Round, shapely buttocks have long been considered an attractive feminine feature. But thanks to the likes of Nicki Minaj and Beyonce, the desire for a voluptuous derriere has boomed in recent years—and we have the numbers to prove it. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of Brazilian butt lift procedures performed grew 25.5% from 2016 to 2017, topping off a multi-year upward trend.
I’ve been performing this procedure for 20+ years. Also known as gluteal fat grafting, Brazilian butt lift surgery involves liposuction to remove excess fat and sculpt the area framing the buttocks (hips, thighs and lower back, etc.), followed by fat injections to enhance buttock shape and size.
Altogether, you’re going for a nice hourglass-shaped lower body with a butt that looks great in swimsuits and jeans—and in the hands of a highly experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, that is what you should get.
The scary side of butt augmentation’s rising popularity
Unfortunately, when a procedure becomes very popular, unscrupulous doctors will attempt to cash in on the trend. As such, another statistic has been growing alongside the increase in Brazilian butt lift procedures: patient deaths due to gluteal fat grafting performed by undertrained, poorly qualified surgeons.
According to a report issued by the Inter-Society Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force (yes, the problem is serious enough that the world’s top plastic surgeons societies felt compelled to form a task force), Brazilian butt lift surgery has a death rate of 1 in 3,000, more than 10 times that of any other cosmetic procedure.
In almost all of these cases, the cause of death was linked to an under-qualified surgeon injecting fat too deeply, reaching into or beneath the muscle layer, as well as damaging critical blood vessels. As a result, particles of injected fat traveled through the veins and caused a massive fat embolism in the heart or lungs. Essentially, these patients died of large fat clots in their vital organs.
I don’t tell you this to frighten you, but to stress how crucial it is to choose a cosmetic surgeon who is fully qualified—your life may depend on it!
Fat grafting is a highly specialized procedure that requires extensive training, meticulous skill, and a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the lower body to perform safely and achieve a good outcome. It shouldn’t be trusted to just any “cosmetic surgeon” offering a good price.
In most cases where patients died, the surgeon was simply not appropriately qualified or adequately trained in the procedure. That is not a price you want to pay.
Silicone butt injections are not equal to a butt lift and should be avoided at all costs
Some patients don’t do their research and confuse a true Brazilian butt lift procedure with silicone butt injections. It is shameful that this extremely dangerous practice is common enough to mention, and I don’t want to go into the deadly details, but simply warn that you should never get them. Want to know why? Read what Harper’s Bazaar has to say about them.
Brazilian butt lift surgery remains very safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon
With any cosmetic procedure, and especially with fat grafting, a surgeon’s training, skill, and experience are the most important factors in a safe surgery and beautiful outcome.
The dangers of Brazilian butt lift surgery can be almost entirely avoided by choosing a board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with gluteal fat grafting. If a surgeon hasn’t performed a few hundred of these procedures at least, I would walk away.
Additionally, make sure your plastic surgeon operates in an accredited facility with a qualified anesthesiologist and support staff. Never have surgery with a cosmetic surgeon who performs their own general anesthesia—they cannot be attentive to both the surgery and your anesthesia. Improperly administered general anesthesia poses a high risk to patients, and yet this happens in many cut-rate facilities with non-board certified surgeons.
The good news is that it’s easy to avoid unscrupulous surgeons by choosing a doctor who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Considering a Brazilian butt lift? I’d like to share my advanced protocols, based on 20+ years experience, with you.
The Task Force has advised plastic surgeons to reexamine their fat grafting techniques and provided recommendations for performing safe fat injections. While I agree with their tips and appreciate their efforts to educate surgeons, they were “preaching to the choir” in my case—I’ve been performing Brazilian butt lifts in Honolulu for over 20 years, with patient safety as my highest priority, and beautiful, lasting outcomes a very close second.
Over the years, I have developed a unique protocol to ensure Brazilian butt lift results last, including post-operative ultrasound to improve blood supply to the treated area and medications to reduce inflammation that may interfere with fat survival.
If you are considering this procedure yourself, I encourage you to view my previous patients’ results, read reviews, and of course contact my office to schedule a personal consultation at my Honolulu plastic surgery center, or by phone if you’re from out of town (we have many patients fly in to have their procedures with me and my team, whose expertise they trust). I’ll be happy to go over the steps of surgery, the risks and benefits, and help you make an informed, confident decision.