BBL Risks: Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Dangerous

The popularity of the Brazilian butt lift (BBL) has risen dramatically, with the number of the procedures doubling since 2013.

The Brazilian butt lift gives the patient a more prominent, rounder rear that many people find attractive. It’s challenging to achieve the larger backside that many want with weight lifting, such as squats. So, people often go to their plastic surgeon for their new look.

The BBL removes fatty tissue from other parts of the body – the stomach and flanks, for example – and the surgeon injects the fat into the buttocks to give it the desired shape.

Please remember that you’re very unlikely to experience complications if you choose an experienced, skilled BBL plastic surgeon. However, it’s essential to know the risks involved so you can make an informed decision.

Below is more information about what could go wrong in a low number of cases.

BBL In Detail

For a successful procedure, the injected fat needs nutrition that is supplied by blood vessels. The fat can survive if the surgeon injects it into the existing fat in the buttocks, but most of it may be absorbed. Fat is more likely to stay in place if it’s injected into the muscle. But doing this increases the risk if the surgeon does it incorrectly.

One of the most common issues, if the fat is injected improperly, is a fat embolism. This condition arises when fat cells slip into the bloodstream and block blood vessels. If the fat particles wind their way into the lungs, a fatal pulmonary embolism is possible.

The volume of fat also injected matters. Most plastic surgeons think that 300ml – about the size of a 12-ounce can of soda – is a safe number. But it’s possible that a more experienced surgeon could inject a liter or more.

BBL Mortality Rate Worldwide

In 2017, approximately 700 plastic surgeons worldwide completed a survey on the mortality rates of patients who had a BBL. Those surgeons reported 32 fatal cases from a fat embolism and 100 non-fatal cases. It’s possible more happened than reported, but it’s impossible to prove.

In 2018, fat embolism was one of the top causes of death in many plastic surgeries. The approximate death rate from a fat embolism in BBL surgery could be one in 3,000 cases.

Another study in 2015 found that deaths in these procedures were usually because of damaged gluteal blood vessels. As noted earlier, if fat enters the bloodstream, fatal complications may arise.

BBL Deaths In The US

Some experts in the US have been concerned about Brazilian butt lift surgery and mortality. One case reported in 2018 involved a death from a fat embolism. The surgeons thought the fat was injected into the upper-fat layer in the buttocks.

The autopsy concluded that fat embolisms reached the heart and lungs. Plus, damage occurred to the gluteal blood vessels.

However, note that fat is also placed in the muscle layer for many breast enhancement surgeries, and few deaths are reported. This might suggest other factors are in play in BBL death cases.

The majority of these fatal cases seem to have been due to poorly-qualified medical personnel doing the procedures in non-approved facilities, such as garages and homes.

How Safe Is BBL?

Brazilian butt lifts indeed have a higher complication rate than other popular procedures. However, thousands of delighted patients in the US each year love their results, with no complications.

To achieve those results, it’s vital to know how to approach this procedure safely.

First, note that BBL isn’t the same in every patient. Everyone’s body is different, with various layers of muscle and fat, so what’s safe for one patient could be unsafe for you. Also, the nuances of this procedure must be well understood by your plastic surgeon.

That’s why it’s essential to work with a plastic surgeon who has years of training and experience with BBL surgery. Your surgeon should know the limits of the surgery, know the latest safety standards, and be open with you about the procedure and recovery.

Beware Of Low Cost Surgeons

Financing makes cosmetic surgery more affordable for many people, but no procedure is cheap. So, beware of any surgeon who advertises a BBL price that is well below the national average. In plastic surgery, you’ll get what you pay for.

When you pay a qualified surgeon for this procedure, you’re paying for their time and expertise, a staff to ensure your safety, and the use of an accredited facility that is maintained to the highest industry standards.

Surgeons with experience and skill in BBL also have hospital privileges, so you can get immediate emergency assistance if something goes wrong.

Many BBL complications arise when patients go outside the United States for less expensive procedures. It’s strongly recommended never to do this!

Instead, wait to have your surgery until you can afford it from a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. Your safety and health are at stake.

Book Your BBL Procedure Today

Once you’re ready to take the next step and book your consultation, there’s no turning back. The results you’ve dreamed of are within your grasp. Stop delaying, and schedule a BBL appointment with Dr. Rachel Mason today!

You won’t regret your decision!


Brazilian Butt Lift Risks. (2018). Accessed at

Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safe? (n.d.). Accessed at

Report on Mortality from Gluteal Fat Grafting: Recommendations from the ASERF Task Force. (July 2017). Accessed at

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