One Of The Most Popular Forms Of Plastic Surgery May Also Be The Most Deadly

We all want to look our best. Sometimes, that means going to extremes of plastic surgery. For many procedures, there’s a low risk of complications; but the Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting discovered a frightening reality with one specific surgery.

According to the task force, the Brazilian butt lift is in the running for deadliest cosmetic procedure on the market. The surgery, which involves liposuctioning fat from other areas and injecting it into the butt, has an estimated death rate of 1 in 3,000 patients. Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is the next deadliest at a rate of approximately 1 in 13,000.

The Brazilian butt lift’s popularity grew after reality television star Kim Kardashian West stepped out into the spotlight after her surgery. According to Dr. J. Peter Rubin, a board-certified plastic surgeon and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, demand for the Brazilian butt lift has doubled since 2014.

The procedure involves fat being injected into the subcutaneous tissue layer, which is where it typically sits. Surgeons can go too deep, however, which is where the danger lies. Rather than sit on the subcutaneous tissue, the fat may be injected into the muscle layer directly beneath it. 

This could result in fat getting into the veins of the muscle layer and traveling to the heart or lungs, which can kill a person  the same way a blood clot can. 

“A majority of people having this operation are doing well,” Rubin said. “ON the other side of the spectrum, we find this to be one of the most dangerous cosmetic procedures.”

The task force, which is co-chaired by Rubin, is having difficulty pinpointing how Brazilian butt lifts are performed in the United States, as many of the procedures are being done by non-board-certified surgeons. 

Injecting fat too deep is not the only complication that comes with the procedure. Procedures can be done with non-organic materials which can lead to leakage, days of severe pain, and even death. Singer Cardi B was the victim of a cheap injection that was performed in someone’s basement. She reportedly had “days of excruciating pain and leakage.”

Miami made headlines in 2017 after a string of Brazilian butt lifts caused deaths in the southern Florida city. Rubin urges patients to do their research and entrust their procedure only to surgeons certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 

It’s also worth recommending not getting a procedure done in somebody’s basement.

H/T: Buzzfeed News, GQ