There are risks of BBL that every plastic surgeon performing this should be well aware of and avoid. The scariest of which is fat embolism which can occur when fat is injected in or around the deep veins of the buttocks at high pressure and volume. Fat can travel to the heart making it pump less efficiently or stop completely. There is generally no treatment and this complication can be fatal. Clearly this is a compilation that MUST be prevented in all cases. To avoid fat embolism the location of grafting must be precise. We know there are safe and dangerous directions from which to graft. Unfortunately the intuitive direction of grafting is from below which we now know puts the deep vessels in harms way. Also to avoid this complication it is important that the pressure of fat that is grafted must not exceed the venous pressure in this area. In my opinion, the rapid increase in popularity of BBL is the perfect storm for this complication to occur and it IS occurring all too frequently. The procedure is in high demand and doctors with very little training or experience are taking a crack at it. Also we have seen that patients want VERY aggressive results and extreme volumes at extreme pressures are often being grafted. I would recommend patients not take this procedure lightly. Done expertly, it is a very safe procedure. Done otherwise it can be quite dangerous. Visit a board certified plastic surgeon with ample experience in liposuction and fat grafting of the buttock. Do your homework. Realize that extremes of size will often require more than one grafting procedure rather than trying to push the envelope with high pressure grafting.
There are two aspects of a BBL that can be very dangerous (unique to this procedure). The first is that if you inject too much fat, you can develop a compartment syndrome in the buttocks. The other is a fat embolus. When you inject the fat deep into the gluteus muscle in order to get a very dramatic result and high volume injection, you risk injecting fat into the deep veins. If that happens the fat can travel back to your heart/lungs and this can be fatal. Both are a known risk of this procedure. It is very important that your PS is honest and informs you of all possible complications before you undergo surgery. To answer your questions, YES a BBL is safe BUT all elective cosmetic surgery has the chance for some sort of complication.
Thank you for your question.
Buttock Enhancement Benefits and Risks
- Better self esteem/confidence
- Less invasive than buttock implants with little down time
- Increased fullness and roundness to the buttocks
Buttock Enhancement Risks/Complications/Patient Safety
- Contour irregularities requiring touch up surgery
- Seroma formation
- Not enough take of the grafts requiring repeat surgery
Dhaval M. Patel
Double Board Certified
Hello and Great Question. I appreciate the time you are spending researching this procedure. My name is Dr. Matthew J. Nykiel. I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, a Fellowship Trained Cosmetic Surgeon, and a Butt Augmentation Specialist.
There is a limit to how much fat can be grafted. Why? Because the skin will only stretch so much. Think about it like holding a water balloon under a faucet: All the water in the world can flow out of the faucet, but at some point the balloon is going to stretch to the maximum and that is all the water that will go in. If you go past this amount then the risk of infection and/or fat necrosis significantly increases.
Best of Luck! Please reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.
Matthew J. Nykiel, MD
Butt Augmentation Specialist
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon