A Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a popular cosmetic surgery that extracts and harvests fat cells from one area of the body through liposuction, before transferring the fat into the butt to enhance and reshape the buttocks.
In this article we will explore a common concern for many BBL patients: the risk of fat necrosis after undergoing the procedure. We will take a closer look at what causes the condition, as well as the most effective ways of preventing it.
Our body contouring surgeon at the CREO Clinic, Dr. Omar Tillo, specialises in Brazilian Butt Lift surgery, among a vast range of other cosmetic procedures. As one of the most skilled and experienced BBL surgeons in the UK, he will be able to design a bespoke treatment plan, minimising the risks of fat necrosis associated with the surgery.
What Is Fat Necrosis?
Fat necrosis is a condition that damages the adipose tissue (fat tissue) in a particular area of the body due to a lack of blood supply. Fat necrosis can be a slow, delayed process with several stages.
Although benign, fat necrosis is a significant cosmetic concern for patients, as hard lumps can form under the skin in the affected area. In addition, the affected area may also become red and bruised as the fat tissue cells begin to die.
What Causes Fat Necrosis After BBL?
A BBL requires the transfer of fat cells into the buttocks, which integrate into the blood supply. Fat necrosis can occur after BBL surgery when the grafted fat undergoes injury or damage during the fat transfer process, affecting blood supply to the treated area.
Fortunately, a skilled surgeon is able to minimise this risk by carefully grafting and diffusing the fat and injecting the right amount. Patients can also play a role in preventing fat necrosis after a BBL, through following the recovery guidelines provided by their surgeon.
How Long After BBL Can Fat Necrosis Occur?
Fat necrosis can occur during the first three months of BBL recovery, while the fat cells integrate into their new position. During this time, it is important to take all the necessary precautions and contact your surgeon if you experience any significant pain or discomfort.
What Can and Cannot Prevent Fat Necrosis After BBL
As mentioned, there are several steps you can take during the recovery process to help prevent fat necrosis after BBL surgery. Explained below are some of the most important to keep in mind.
Myth #1: Do Not Sit On Your Buttocks
According to some, sitting on your buttocks after a BBL can increase the risk of fat necrosis and compromise your results.
Dr. Tillo debunks this myth about fat necrosis: “There’s no scientific evidence to show that sitting or applying pressure on the grafted fat would cause fat necrosis or fat loss.”
Myth #2: Avoid Strenuous Physical Activity
Exercise and physical activity is undoubtedly beneficial for overall levels of health, yet some think that working out after a BBL can increase the risk of fat necrosis. The myth goes that this is because yet-to-settle fat cells are susceptible to injury or damage from increased pressure on the buttocks and present a risk.
Again, Dr. Tillo denies these claims: “The risk is only theoretical and not proven. The reasoning behind it is that the grafted fat is fragile and relies on forming new fragile blood vessels to survive. Pressure might disturb these blood vessels; however, this has not been proven.”
Actual Tip for Prevention: Do Not Smoke
To prevent reduced blood and nutrient flow in the treated area, it’s important to avoid smoking during the recovery process. This allows fat cells to re-establish blood supply in the new environment and heal appropriately.
The CREO Clinic’s Dr. Omar Tillo had this to say about smoking after a BBL: “The transferred fat needs the maximum amount of blood supply, oxygen and nutrients in order to survive in the new place. Smoking causes several changes in the blood vessels that result in reduction in the blood flow, including narrowing the small blood vessels. This particular effect can be reversed within a few weeks of quitting. However, there is also long-term damage to the internal lining of these blood vessels. Plaque builds up inside, causing small blood vessels to become plugged up and larger ones to narrow. These are permanent damages and changes that will last for life and build up over time with every cigarette you smoke.”
Discuss The Risk of Fat Necrosis and How To Prevent It with CREO Clinic
For further information on fat necrosis after BBL surgery, contact the CREO Clinic to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with Dr Tillo. As one of the leading BBL surgeons, he will be able to provide optimal results, while reducing the risk of postoperative complications such as fat necrosis.