Why the Brazilian Butt Lift is the Deadliest Beauty Surgery

In this article you will find the answer for:

  • What is a BBL?
  • What is the Death Rate for BBL?
  • What are the Main Causes of Death for BBL?


Out of all beauty surgeries, the Brazilian Butt Lift is the most dangerous and deadliest one. But even though it has such a high risk of complications and high death rates, the number of people getting the procedure grows every year. It may seem like an easy “fix” for those who struggle to achieve their dream body, but first of all, let's weigh all the risks and benefits to decide if it is the right procedure. In 2017, a survey was sent to surgeons all over the world asking them the number of deaths they had after BBL. Only 14 % of the doctors answered back. From that 14%, they concluded that the risks of death from BBL can be as high as 1 in 3,500  or 0.033 percent, compared to 0.002 percent for all office-based cosmetic procedures.

As of recently, fat embolism is the leading cause of death in beauty surgery. The approximate death estimate from fat embolism might be one in 3,000 for BBLs. A 2015 paper in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed 22 deaths in BBL patients in Colombia and Mexico. The cause of death was pulmonary embolisms: while injecting the fat, the blood vessels have been traumatized, thus allowing fat to enter the bloodstream and eventually blocking the arteries in the lungs. The authors of the paper suggest that “buttocks lipo injection should be performed very carefully, avoiding injections into deep muscle planes”.

The main cause of the BBL complications was the inappropriate method and low qualified surgeons performing in non-approved facilities, such as homes and garages.

Top causes of risks and complications after a BBL

1. When it is done by an unlicensed surgeon. BBL is so difficult and dangerous, choosing a skilled and experienced doctor is mandatory. Practitioners that lack proper training cannot prove their abilities and guarantee your safety. If the surgeon makes a mistake it can cost you your health and even your life.

2. Inject silicone and fillers instead of fat. Even though silicone and fillers are FDA-approved for breast augmentation and procedures for slowing aging, they are not approved for a Brazilian butt lift. Because BBL is an expensive surgery, patients look for cheaper alternatives to enhance their buttocks, such as silicones/fillers. This is not recommended because they are not made to be used for a BBL procedure and can cause poor results that require additional surgery for correction which can be deadly.

3. Not sterile operation space and surgical instruments. If not sterilized properly it can cause infections and can lead to unsatisfactory results. This is complementary to choosing a trustworthy doctor/clinic with accreditations and proven results. 

4. Injecting the grafted fat into the muscle. Intramuscular fat grafting is a common method for BBL. However, it is dangerous for patients, especially when it is injected deep into the muscle where nerves and blood vessels are located. Hitting a blood vessel can end in fat emboli, which can be deadly.

Before deciding on a Brazilian Butt Lift, make sure you understand all the aspects of the surgery. Our Brazilian Butt Lift Price Comparison will give you an overview of costs.

For a patient perspective, check out our Patient Story: Brazilian Butt Lift Before And After.

To understand more about the procedure, refer to our detailed guide on Buttock Lift.

Always consider safety first when opting for a cosmetic procedure.