The New York Times published an eye brow raising article on August 19, 2021 about the perils of a popular plastic surgery procedure referred to as the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). According to the article this procedure "typically costs around $15,000, is not covered by insurance and fat is lipo-suctioned from the flanks, abdomen and lower back and then injected back into the buttocks." According to the New York Times the Aesthetic Society reported: "In 2020 alone, there were 40,320 buttock augmentations, which include both implants and fat grafting." Of concern, was a "July 2017 report by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation... that one or two out of 6000 BBL's resulted in death, the highest mortality rate for any cosmetic surgery."
According to the New York Times: "The reason the BBL is so dangerous is fairly straightforward. The buttocks contain a multitude of blood vessels, some as large as drinking straws. These drain into the inferior vena cava, which is a direct line to the heart. With a BBL, fat is injected into the buttocks with a cannula, or long metal tube." The problem is sometimes doctors don't know where the tip of their cannula is, or the cannula bends, delivering the fat into or below the gluteal muscle. This can cause the fat to travel directly to the heart or lungs diminishing or blocking the flow of blood causing death. Various plastic surgery professional organizations are now recommending safety guidelines that urge physicians to stop injecting into the muscle and to use larger instruments. Their best advice--avoid the low cost, high volume "chop shops" typically found in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami with doctors lacking board certification or surgical training.