Generally, people don’t feel an inherent risk when deciding to get a tummy tuck, and they shouldn’t because it isn’t a particularly risky procedure. The same can be said for a BBL.
A high death rate was associated with Brazilian Butt Lifts because of how the surgery was conducted years ago – a practice that is no longer used.
Plastic surgeons did BBLs differently years ago, and while projection results were great, we learned that the risks were far too high.
In the past, fat was injected below the glute muscle, in the muscle, and above the muscle — there are a few reasons why.
First, the muscle has a rich blood supply, meaning new fat could thrive and grow. Secondly, better projection was achieved by injecting deeper, far past the soft tissue closest to the skin, which doesn’t expand much. However, while the blood supply and projection were good, many people died from this practice.
Below and in the gluteal muscle are large veins that get smaller as they travel up through the muscle. These veins are obviously why the blood supply is so plentiful in that area; however, while injecting, sometimes plastic surgeons would hit those veins and inject into them – this can cause a complication called fat embolism, which can cause BBL related deaths. Fat embolism happens when fat particles enter your bloodstream and block blood flow to vital organs.
Now, plastic surgeons in Miami don’t inject in or below the muscle. Instead, they lean on the body’s fascia – the tight, strong material that provides a supportive network for the body.
Secondly, many BBL plastic surgeons, including myself, are now guided by ultrasound. We use ultrasound because it will show us exactly where the internal layers are and how deeply the cannula penetrates.
Unnecessary risk can be avoided by going down only to the deep fascia lining, which borders the glute muscle and is easily visible as a bright line in an ultrasound. This area is safe if the muscle is not penetrated and expands easier than in some areas closer to the skin.