Women are literally dying for a bigger butt, at least that’s according to a new report from a task force of concerned plastic surgeons. As Buzzfeed News reports, the task force says that the Brazilian butt lifts, which is also known as gluteal fat grafting, could be the deadliest plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States. According to the report, the surgery is killing 1 in 3,000 people. This rate is much higher than the national average for plastic surgery mortality.
“For cosmetic procedures across the board it’s more like 1 in 50,000,” Dr. J. Peter Rubin, a board-certified plastic surgeon and co-chair of the task force, said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
Rubin adds that the demand for Brazilian butt lifts has increased astronomically in the last couple of years. Surgeons do thousands of them every year and they can cost the patient up to $5,000. But there are reports that they can cost $10,000 as well.
Doctors perform Brazilian butt lifts by suctioning fat out of places like the waist and injecting it into the gluteus maximus. In a successful procedure, the surgeon places the fat in the subcutaneous tissue layer. Problems arise when the fat is implanted into the muscle layer. If it gets into one of the many veins in the muscle layer, it can find its way to major organs like the heart and lungs and cause deadly consequences. If the fat gets to the heart then it can work like a blood clot and cause a heart attack.
“A majority of people having this operation are doing well,” Rubin continued. “On the other side of the spectrum, we find this to be one of the most dangerous cosmetic procedures.”
Last year, the Chicago Tribune reported one incident in which a mother of a 1-year-old died after she traveled to Miami for a Brazilian butt lift.
The medical examiner’s report said that she died of a fat embolism because the fat traveled to an area near the lungs which stopped oxygen from getting into the blood. According to the Tribune, the clinic, which heavily promoted the procedure on their Facebook page, were not equipped to handle the emergency and had to call 911. The location was the site of a previous fatal butt lift surgery but the clinic had different owners at the time.
The other side of this problem is that there are a high number of non-board certified surgeons performing Brazilian butt lifts, BuzzFeed notes. As more and more women crave the curvy derrieres of stars like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, basement clinics have sprouted in multiple American cities and urban areas around the world.
Dr. Rubin advises the patients to research their clinic and surgeon thoroughly before they make the decision to go under the knife.