Brazilian Butt Lift Side Effects and Complications

What kind of side effects or complications can happen after Brazilian butt lift? How will I know if I am experiencing any of these side effects?

Doctor Answers 13

Potential Complications of Brazilian Butt Lift

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A surgical complication, by definition, is an unwanted event that cannot be prevented or anticipated. Every medical procedure, including surgery, has a known set of complications. If you are not willing to accept such events, you should not be having the procedure / operation because the surgeon cannot tell you if you will or will not have the complication.

A Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure in which usually large volumes of fat are liposuctioned from several parts of the body and transferred to augment and shape the buttocks. As such the complications associated with it will be the ones involving anesthesia, surgery, liposuction and fat grafting. These include: death, bleeding 1-2%, infection 1-3%, pain, asymmetry, prolonged swelling, areas of numbness, clots in deep veins (DVT) which may go to the longs (PE), loss of grafted fat ("non take") visible hyperpigmented scars among others.

Dr. P. Aldea


Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Brazilian Butt enhancement

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Will start with your second question, how you will know if you have a complication, If you feel something is NOT RIGHT see your plastic surgeon, any excessive or late swelling, redness of the skin, elevated temperature, swallen legand pai, difficulty breathing , chest pain. SEE YOU DR. OR GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Side Effects For BBL

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  • lumpy
  • bumpy
  • too big(more graft survives than what patient may have desired....rare).
  • too small( not enough fat obtained at harvest or not enough survived the transfer process)
  • persisting cellulite( dimpling may be resistant to correction, especially if it is associated with deformities acquired fro
  • trauma such as IM injections, accidents, etc. ).
  • persisting asymmetry( @ side continues to look different size or shape from @ other).
  • infection( typically a small abscess where some fat may have not survived)
  • donor sites left with residual deformity/laxity or looseness

BBL Safety and Potential Risks

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Obviously, most people go into a plastic surgeon all excited about the benefits they are going to experience from the procedure they are planning. It is refreshing to have someone ask specifically about the risks because it is so important to understand the potential problems that can occur. Liposuction has gotten a bad rap over the years. It truly can be a very safe procedure when done by a properly trained surgeon and when it is used in an appropriate manner. Liposuction is not for weight loss. It is best used to fine tune contour in areas that cannot be exercised away.

As a surgical procedure done under general anesthesia, liposuction exposes patients to all of the normal possible post-operative complications. These include bleeding, infection, poor wound healing and possible persistence or reoccurrence of the original problem. Because of these issues we take specific precautions to lessen your risks. All patients are asked to stop any blood thinning products (ie. Asprin, Ibuprofin, Motrin, Aleve, etc.) to reduce the chance of bleeding. Antibiotics are routinely given to reduce the risk of infection. Your activity will be restricted during the early healing process to allow for better healing and less risk of stitches popping or swelling, distorting your results. Compression garments are also worn to reduce the tension and swelling on the operative areas. There are some more rare complications that can be very scary. Blood clots can cause difficulty breathing or even death. All patients are screened for risk factors for blood clots, and if necessary a controlled blood thinner can be prescribed to lessen that possibility. Compression on the legs also improves circulation and with the surgery you will wear either support stockings or ted hose that provide compression. Finally, getting up and walking and moving your legs and ankles helps pump the blood and prevents pooling of blood and clotting. 

An extremely rare complication called fat embolism can potentially occur when fat globules get released into the blood stream and travel to the lungs or brain and cause problems. This happens frequently from trauma with long bone fractures (so the symptoms are well understood), but there are a few reported cases in the literature of this actually happening after liposuction. You would experience symptoms of confusion or difficulty breathing not explained by other sources.

You and your doctor will be watching for any of these signs or symptoms after surgery to catch things early and lessen your potential for problems. All surgery carries with it risks. You just have to determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks for you.

Potential complications typical of most surgeries

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  1. swelling and bruising is normal and expected
  2. numbness is expected and should resolve within a few weeks
  3. more serious problems include blood clots or fat particles traveling in the blood stream (shortness of breath, chest pain, massive leg swelling all of which should prompt you to seek immediate attention in an emergency room and contacting your plastic surgeon) and infection (increasing pain, redness, fever, drainage) which you should also report immediately to your plastic surgeon.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Brazilian Butt Lift-- Generally Quite Safe

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Although the Brazilian butt lift is generally considered a safe procedure, complications can occasionally occur.The vast majority of complications are related to the liposuction portion of the procedure and can usually be managed with additional liposuction.
Areas of concern include bleeding, infection, anesthesia problems, fat necrosis and decreased sensation.
Complications can be minimized by consulting a board certified plastic surgeon with experience performing this procedure.The procedure is associated with high satisfaction rates and improved quality of life.

Risks associated with Brazilian Butt Lift are this of liposuction, with a few additions

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Hi there-

first of all, it is important to realize that, as my colleagues have stated, ALL surgery will have risks you should be comfortable with before proceeding.

The key is to minimize these risks for yourself by choosing a surgeon, facility, and anesthesia provider carefully and maintaining your good health, and following you preoperativr and postoperative instructions conscientiously.

Under these circumstances, the risks should be quite low for a healthy patient.

The specific risks have been outlined below and so I won't repeat them, but of you would like some advice on minimizing the risks through careful decision making, please read my article on choosing a plastic surgeon (part 2)

BBL complications

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Generally speaking a Brazilian butt lift is a very safe procedure. The complications are not volume related. The most common complications are swelling and bruising which resolve over the first month. Also, you can expect to lose 30 to 50% of the fat injected. 

If the fat is not correctly injected some of it can die and you may feel lumps, this is called fatty necrosis. Fluid collections or seromas can occur if there is too much undermining. These complications depend on the surgeon's technique and can be completely avoided. 

The most dreaded complication is a fat embolism which occurs in less than .1% of the cases. This convocation can be completely avoided by your surgeon by not injecting into the muscle layer and using a large blunt cannula. #StayBeautiful @RealDrWorldWide

Brazilian Butt Lift Side Effects and Complications

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Thank you for your question. I'm glad that you ask as it's very important to understand the risks associated with any medical procedure.

A Brazilian butt lift combines liposuction and injecting fat into the buttocks.

Risks of liposuction include under or over correction, contour irregularities, and infection.

Injection of fat into the buttocks can be associated with bleeding, infection, embolism of fat into the lungs.

Thankfully these complications are rare, but it's important to understand that these complications do occur. Make sure to have your procedures performed by board-certified plastic surgeons.

Brazilian Butt and Complications

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Brazilian butt lift (fat transfer to the buttock) is the best option in my opinion because it has the fewest complications. Liposuction is performed over several areas depending on the individual patient needs, but typically of the flanks, abdomen, back and thighs. This fat is then used for the augmentation.

The benefit of the Brazilian butt lift is that it lets your surgeon use your own body tissue to augment your buttock. This avoids the need for any foreign material or implants.

I would recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon that performs a significant amount of these procedures so they can help guide you to the surgery that will be best for you.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.