BBL Risks, Side Effects & Complications: A comprehensive guide

The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure helps you to reach your desired body and gives you the butt you have always dreamed of. However, it is a plastic surgery and as with any other surgery, BBL risks also exist. These risks include aesthetic concerns, possible health problems, and side effects.

Fortunately, the risks can significantly be reduced if you choose a qualified plastic surgeon. A qualified surgeon has the necessary education, has high knowledge of the anatomy of the butt, follows newly published literature, and knows what to do and what to avoid. When all of these features are combined with years of experience, successful surgery appears and BBL risks are reduced.

But of course, even with the best surgeon, there are chances of complications. Before getting BBL surgery, it is important to be aware of the possible risks. If you know the potential complications, you can make your decision and take your step to the surgery.

In this article, we talked about all the potential risks of BBL, including aesthetic risks, health risks, and side effects to make you informed about every single thing so that you know everything about the procedure you want to undergo.

Table of Contents

What are the risks of BBL?

When we talk about the risks of an operation, only health-related things come to mind. However, since BBL is plastic surgery, there are also aesthetic risks. Let’s look at the general and aesthetic BBL risks, the ones that can affect the final results.

Anesthesia

The anesthesia given during the surgery can be hard on the body. Because of anesthesia, your immune system can get weak, which makes you susceptible to infections. Also, you can feel tired, and weaker than usual and feel sick. Plus, anesthesia decelerates the digestive tract, which can cause constipation after the surgery. All of these side effects should go away in a few days.

Not being the proper patient

BBL surgery can be more riskier for patients who have certain pre-existing medical conditions. For example, if a patient who has hypertension undergoes a BBL without keeping it under control, the surgery will be riskier. The chances of complications that may happen during and after the surgery will be increased such as anesthesia complications, bleeding, and heart attack risk. You can check our article on BBL surgery requirements to see if you are a fit candidate and for more information on the subject.

Asymmetry

The surgeon may not be able to inject the fat into the buttocks evenly. Or, a complication such as fat necrosis can result in an asymmetry in the buttocks. In both cases, the patient will suffer from an unwanted appearance. One side may be a bit smaller, or the volume or shape may not match.

Unsatisfying results

The final result may not be as you desire. You may not be happy with the size of your butt, you may think it is way too small, or the exact opposite, it’s too big. The final result may not be in the shape or volume you asked for. Maybe the surgeon didn’t do a good job. In such a condition, you may need BBL removal surgery or revision surgery.

Revision surgery

You may not be satisfied with the final BBL result, or certain complications may distort the beauty of the buttocks. For these types of situations, BBL revision comes to rescue your buttocks. BBL revision is a surgery where the final BBL results are improved. Thanks to this operation, more fat can be added to the buttocks, or some can be removed to fix the undesired BBL result.

Complications of BBL

“How risky is a BBL?” It is considered a safe cosmetic surgery as long as the surgery is performed with the right technique. Applying the right techniques and performing the surgery in the right way reduces the chances of complications to a large extent. But still, just like any other surgery, there are certain complications that can happen after BBL.

Then, what are the risks of BBL surgery? Generally, the risks are not very common, and not all patients face these BBL risks. But just because it’s not common doesn’t mean it won’t happen. If you are undergoing surgery, you should be aware of any possible complications that can happen. If you have had BBL surgery and think you are experiencing any of the following BBL complications, contact your surgeon.

Infection

As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection after BBL as well. As long as your surgeon performs the surgery with sterilized, clean equipment with the right technique, the only infection that can happen can be caused because of the microorganisms on your skin after the surgery.

Microorganisms can go into your incisions and cause an infection. The area can feel hot and firm, it can look red. It can be treated with antibiotics. You should keep the incisions clean and follow your surgeon’s instructions. For more details on how you can spot an infection after BBL, you can check our article on the subject.

Seroma

During the surgery, the cannula can damage lymphatic vessels under the skin. Through these channels the fluid drains and fills under the skin. The motion of the cannula and the force used to move it cause this damage and it is unpreventable. However, seroma happens in severe situations when the lymphatic vessels are extremely damaged.

Generally, seroma is not a dangerous complication and it can be drained by a needle in a couple of sessions. Seroma can be detected when you put light pressure on the area and see a bump around the place or if there is a liquid-like feel inside the skin. Ifyou suspect that you might have seroma, or want to learn more about this complication, you can check our article “What is seroma after BBL”.

Hematoma

During the fat transfer process, blood vessels can get damaged. As a result of this, the blood can start to leak from the damaged vessel and pile up in the tissue, causing a hematoma. It looks like a red-purple bruise under the skin. Usually, hematoma goes away on its own. If it is painful or causes discomfort, it can be drained with a minor surgical operation.

Nerve Damage

It is not a common Brazilian Butt lift complication but nerve damage can happen during BBL surgery. Nerve damage can happen during fat removal or the fat grafting process. The cannula can damage sciatic nerves. Sciatic nerve damage can lead to foot drop, which is the difficulty in bending your knees, moving your feet, and difficulty in walking (1). To prevent this from happening, surgeons must know the anatomy of the butt, legs, lower back, and basically the whole surgery area and avoid these nerves.

Fibrosis

During BBL, the tissue that attaches skin to the muscle can get damaged. When there is damage, your body starts to heal that area with fibroblasts. If the body continues to heal even though recovery is completed, it creates scar tissue, which is called fibrosis.

Fibrosis can make the skin look asymmetrical, or some areas can feel hardened or thickened. It can also be seen as a lump, or cause pain. To prevent fibrosis or reduce its risk, you must wear a faja with foams. The compression will help to prevent fibrosis from happening. Massaging the area can be helpful by increasing blood flow as well. For further information, you can check our “BBL fibrosis” article.

Fat necrosis

The death of the newly transferred fat is called fat necrosis. During the fat harvesting process, the fat cells are separated from the blood supply. When the fat cells are transferred to your butt, the fat needs to settle in its new place and connect with the blood vessels.If the newly transferred fat can’t connect with the blood supply in its new place, oxygen can’t reach the fat cells, causing them to die.

Fat necrosis can show itself as a lump-kinda feeling under your skin, the skin can get thicker, bruising can be seen and it can cause pain. It may be removed by a needle, or a minor surgical procedure may need in severe conditions. If you want to discover more about fat necrosis after BBL, we are waiting for you in this article.

Fat embolism

Fat embolism is the most dangerous risk of BBL. It happens because of the wrong injection technique that is applied during surgery. During the BBL surgery, the fat must be injected only under the skin. If the fat is injected into the gluteal muscle, or under it, fat embolism can occur.

If the fat is injected into or under the muscle, the fat cells can enter the blood vessels, which can disrupt your blood circulation. If the emboli reach the heart or the lungs, a fat embolism can even result in death. Here you can find the signs of fat embolism after BBL.

Side effects of BBL

Besides the risks of BBL surgery, there are also side effects. But don’t worry, most of these BBL side effects are not permanent. As the recovery time passes, Brazilian Butt Lift side effects will start to reduce after a certain period of time and will disappear eventually. Let’s explore the common side effects of BBL surgery.

Scars & Incisions

BBL is not a procedure that requires big incisions. However, during the operation, the surgeon has to make very small incisions to be able to collect and transfer the fat. This means you will have scars after the BBL procedure, but those scars will be so tiny that they will close in the first couple of weeks and will start to disappear over time. You can check our BBL scars article to know further information about them.

Swelling

Swelling is inevitable after the BBL operation. During the surgery, the body gets damaged in the surgery sites. If there is damage, the body starts to heal itself by sending inflammatory cells to the damaged area. As more inflammatory cells go to the area, more fluid accumulates. Also, lymphatic vessels get damaged and create another fluid buildup. These two reasons cause swelling after BBL. Swelling can be extreme in the first days after the surgery, however, it will be gone over time. You can get detailed information about swelling after BBL from this article.

Itching

Small nerves can get damaged after BBL, causing an itchy feeling in the butt and liposuctioned areas. It can bother the patient and create discomfort but actually, it is a good sign. This means your body is healing, and your nerves are restoring.

You should avoid scratching your skin in such a situation. You may use some medicines which can help with the itchy feeling but consult your doctor before you use anything. Learn more about how to stop the itching after BBL.

Sagging skin

Sagging skin is not a direct side effect of Brazilian Butt Lift surgery. Your skin’s elasticity and the amount of fat that is removed determine whether you experience sagging skin or not. In a case where the patient has loose skin, or too much fat is removed for the transfer, sagging skin is a potential side effect. You can prevent sagging skin after surgery to a certain point by wearing your compression garment and getting massages.

Sensation loss

After the BBL surgery, sensation loss may occur in the butt and liposuctioned areas. As we mentioned in the previous sections, nerve damage is a possible complication of BBL and it can also cause sensation loss. But don’t worry, you will not feel numb for a long time. It is not a permanent thing and it should disappear in a couple of weeks. In case you have sensation loss for a long period, you may be experiencing severe nerve damage. You should give your doctor a visit about it.

  • (1) Vasilakis, Vasileios et al. “Bilateral Sciatic Neuropathy following Gluteal Augmentation With Autologous Fat Grafting.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open vol. 6,3 e1696. 19 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001696

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