–and perhaps a bit of fear is healthy in that it prevents some patients from jaunting off to Miami, Florida, or Mexico to an untrained surgeon–there are U.S.-based board certified plastic surgeons who do the procedure routinely.
“Trends indicated a decreased [BBL] mortality rate from 1 in 3448 in 2017 to 1 in 14,952 in 2019.”Improvement in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Safety With the Current Recommendations from ASERF, ASAPS, and ISAPS, March 18, 2020
Seeking out and only ever seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon will always be the safest way to undergo a Skinny BBL.
To verify a surgeon’s board-certification credentials, look on the website(s) of the professional societies of which they should be a member.
Minimum Suggested Criteria for Your Skinny BBL Surgeon:
- Be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? [Verify that here]
- Be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? [Verify that here]
Note that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons honors members from outside of the United States as well, so whether your surgeon is within or outside of the United States, they should be an ASPS member.
- Pass all of your own rigorous criteria and due diligence: Google searches, Google ratings, RealSelf ratings, Yelp reviews, before and after photographs, and other points you may wish to check or verify.
- Be aware of and very well versed in all warnings and official publications on the BBL circa 2018 through 2020:
- Urgent Warning to Surgeons Performing Fat Grafting to the Buttocks, published July 11, 2018
- Improvement in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Safety With the Current Recommendations from ASERF, ASAPS, and ISAPS, published April 19, 2020
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Gluteal Fat Grafting Advisory, published January 31, 2018