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Bottoms up: Surgeons say no to BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) but yes to SGL (Superficial Gluteal Lipofilling)

In 2018 the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk)  dissuaded all its members from performing Brazilian Buttock Lift (BBL) surgery, until more data could be collated. The decision was taken due to the high death rate associated with the procedure. Now, following an extensive four-year review of clinical data, new technology and techniques, BAAPS has published its Gluteal Fat Grafting (GFG) guidelines.

Gluteal fat grafting is currently the procedure with the biggest growth rate in plastic surgery worldwide, with an increase of around 20% year-on-year). It has become the most popular means of buttock volume augmentation, overtaking gluteal augmentation with implants.  In 2020, The Aesthetic Society statistics recorded 40,320 buttock augmentation procedures, which included both fat grafting and buttock implants.

In 2015, there were reports of intraoperative mortality related to pulmonary fat emboli associated with BBL surgery and in 2018 with growing concern about the high mortality rate associated with this procedure BAAPS recommended it was not performed by its members.

The development of the present guidelines and recommendations has been stimulated by the evidence that has emerged since 2018, based on scientific review and analysis. BAAPS guidelines now recommend that Gluteal Fat Grafting is safe to perform under two key conditions:

  1. Injection into the subcutaneous plane only - there is a plethora of evidence to suggest this significantly reduces mortality related to the procedure perhaps this needs to be changed to – the evidence shows that the only deaths from the procedure have been when fat has been injected into the deeper muscle layer.
  2. Intraoperative ultrasound must be used during the placement of fat in the gluteal area to ensure that the cannula remains in the subcutaneous plane – this is the only way that surgeons can be confident they are not in the muscle layer.

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Source: BAAPS, 17 October 2022


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