An average of 91 percent of all buttock augmentation procedures consist of fat grafting (also known as the Brazilian Butt Lift), and research has shown that there are significantly higher mortality rates with such gluteal fat grafting than with any other aesthetic surgical procedure.
Recently, the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) formed the Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force to investigate the risks associated with this increasingly popular procedure.
The Task Force, comprised of board-certified plastic surgeons, identified factors that either added risk or proved to be protective and/or preventative techniques associated with the procedure.
These findings were published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and have led to the adoption of the following recommendations:
- Avoid injecting fat into the deep muscle
- Use a >4.1 mm single hole injection cannula
- Avoid downward angulation of the cannula
- Position patient and place incisions to create a path that will avoid deep muscle injections
- Maintain constant three-dimensional awareness of the cannula tip
- Only inject when cannula is in motion
- Consider pulmonary fat embolism in unstable intra- and postoperative patients
- Review gluteal vascular anatomy and draw landmarks to identify and avoid injection into the pedicle
- Include risk of fat embolism and surgical alternatives in the informed consent process
The creation of the Fat Grafting Task Force and its findings are important first steps in research and education surrounding this sought-after procedure.