How Safe is the Brazilian buttlift or BBL in Los Angeles of Dr. Kenneth Hughes?


Much has changed in the Brazilian buttlift or BBL over the past few years.  The Brazilian buttlift or BBL involves the liposuction of fat from areas of stubborn fat deposits in the body and transfer of that fat to the butt for augmentation and shaping purposes.  In the years prior to 2017 or 2018, almost every training program and every surgeon performing the Brazilian buttlift injected at least some of the fat into the muscle.  This injection of fat into the muscle undoubtedly improved fat graft take.  However, it also resulted in a 1 in 3000 fatal pulmonary embolus and a 1 in 600 nonfatal pulmonary embolus.

For the past 6 years, Dr. Kenneth Hughes, long before the ASPS recommended the subcutaneous injection method, created a new paradigm of subdermal injection of fat.  Dr. Hughes has injected volumes of fat over 2000 cc per buttock using this subdermal method.  Dr. Hughes has also performed over 2000 subdermal buttlifts without a single fat embolus (fatal or nonfatal).

Though no one can say for sure if this technique completely eliminates the risk for fat embolus, the data looks promising.  As with any new procedure, plastic surgeons or doctors never understand every possible complication of a procedure until greater numbers of procedures are performed.  This is precisely what happened with the Brazilian buttlift.  No one could have predicted that fat injection with a blunt cannula into the muscle would have resulted in a rare fat embolus.  Over 30 board-certified plastic surgeons had a fatal pulmonary embolus prior to 2016 with this injection method.  In addition, another 130 had a fat embolus of some sort.  So this happened to many very talented and well credentialed individuals.  These numbers do no include those deaths from non-board certified plastic surgeons and all of the cosmetic surgeons in the US.  So the frequency of these complications was in fact much higher and occurred at a much greater frequency that was stated in the studies performed at that time.