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The Brazilian Buttock Lift (BBL) has been denounced this month as the cosmetic surgery procedure with the highest death rate, with calls from the industry for surgeons to stop offering it until further notice.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) stated on 4th October that as many as 1 in 3,000 operations of BBL has resulted in the death of a patient, usually due to the risk of accidentally injecting fat into large veins that travel to the heart or brain.

As a result, BAAPS is calling for all members of the association to cease providing the procedure until more research can be conducted.

What is BBL?

BBL is a procedure whereby fat is withdrawn from one area of the body and injected into the buttocks - one of a growing trend of fat transfer operations.

The BAAPS announcement follows the deaths of two British women from the procedure this year. In August, 29-year-old Leah Cambridge died while undergoing a BBL procedure in Turkey. Another woman, as yet unnamed, also died this year, with an inquest into her death due to take place in 2019.

President of BAAPS, Simon Withey, said: “The Brazilian Buttock Lift is a complex technique, and its death rate of 1/3,000 (or as much as 1/2,000!) is the highest for any aesthetic procedure.

“An international task force has already been assembled to analyse and hopefully prevent future tragedies… However, at the BAAPS, we will go a step further and recommend that all surgeons refrain from performing these procedures until we have more proven data.”

A welcome decision

Michael Saul, partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, said: “It is fantastic to see that such a bold recommendation has been made by BAAPS, and we, at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, welcome Simon Withey’s comments about the dangers of BBL.

“This procedure is well-known in the industry to carry risks and has the double disadvantage of having become intertwined with medical tourism - whereby UK-based patients seek out cheaper deals in clinics in Europe. We have always advised against going abroad for any kind of cosmetic procedure, and so we hope this statement from BAAPS will help to dissuade people who are currently considering travelling abroad in order to save money on a potentially life-altering, if not life-threatening, surgery.”

Find help and advice

Read our guide here for more information and advice on how to find a safe cosmetic surgeon in the UK.

If you have experienced problems following surgery, and believe they are the result of negligence, get in touch with us to see if you have a case for compensation. Call 0800 634 0285 or request a callback by completing the contact form here.

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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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