Due to the serious risks associated with the Brazilian butt lift, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) is calling for a ban on the popular procedure until more data can be collected.
The procedure is known to have the highest death rate of all cosmetic surgery procedures due to the risk of injecting fat into large veins that can travel to the heart or brain and cause severe illness and death. BAAPS’ move goes even further than the American and Australian Societies, which only alert members to reporting outcomes.
One study presented at the recent BAAPS conference cited a six-fold rise in cases needing urgent follow-up care from procedures done abroad since 2013. All but one of the complications deemed ‘major’ (based on cost and level of emergency care input) were for buttock enhancement. These patients required an average hospital stay of 20 days, costing the hospital just under $42,718.47.
Complications from Brazilian butt lifts in the study ranged from severe bacterial infections including MRSA and Pseudomonas, tissue necrosis, scarring, dehiscence and abscesses. The No. 1 most cited reason for choosing to travel for surgery was cost.
“As a trainee, it’s been staggering to see the lengths – and the damage – these patients will go through in the quest for cheaper options,” says study author junior trainee in plastic and reconstructive surgery (ST3) Mohammed Farid, in a news release. “Especially for the kind of surgery which requires such specialist training. I remember in one procedure, we found a piece of Latex which had been left inside the patient’s buttock! This was one of the most shocking moments in my career, and the one that inspired me to conduct the study.”
The most popular destination was Turkey, claiming a quarter of cases; followed by Belgium (15 percent) and many others such as France, Cyprus, Tunisia and Colombia. Many patients would simply have been ruled out in the UK, due to key medical history – for example smoking and BMI – and possibly psychological issues as well.
“Crucially, the Brazilian Buttock Lift is a complex technique, and its death rate of 1/3,000 (or as much as 1/2,000! is the highest for any aesthetic procedure,” says consultant plastic surgeon and outgoing BAAPS President Simon Withey.” An international task force has already been assembled to analyse and hopefully prevent, future tragedies. However, at the BAAPS we will go a step further and recommend that all surgeons refrain from performing these procedures until we have more proven data.”