Published On: Mon, Nov 12th, 2018

The Ugly Side of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

Almost 1.8 millions cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2017 alone, reflecting a two percent growth over the previous year.  While the vast majority of these surgeries go as planned even taking into consideration the inherent risks involved with any surgical procedure, the internet seems to be abuzz with horror stories of cosmetic surgeries gone terribly wrong.  In particular, a cosmetic procedure that has become very common lately among both men and women, popularly referred to as the Brazilian butt lift or “BBL” for short, has acquired a reputation of being particularly dangerous.

© Photographer – James C. Mutter / Facial Plastic Surgeon Amir Karam, MD

The dubious reputation is not unwarranted: the BBL procedure has resulted in alarming death rates, estimated to be as high as 1 in 3,000 which far surpasses the rate for other cosmetic procedures. While there are different techniques, the procedure usually involves extracting fat from a part of the body such as the stomach and then grafting it onto the buttocks through surgical incisions. According to an American Plastic Surgery Statistics report, at least 14,705 buttocks augmentation procedures using fat grafting were performed in 2015 which represents a 28% increase from the number of surgeries performed in 2014. The increase does not include the injection of dermal fillers.

According to plastic surgeon, Bryan Mayou, the BBL is not necessarily more dangerous than other cosmetic procedures, but the dange increases dramatically when it is “performed by unqualified surgeons outside a clinical setting without appropriate aftercare.”  Indeed, many of the botched surgeries were performed by surgeons lacking the proper experience, credentials or malpractice insurance. Sometimes the procedure was performed in hotel rooms or makeshift clinics, or in foreign countries.

The risk of death surges when fat is injected too deep into muscle tissue and too low on the buttocks, as it can enter into large veins and then reach the lungs, causing death. In the era of glorified rear ends à la the Kardashian sisters, many people are clamoring to have the surgery performed and are taking too many shortcuts which can be dangerous at best and deadly at worst.

This tragic trend has alarmed public health officials, legitimate doctors and experts about the risks of cosmetic procedures that are all too often regarded as not serious surgeries. Langer & Langer  malpractice attorneys warn that cosmetic surgery should always be regarded as a serious and invasive “medical procedure.” Patients need to do research on the surgeon to ensure that the doctor performing the procedure is a board certified plastic surgeon who is trained for the procedure, has the proper insurance, and who is operating and treating the surgery as a serious medical procedure in a proper medical facility.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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