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The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a form of fat transfer, which involves the injecting of fat into the buttocks in order to enlarge or fill out the area.

Despite following the same procedure as other forms of fat transfer, a BBL is a notoriously dangerous form of cosmetic surgery, with one in 3,000 procedures resulting in death - making it the deadliest treatment currently available.

Despite the mounting number of deaths, according to a recent survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of BBLs performed globally has risen by 77.6% since 2015, making it the fastest growing cosmetic surgery procedure in the world.

So, why are so many people still undergoing treatment, despite the associated risks? Many blame the ‘Kardashian effect’ - the hourglass look we have become accustomed to seeing on television and social media has become somewhat normalised. Whether or not the famous sisters are genetically blessed or have had a helping hand from a surgeon is a longstanding debate - with Kim going to great lengths to deny butt implants over the years.

It seems that young women in particular are blinkered when it comes to the dangers of BBLs, instead, set on achieving the ‘perfect body’ they are bombarded with when scrolling through Instagram. You only need to search ‘hip dips’ on social media to be greeted with a barrage of posts on how to eradicate this naturally occurring curve between the hips and thighs - a feature that has become increasingly resented by those who possess it. A BBL will help to fill out this area, thus providing a quick fix to the ‘problem’.

Although the procedure is dangerous, worryingly, more and more consumers are seeing it simply as an extension of a trip to the beauticians - akin to eyelash extensions or a quick facial. But this major surgery carries with it major risks.

Complications following a BBL procedure have, according to BAAPS, “ranged from severe bacterial infections including MRSA and Pseudomonas, tissue dying (necrosis), scarring, wound ruptures (dehiscence) and abscesses – among others.”

Death from BBL is caused by the accidental injection of fat into large veins, which then travels up to the heart, lungs or brain. In some cases, blood clots can travel to lungs or fat could be injected into the wrong sites, causing a risk of fat necrosis.

Fat necrosis occurs when an area doesn't have the correct blood supply and then dies off, causing the area to turn black. It can lead to hard, round lumps forming under the skin, or the skin may appear dimpled and uneven.

The decision to undergo a Brazilian Butt Lift is certainly not one that should be taken lightly. In fact, professional bodies such as BAAPS and BAPRAS strongly advise against plastic surgeons performing the procedure in the UK because of the associated risk of death. Despite this, it’s still possible to find UK surgeons willing to perform the surgery, and even easier to access treatment abroad.

An increasingly popular option, more and more people are opting to travel for the procedure, with cheap deals and before and after posts plastered across social media. This, however, is an even riskier option for consumers - with access to vital aftercare made almost impossible when your surgeon is based in another country.

Those considering a BBL should ensure they are equipped with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision - taking into account the risks associated with such an invasive procedure. Is achieving the Kardashian look really worth risking your life?

What to do if you need help:

If you have undergone any form of fat transfer and you believe it has gone wrong, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. For more information on how we can help, get in touch by calling freephone on 0800 634 0285 or using our enquiry form to request a callback.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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