If you haven’t heard of the Brazilian Butt Lift, you’ve been missing out on a surgical trend that has been growing wildly popular with the promise of yes, a bigger looking butt. For years, many have turned towards plastic surgery to make changes to their body in a way they see as “ideal”. These surgeries range from face lifts to breast augmentations, but now we have the option of shaping our behinds. Like many of these life changing alterations, this procedure comes with a risk, a risk plastic surgeons Dr. Mark Mofid and Dr. Sameer Jejurikar know well.
A Changing Practice
Within the past several years, many celebrities have been changing the standards of the “ideal” body type with their confidence and are now influencing regular citizens through media and pop culture. A much curvier figure is now being sought after. The Brazilian Butt Lift holds the promise for those who wish to achieve that figure by surgically shaping their butt to a more filled out look. According to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there have been 18,487 of these procedures performed in 2015. This is a huge growth compared to the 7,382 procedures in 2011. Unlike breast implants, where foreign materials are added to the body, the butt lift takes fat from one place of your body and moves it to your bottom. The augmentation is achieved through liposuction and fat grafting. Since fat is being moved around in this operation, a patient must already have the fat to begin with. So for those who are underweight, this procedure is not for you. The same goes for patients who are obese as this can pose dangerous risks. The results of the Brazilian Butt Lift are instant.
Although patients can achieve quick results for a larger butt, the risks involved can be fatal. The use of fat grafting in operations like these can be dangerous. Especially when the surgeon performing the operation doesn’t have the knowledge or take the right precautions. After the fat cells are taken from the body and injected back in, there is a chance of fat embolism. This is something that happens when fat tissue ends up in the bloodstream and gets caught in a blood vessel; eventually blocking it. In this case, the blockage usually happens in the lungs preventing normal oxygen delivery. A renowned board-certified surgeon and a member of the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, Dr. Sam Jejurikar, visits this topic, “The reasons why we’re thought to actually have death occur with this operation are due to trauma to large veins in our pelvis. What’s happening are surgeons are inadvertently traumatizing these blood vessels and injecting fat into them. This fat that travels through your bloodstream goes to your lungs and potentially cause something called a fatal fat embolism.” It’s estimated that the death rates from these surgeries are around 1 in 2500-6000 cases, making this the deadliest operation in plastic surgery.
Dr. Mark Mofid’s Task Force to Help
As the risks of the Brazilian Butt Lift have made it to the top of the list of deadly plastic surgeries, there has been a great amount of attention to the procedure and making it safer. Dr. Mark Mofid, a plastic surgeon in San Diego and a member of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), has taken steps to increase safety by forming a task force. Harvard graduate and medical training from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Mofid holds a strong background in the field and is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at UC San Diego. After hearing about the death rates of the Brazilian Butt Lift, Mofid formed the ASERF Task Force to focus on these issues so proper guidelines can be put into place for plastic surgeons across the world. The first thing the task force did was conduct an international survey from physicians who have performed gluteal fat grafting procedures.
The survey concluded that the Brazilian Butt Lift was indeed the deadliest plastic surgery operation and that the mortality rate may even be up to 20 times greater than any other aesthetic procedure. Now it was a question of why. Why is this procedure so dangerous? The same survey concluded that the deaths were linked to the methods used in the procedure and the prominent causes of death were due to the complications of fat embolism. In an American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting in 2016, Dr. Mofid presented the findings of the ASERF Task Force. Aside from presenting these dangers, Mofid set forth guidelines for surgeons as well. These guidelines include steps such as where to place injections and places to avoid, how to properly position a patient, reviewing the patient’s gluteal vascular anatomy, and of course informing the patients of the risk of a fat embolism and discussing surgical alternatives with them.
Dr. Sameer Jejurikar
Famous for his procedures of the Brazilian Butt Lift, Dr. Sameer Jejurikar, is currently one of the members of the ASERF Task Force. A board-certified plastic surgeon and a member of the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Jejurikar is no stranger to the field of plastic surgery. He has become a bit of a celebrity on his work with the Brazilian Butt Lift and has been performing the surgery for over 10 years now. After being on the frontline for so long, Dr. Jejurikar is a strong advocate for the safety of patients and urges them to take certain precautions. He can be seen in a video touching on this, “Now it’s very important to research your surgeon. Surgeons that have experience in doing a Brazilian Butt Lift and know worthy anatomical sites that they need to avoid. There are doctors that are out there that may not have this experience, so it’s important that you do your homework.” While being an advocate for the safety, Dr. Jejurikar also believes that having a student mentality will only further a surgeon’s understanding, thus leading to the use of safer techniques and a more stable environment for the patient.
Although the Brazilian Butt Lift has been deemed the “most dangerous plastic surgery”, surgeons such as Dr. Mark Mofid and Dr. Sameer Jejurikar are being proactive in the search for safer practices. With the formation of the ASERF Task Force and in-depth research, actions are continuously being taken to open discussions and further the safety of future patients.