BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift): From Controversial to Popular

bbl brazilian butt lift from controversial to popular

Ever wonder how a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) went from one of the most controversial cosmetic procedures to one of the most sought after? Well, with all of the advances in cosmetic surgery technologies, techniques, and tools, BBLs have been able to do a 180 with their reputation.

Controversy & Resolutions Behind BBLs

When patients started getting Brazilian Butt Lifts, there wasn’t much information on the entire medical process. Surgeons had an understanding of the fat grafting and placement process but there were obviously grey areas that still needed to be figured out.

Fat Grafting

BBLs require fat grafting through liposuction to remove excess fat from donor areas on the body (like the stomach and waist) but, there were often times where too much fat was removed from the donor areas and too much fat was implanted into the patients bottom. This resulted in higher levels of shock in the body and the body rejecting some of the excess fat injected into the patient’s bottom.

These days, surgeons are well aware of how much and from where they can take donor fat from a patient’s body. In the United States, each state has a limit on how much fat can be removed from a patient at once; for example, in Florida, the limit is 4 liters. Surgeons have also studied previous BBL procedures with different results as well as new research conducted on BBLs overall to ensure that the fat grafting process goes smoothly.

Fat Purification and Implantation

Once the donor fat has been collected, it is put into tubes and purified. It’s then injected into a patient’s bottom by the surgeon who begins to sculpt out the patient’s desired voluptuous figure. This was the most dangerous part of the entire procedure because there was no clear indication of where exactly the donor fat could or should be placed. If the donor fat is placed into the gluteal muscles, there can be disastrous consequences. Surgeons know now that fat needs to be placed above the muscle.

Humans also have the Inferior Glutenal Vein (IGV) located in their bottoms which is more sensitive than other major veins and doesn’t “move out of the way” when an object gets near it. If fat isn’t placed in the proper area, the IGV can suck it up and create a fat embolism. The cannula (tip where the fat comes out of the syringe during implantation) didn’t have a blunt and rounded tip that was less prone to prod the patient internally. However, these days, it does! This, along with new visual ultrasound guiding technology, allows surgeons to see exactly what they’re doing and where they’re doing it so that all contact with the IGV is avoided.


Once a BBL has been completed and patients are taken to recovery, surgeons keep a close eye on them to ensure there are no hiccups. One of the biggest concerns with BBLs is the possibility of a fat embolism that can go as far as into the lungs.

Now that surgeons are aware of where fat can and cannot be placed and have a better view of the IGV during the procedure, the chance of fat loosening up and getting sucked up by the IGV is much smaller. However, if it were to happen, surgeons are able to notice and address embolisms if caught with time.

A full recovery from a BBL takes around 6 months in which a patient has to wear a garment full-time. Patients are usually out of the woods” for fat embolisms from the 3-7 day mark after the procedure. During the entire recovery process, regular follow-ups are advised even after the initial post-procedural follow-ups to ensure complete patient safety and satisfaction.

Advances in BBL Research

Seeing how people were continuing to undergo BBL procedures despite the riskiness of the procedure, the medical community decided that additional resources needed to be dedicated to BBL research. The rise in BBL research, mainly in the UK and US, lead to new technologies, surgical methods, and specialized tools which have significantly lowered the risk level of BBL procedures.

The rounded tips of the cannulas, the ultrasound technology and, fat purification along with surgeon experience and knowledge have allowed for a safer and more effective BBL procedure. Patients have been able to get fuller, hourglass-like figures in a secure manner without having to get foreign implants.

Are BBL’s safe?

Under the care of an experienced surgeon, BBLs are safe procedures with results that last years. As long as a patient is relatively healthy, has realistic expectations from their BBL procedure, and has a surgeon that knows what they’re doing, then a BBL is a safe procedure. There are a myriad of places where patients can go and get any type of procedure done at a lower price by less qualified surgeons. A cosmetic procedure is no place to opt for the cheaper option.

This is your body that you’re investing in financially, cosmetically, and timely when getting a procedure like this. Patients shouldn’t risk all of that to save a bit when it’s something as important as themselves. If it takes a bit longer to save to get a BBL at the clinic you’d like and the surgeon you’d like then that’s okay. After all, they’re going to be in that body much longer than the time they spent waiting.

Have More Questions?

Call us to speak to a highly knowledgeable and experienced surgeon about what your future BBL might look like, contact Avana Plastic Surgery to schedule a free consultation!