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Safety Considerations of Techniques in Fat Transfer for Buttocks Augmentation

Brazilian Butt Lift performed at our plastic surgery center in Atlanta

The Brazilian Butt Lift or Buttock Augmentation with fat transfer has become an increasingly popular procedure and is becoming a commonly performed surgery. When done correctly, a definite and immediate improvement can be seen. The results are totally dependent on how much fat is available for transfer and how tight the buttocks compartment is.

Many women want as large of a buttocks as can be possibly be achieved. The first space to be augmented and filled with fat is the subcutaneous space below the skin. In most cases, this area will allow an adequate amount of fat to increase the volume of the buttocks enough to give a satisfactory result. In certain cases, some surgeons will elect to go below the muscle to gain more space to add fat.

This is the area that causes concern for safety. A surgeon may elect to add volume in this area to satisfy a patient’s request. However, it should be known that in the deep muscle layers there are many large arteries and veins which could cause a problem. When the fat is injected into this area, it is possible the fat may be injected into a vein. This could cause serious and fatal consequences. 

The fat could become a embolus and travel to the heart and then to the lungs causing sudden blockage of the lung circulation. This is known as fat embolus. Fat emboli has been named as the culprit in many complications of cosmetic surgery and is a feared event. Many surgeons will be reluctant to go into the deep muscle planes to give the patient a little more fullness at the risk of a hazardous event.

Every patient considering this operation should be aware of this possibility and discuss with their surgeon pre-operatively where he intends to place the fat. Patient education is an important factor in achieving the best surgical result. This subject shown above was just recently a hot topic at the aesthetic meeting in New Orleans sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

About Dr. Lewis Friedlander, M.D.

Dr. Lewis Friedlander, M.D. has been practicing plastic surgery since 1995. One of his great teachers, Dr. Ralph Millard, M.D., who passed away in 2011, referred to Dr. Friedlander as one of the toughest and most determined surgeons he has ever met. Dr. Millard believed that Dr. Friedlander took excellent care of patients. Dr. Friedlander is a member of The D. Ralph Millard plastic Surgery Society & Educational Foundation and did additional fellowship training in breast surgery in Atlanta, GA, and orbit surgery. He has also worked with medical students from local medical schools and been given the appointment as clinical assistant professor of surgery and plastic surgery. Dr. Friedlander's background and additional certification in emergency medicine and trauma has given him the ability to insure the safest environment for performing surgery.

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