Fibrosis after BBL: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment Options
Does your skin look uneven after Brazilian Butt Lift surgery? Is there a lumpy appearance? It can be fibrosis after BBL. Fibrosis is one of the complications that patients can experience after a BBL operation. It is the formation of scar tissue under the skin. It can cause discomfort to the patients, and it may be unpleasant to have after a surgery that you underwent to have a better appearance.
In this article, we are going to explain what is it, how it happens, how to avoid fibrosis after BBL and give detailed information to help you totally understand this complication of BBL.
Table of Contents
What is fibrosis?
Fibrosis is the scarring of the damaged tissue due to the excess healing ability of the body. When there is damage in any part of the body, the body starts to heal itself with the help of connective tissue. In a situation where the connective tissue doesn’t stop developing even if the damaged part is already healed, it starts to create scar tissue which is called fibrosis.
Since it is a type of complication that happens in tissues, and our body is made up of all kinds of tissues, it can happen anywhere in our body. Because of this, there are multiple types of it and each has different symptoms or risks.
Fibrosis after BBL surgery: Everything you should know
We started the article by talking about what is fibrosis, but the main point of our article is what is fibrosis after BBL. Starting with the symptoms of it, you are going to learn the formation, causes, and many other beneficial points that may be helpful if you experience this complication.
Symptoms of BBL fibrosis
It may be possible to notice BBL fibrosis easily because it happens under the skin, not in the deep tissues of your body. Here are the possible signs that BBL fibrosis may have formed around your surgery sites:
- Thickened skin, the feeling of hardness
- Lumpy, uneven skin
- A look as if something pulls the skin inside
- Inflexibility in the affected area
- Pain or discomfort
As seen above, symptoms are generally concerned with the appearance. The most common symptoms are stiffness in the area and a lumpy look. The other one is the skin being pulled inside, creating a distorted look in the affected area. For your information, you can experience these symptoms not only in your buttocks but also in the liposuctioned areas.
Is fibrosis common after BBL?
Yes, it is a common complication that can be seen after a BBL procedure (1). This situation also applies to cosmetic surgeries that include liposuction procedures. As mentioned above, when something enters the body and causes trauma, our body reacts and takes action. As it is the body’s natural function to heal itself and it is due to over-healing.
How dangerous can it be after BBL?
Fibrosis after BBL is not something dangerous and generally doesn’t lead to dangerous complications. The scarring forms in the tissue and the tissue that scar forms after BBL doesn’t have a vital role. However, it can cause pain or discomfort which can reduce the quality of the recovery time. Plus, it may be disturbing from a cosmetic view since it has a visible effect on the skin.
How does it happen after BBL?
During fat transfer when the cannula is used in motion, the tissue under the skin can get damaged. When there is tissue damage, the body starts to heal the area with the connective tissue cells. Normally, connective tissue must stop forming when the damaged area is healed. In a situation where the connective tissue doesn’t stop forming even if the damaged area is already healed, it starts to form excess scar tissue. This scar tissue is called fibrosis.
When can it happen after the surgery?
Fibrosis can start to form in the first weeks or months after surgery. The time period is not clear because the body starts to heal itself immediately after the surgery, and continues to do. This means it can be formed anytime during the healing process. So, check your body regularly if there’s anything happening. Acting early before letting it develop further can save you from any trouble.
How can it be prevented?
It is possible to prevent fibrosis to a certain extent by taking some precautions both before and after the surgery. The precautions are:
- Choose a qualified surgeon
- Follow post-op instructions
- Wear your compression garments
- Get lymphatic massages or massage yourself with a lipo roller
You can start by choosing an experienced surgeon. A surgeon who knows what he or she doing can prevent fibrous tissues from forming and other complications as well. The surgeon will use the cannula in the right way, with the right technique, and with enough power, potentially decreasing the chances of fibrosis after BBL.
After the surgery, following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions are essential to prevent it before it forms. As we know wearing compression garments with foams and getting lymphatic drainage massages are very important in the recovery process for so many reasons, and it also helps to prevent the formation of the scar tissue.
Diagnosis & treatment options for fibrosis after BBL
How to get rid of fibrosis after BBL? Actually, the prevention and treatment of BBL fibrosis include similar things. As we mentioned, compression garments and lymphatic massage therapies help to prevent it before it occurs.
If your scar tissues are determined in staying, you can try getting an ultrasound or radio-frequency therapy for restoring underlying tissues. These devices can treat it by destroying the scar tissue that is formed in the affected areas. In the case where these were not helpful enough, surgical removal may be needed to get rid of the fibrosis after BBL.
How can fibrosis be diagnosed?
Firstly you can check if there is a hard feeling or a visible uneven lumpy look, and then consult your surgeon. Plastic surgeons can diagnose fibrous tissues by a physical examination. The surgeon looks at the damaged area, feels the skin texture, and asks questions about your problem. If the physical examination is not enough to be sure, an ultrasound device can be used. It is an imaging tool, so it gives another POV to look at the affected area, helping the surgeon make a clear decision.
Can fibrosis heal naturally?
BBL fibrosis can’t heal on its own. You should prevent it before it happens, or you should get it treated with the options we mentioned above. If you get post-op massages, wear your compression garment with foams, and follow the instructions precisely, not only your recovery period will be smooth but also the chances of it forming can be decreased.
What happens if you don't get it treated?
If you don’t treat fibrosis, it can be very uncomfortable to live with it since there is a lumpy feeling inside your skin and it can be painful. Also, it may create problems from an aesthetic view. The thickened skin and lumpy view can distort the beauty of the body, making the patient unhappy. Other than that, it will most probably won’t cause any severe or life-threatening problems.
How to know if it is fibrosis or fat necrosis?
There are two complications that may cause lumps after a Brazilian Butt Lift. These are fibrosis and fat necrosis. Even though they both create lumps on the skin and sound similar, they are very different from each other in terms of both their appearance and the cause of the lump.
Fibrosis is the formation of scar tissue. It happens when the healing of the damaged tissue doesn’t stop and creates excess scar tissue. This scar tissue shows itself as thickened, uneven, lumpy skin. It generally creates an unbalanced appearance, like something is pulling a part of the skin from the inside.
Fat necrosis is the death of the newly transferred fat cells. If the blood can’t reach the transferred fat, they die and fat necrosis happens. Fat necrosis also shows itself as a thickened lump kinda look but generally, it comes along with redness or hyperpigmentation, contrary to fibrosis.
- (1) Chacur R, Menezes HS, Chacur NMBDS, Alves DD, Mafaldo RC, Gomes LD, Matzenbacher G, Barreto GDS. Aesthetic correction of lesion by post-liposuction corticoid infiltration using subcision, PMMA filling, and CO2 laser. Case Reports Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2019 Apr 23;6(1):140-144. doi: 10.1080/23320885.2019.1602837. PMID: 32002462; PMCID: PMC6968505.
- Wynn TA. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis. J Pathol. 2008 Jan;214(2):199-210. doi: 10.1002/path.2277. PMID: 18161745; PMCID: PMC2693329.