Is BBL safe?

is bbl safe

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The Brazilian butt lift is considered the gold standard in shaping and sculpting. An alternative to surgical butt implants, the BBL uses purified fat cells harvested from your own body to enlarge, enhance, and shape the buttocks. This procedure can achieve custom, natural-looking results without many of the aesthetic limitations and health risks associated with traditional butt implants.

However, patients often have questions about the safety of the BBL. At Boutinic Aesthetics, we take pride in offering our patients innovative cosmetic procedures in a state-of-the-art center staffed by board-certified surgeons offering 40 years of collective surgical experience. We believe that every patient should be fully informed regarding the risks of any procedure they are considering.

While the BBL is a safe, well-tolerated procedure that produces long-lasting results for many patients, it’s important to cover potential complications. Patients undergoing BBLs will be provided with detailed information during the consultation phase. Here’s a look at BBL safety facts that can be reviewed at home while you consider this procedure.

Is BBL Safe?

Yes, the BBL is considered safe when performed by an experienced board-certified surgeon with BBL training and expertise. In fact, the BBL is safer in 2023 than it has ever been before due to the fact that the medical community has developed new techniques and regulations.

A study from the Aesthetic Surgery Journal published important improvements in the techniques for performing gluteal fat grafting, that reduce the risks associated with the procedure.

For example, board-certified surgeons are now instructed to practice subcutaneous fat grafting only to prevent patient risks. In addition, muscular injections are now avoided. Surgeons also avoid downward injections. Finally, surgeons offering the BBL procedure now utilize thicker cannulas compared to the cannulas used during the early days of the BBL. Of course, these updated regulations are only as effective as a doctor’s willingness to use them.

Poorly trained surgeons operating outside of the confines of board certification may not be staying updated with the latest BBL safety recommendations. Others may simply not care to take time out to update their training. Rest assured that the team at Boutinic Aesthetics is continuously reviewing BBL standards to obtain the training necessary to offer our patients safe, beautiful results.

Is Awake BBL Safer?

We avoid the awake BBL at Boutinic Aesthetics. While we recognize some of the potential benefits and cost reductions offered by the awake BBL, we have found that these limited benefits ultimately come at the expense of a patient’s comfort and safety. During an awake procedure, patients are given a mixture of drugs without the presence of an anesthesiologist. While the patient is medicated, they are essentially fully awake during the BBL procedure.

Advocates of the BBL awake say that this procedure gives patients an opportunity to review the results of their BBL before the procedure is complete. However, this claim doesn’t take into account that the patient may be in an altered state that impairs their judgement while under the influence of pain drugs. At Boutinic Aesthetics, we believe that thorough communication during the consultation process is all that’s needed to ensure that we will create the results that meet your expectations.

Patients who undergo an awake BBL are at risk for severe pain and trauma resulting from being operated on while conscious. It has been our experience that many plastic surgeons offering awake BBLs do so to offer “budget” BBLs. We will be happy to discuss the reasons why we advise against the awake BBL in detail during a consultation.

Is a BBL Safer Than Implants?

While it’s difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison on safety levels when so many factors contribute to surgical outcomes, the BBL is generally considered to be a safe, minimally invasive alternative to buttocks implants. The simple reason why is that the two procedures come down to placing foreign objects in your body versus using your own fat cells.

The fact that a BBL simply uses fat cells harvested from other areas of your body means that there’s almost no risk of your body rejecting the injected cells. With butt implants, there is always a chance that your body will reject your foreign implants. The large incisions needed for butt implants create a slightly elevated risk for infection due to their location on the gluteal cleft near the anus. The last safety concern is that butt implants do have the potential to be dislodged at any point.

Overall, the BBL is considered to be a much more predictable procedure with reduced risks for rejection, infection, and complications.

Safety Regulations for BBLs in Florida

As an established and trusted cosmetic surgery clinic in Miami, Boutinic Aesthetics is committed to complying with all state-specific BBL regulations implemented in Florida. We share the Florida Board of Medicine’s commitment to patient safety.

In 2022, the Florida Board of Medicine approved an emergency order placing a limit of two gluteal fat grafting procedures per day for each surgeon. The order also mandates the use of ultrasound technology when performing BBL surgeries. This mandate for ultrasound-guided BBLs is designed to help reduce risks of fat embolisms by ensuring that surgeons have the proper visuals for avoiding inadvertently injecting fat into muscle.

Always make sure you’re talking to a board-certified surgeon with proper BBL training when considering this procedure. Boutinic Aesthetics prioritizes the safety and comfort of our patients at every step. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions about the safety of the BBL procedure.

Dr. Ernesto Torres

Dr. Ernesto Torres

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ernesto Torres specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery in Miami, FL


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