Brazilian Butt Lift Risks & Complications
As with any form of plastic surgery, Brazilian butt lifts do carry certain risks of complications. Because the procedure uses both liposuction and fat transfer in order to achieve rounder, more youthful and voluptuous-appearing buttocks, both of these surgical techniques carry their own risks.
The vast majority of the risks are extremely rare during or following your Brazilian butt lift and are even further minimized by choosing an experienced plastic surgery firm such as Clinic 360 in Toronto. Following your surgeon’s instructions, both prior to and after your operation, will also severely decrease your risks.
Some Risks Associated with Brazilian Butt Lifts
As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, Brazilian butt lifts carry certain risks of complication. The risks associated include but are not limited to:
- Hematoma (blood pockets under the skin)
- Overcorrection (too much fat removed or re-injected)
- Under-correction (too little fat removed or re-injected)
- Fat re-absorption
- Prolonged swelling
- Skin necrosis (death of skin)
- Fat necrosis (death of fat)
- Contour irregularities (lumpiness)
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Surgery Risks
If you are interested in a Brazilian butt lift procedure, you should contact Clinic 360 in Toronto to book a complimentary consultation with one of our surgeons. It is during this appointment that you will be given a full physical exam to see if your expectations are realistic and the best technique to address them. You will be informed of the benefits of a Brazilian butt lift, the potential risks, and be given pre- and post-operative care instructions. Lastly, during your complimentary consultation at Clinic 360, you should inform your surgeon of your entire medical history, allergies you have, any medications or supplements you are currently taking, previous cosmetic surgical procedures, and whether or not you are a smoker. These factors can all influence and/or increase your risks of complication during or after your Brazilian butt lift surgery. Actions you can take prior to surgery to reduce your risks include:
- Stop Smoking: Most surgeons will recommend that you stop smoking at least 2 weeks to a month prior to surgery. If possible, you should try to not smoke again for the same period of time following surgery. Nicotine impedes blood flow, oxygenation of cells, and, thus, healing.
- Avoid Blood Thinners: Stop taking Aspirin-based painkillers, ibuprofen, St John’s Wart, Vitamin E, and other supplements as directed by your surgeon at Clinic 360. Generally, you should stop ingesting these at least a week before surgery. These can affect blood-clotting abilities.
- Refrain From Drinking Alcohol: Do not drink alcohol excessively for the 2 weeks leading up to your Brazilian butt lift and refrain from it throughout your healing period.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink lots and lots of water in the week leading up to your surgery. This can promote healing and reduce swelling.
- Prepare Your Home: Create a room in your home that can be your designated recovery area. Have all of your prescriptions and antibiotics filled out, picked up, and beside where you plan on resting. Also be sure to have spare compression garments, pillows, hand towels, and ice packs for comfort.
- Arrange for Care: For the first 24 hours after your Brazilian butt lift surgery, you will need to have somebody with you. Whether this is a friend or family member, nurse, or private recovery centre, this should be arranged before you leave Clinic 360. If you need help in arranging private care services, please do not hesitate to consult with one of our representatives.
The Most Common Risks Associated with Brazilian Butt Lift
Unfortunately, no surgery is entirely safe. Essential to your decision to move forward with your butt augmentation procedure is fully understanding the risks and talking them over with your surgeon ahead of time. The most common risks associated with Brazilian butt lifts are:
- Infection: An inherent risk of any surgery is infection. While the incisions made in fat transfer are small and the risk of infection is low, it should still always be considered a possibility. As a preventative measure, some surgeons prescribe an antibiotic to all patients undergoing fat transfer although this is not always the case. To minimize the risk of infection, be sure to diligently clean all wounds regularly following surgery and consult your surgeon immediately if symptoms arise.
- Adverse Reactions to Anaesthetic: While fat transfers are most commonly performed under local anaesthetic, general anaesthetic may be used (particularly if a large amount of fat is being removed with liposuction). The use of anaesthesia in liposuction can cause certain complications to arise during and immediately following surgery. Tumescent Liposuction, the most common liposuction technique used in Brazilian butt lifts, uses a high dosage of the local anaesthetic lidocaine. An excess of lidocaine in the body can lead to lidocaine toxicity with patients experiencing numbness, drowsiness, a ringing in the ears, slurred speech, seizures, unconsciousness, and potentially respiratory and cardiac arrest. Respiratory and cardiac arrest can be fatal though these risks are minimized by going with a registered, experienced plastic surgeon and being totally honest with him or her about your past medical history. The use of anaesthesia in any surgery may cause complications and should always be understood as a risk.
- Changes in sensation around the targeted areas: You may experience some numbness and tingling over the area that you got the fat transfer though this should disappear after a few weeks. If it does not, however, it may be reflective of nerve damage.
- Irregularities and Clumping: The transferred fat may be uneven or clumped. These risks are minimized by going with an experienced surgeon. Other factors that influence transferred fat distribution include the technique used, the patient’s physicality, and how the fat migrates.
- Excessive Swelling: Significant swelling should subside within 2 to 4 weeks following surgery. Continued swelling (along with redness, tingling, oozing from the wound, and skin hot to the touch) may be a sign of infection and you should report it to your surgeon immediately. Minimal swelling may continue as long as 16 weeks following your Brazilian butt lift surgery and should not be a concern.
- Bruising: Minor bruising following surgery is normal and should subside quickly.
- Hematoma or Seroma: An accumulation of either blood or straw-coloured fluid under the skin that may require drainage by either your surgeon or a nurse.
- Scarring: Because the incisions made in fat transfer are relatively small (less than 1 mm), scarring is kept to a minimum. Scarring can be exacerbated by infection or not following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions, however. Also, the scarring of your liposuction incisions at donor sites may be larger and darker.
- Embolism: A fat embolism can occur when loosened fat becomes trapped in blood vessels that are broken during surgery. This loosened fat then either gathers in the lungs or travels to the brain. Either of these scenarios should be considered a medical emergency, as fat trapped in the lungs can cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and respiratory arrest. Even worse, a fat embolism that reaches the brain can cause permanent disability and potentially death.
- Damage to underlying structures: Even with the use of a blunt cannula, inadvertent damage can be done to underlying tissues such as nerves, muscles, glands, and blood vessels.
- Under-correction: The desired aesthetic outcome is not achieved due to too little fat being transferred and a second procedure is required to complete the correction of the targeted area. This may lead to asymmetry.
- Over-correction: Too much fat is injected into the targeted area, which can lead to cell death (Fat Necrosis) and a lumpy consistency due to blocked blood vessels. The excess fat may have to be suctioned out. This may also lead to asymmetry.
- Skin Necrosis: Skin necrosis is the death of the layer of skin directly above the treated area. This dead skin will at first change colour and, if it spreads over a large area, can become infected by bacteria. This can lead to scarring and other unpleasant aesthetic results.