Gluteal fat grafting- commonly referred to as “The Brazilian Butt Lifts”- is an increasingly common plastic surgery procedure all around the world. However, complication rates, including mortality, have been reported.
Recently, a multi-society task force (which includes the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) has issued a corresponding safety advisory. The Task Force summarizes autopsy data revealing fat in the “buttock area veins”, as well as massive fat emboli in the vital organs such as heart and/or lungs.
Thus, The Task Force hypothesizes the complications resulting from high-pressure extravascular grafted fat entering the circulation via tears in the large buttock veins with subsequent heart and lung complications.
Because no records or evidence has yet shown a case of complication with fat only injected in the subcutaneous space (The space between the muscle layer and skin), the “Task Force” infers deeper injections (i.e.. to the muscle or under the muscle) witch has led to the complications.
The ‘’advisory’’ strongly “recommends surgeons” to keep the gluteal fat injection level under skin above the muscle level”. The advisory instructions regarding this recommendation rely on advising the surgeon to feel the cannula with his hands (the device with witch the fat is introduced) in motion, direction as well as level.
As this recommendation remains in a subjective level, the “Real-Time Ultrasound-Assisted gluteal fat grafting provides a precise method to monitor the cannula level and keep the injection site in a safe plane over the muscle. The procedure entails using a wireless ultrasound probe placed on the buttocks in order to identify the tissue layers were as the blunted cannula is introduced to the scanned area at the same time. As the fat injection is started, the ultrasound images are projected wirelessly to a screen, so that the surgeon and assistant could follow the planes in which the cannula is being introduced.
In conclusion this technology indeed provides a precise objective method to avoid injuring the deep buttock vessels, and further decreasing the risks of major complications regarding the BBL surgery.