Ultrasound and BBL Safety

Why has the use of ultrasound become a topic of discussion with Brazilian Butt Lift surgeries? The reason is the Brazilian Butt Lift has been one of the most popular surgeries in the United States for years. It is so popular because of the combination of the liposculpting of the waist and the fat transfer to the buttock and hips. This combination creates an incredible transformation that leads to an hourglass figure. However, the Brazilian Butt Lift has also become infamous from a safety standpoint, as at one point the BBL was considered the most dangerous aesthetic procedure in the United States due to fat emboli. This is not true anymore as our knowledge of the procedure, anatomy, and techniques have improved, including but not limited to the use of the ultrasound for visual guidance of the fat grafting.

Brazilian Butt Lift safety has continued to improve since it’s popularization over 10 years ago. The increased safety has come from an improved understanding of gluteal anatomy and from the improve techniques for fat grafting. As a plastic surgery community, we now understand that fat must be injected into fat when augmenting the buttock. Early BBL procedures that included intramuscular injections led to an increased risk of adverse outcomes for patients. The new techniques that focus on injecting above the muscle to allow the plastic surgeon to shape the body while still enhancing it safely are much more common and safer now.

Brazilian butt lift techniques that have improved the safety of the procedure include large bore cannulas, auto injectors, patient positioning, and the use of ultrasound guided fat transfer. The large bore cannulas give the surgeon much more control of the position of the cannula and make it less likely to enter the muscle. The fat auto-injectors have become popular as the surgeon can concentrate on the placement of the cannula tip while the auto-injector delivers the fat into the buttock.

What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound, also known and sonography is a type of imaging that uses sound waves to create a two-dimensional image. The ultrasound probe transmits sound waves that echo off the tissues return to the transducer probe to create an image. Since it is only sounds waves it is considered one of the safest imaging techniques as no radiation is used in the treatment. It has been used in medicine for over sixty years to provide images of the human body. As technology has improved the probes and computers needed to analyze these sound waves have become smaller and easier to use.

What is the Importance of Visualizing the Fat Placement in a Brazilian Butt Lift?

One of the concerns with a Brazilian Butt lift or fat transfer procedure to the buttock is the risk of fat emboli. Fat emboli is when fat enters the blood stream and can travel to the heart or lungs. The risk of fat emboli increases significantly when fat is injected into the muscle. This increased risk is thought to be due to damaged blood vessels in the muscles along with a significant pressure gradient between the veins and fat in the muscles. Thus, the fat can be pulled into the blood vessels. There are multiple techniques we can use to decrease the risk of intra-muscular injection. However, visualizing the placement of the fat transfer is one of the most secure and accurate ways to ensure the fat is placed above the muscle and thus decreasing the risk of fat emboli.

What are the Benefits of Using an Ultrasound During a BBL?

An ultrasound allows the plastic surgeon to visualize the various compartments of fat and the muscle below the skin. The benefits are both aesthetic and safety in terms of a BBL procedure.  The ability to directly visualize the muscle in real time allows the plastic surgeon to watch the fat being injected and ensure the correct placement of the fat above the muscle.

Direct visualization of fat injection with the use of an ultrasound also allows the plastic surgeon to target the various fat compartments. The ability to target the various fat compartments using the ultrasound allows for the plastic surgeon to have better control of the shape of the buttock and increase the projection. There is a superficial and deep fat plane. Both of these fat compartments can be filled under direct visualization. Without the use of ultrasound guidance most plastic surgeons will avoid the deep fat layers as it can be difficult to fill this layer and avoid intramuscular injections without being able to directly visualize the placement of the fat.

Is a Brazilian Butt Lift Safe?

The evolution of our understanding of the gluteal anatomy and the techniques of fat grafting to the buttock have made the Brazilian Butt Lift much safer than it has ever been. The utilization of the ultrasound visualization during a Brazilian Butt Lift gives patients and surgeons an extra level of security that the procedure is being done as safely as possible.

How is an Ultrasound used during a Brazilian Butt Lift?

The ultrasound probe is placed in the area of the butt or hips where the fat is being injected. The fat cannula can be visualized in real time so that placement and injection of the fat can be watched to ensure that the precise placement of the fat grafting above the muscle. The ultrasound can also visualize the superficial and deep fat compartments so that they can be directly filled under visualization.

Put Ultrasound and BBL Safety to Use in Your Procedure

There have been many advancements in Brazilian Butt Lifts, however the most recent innovation is probably the most significant and that is the use of the ultrasound to visualize the placement of fat during the Brazilian butt lift. With the ultrasound the tip of the cannula can be visualized during the entire fat injection and augmentation of the buttock. This allows the plastic surgeon to have more control of the shape of the buttock while increasing the safety of the procedure. The ultrasound allows the plastic surgeon to visualize the exact placement of the fat during the buttock enhancement and thus ensure that the fat is injected above the muscle from a safety perspective.

Ultrasound guided procedures are not new to medicine. They have been used for procedures in the hospital for years. However, in the past the ultrasound devices were large and difficult to use without specialized personal. As technology continues to improve so does our ability to safely and effectively treat patients. The ultrasound devices have become much smaller and portable. This allows the surgeon to have the ultrasound device during surgery with the images connected to a monitor or iPad so that the entire fat transfer procedure can be visualized.

Visualization of fat injection with the ultrasound has also improved the overall aesthetics of the buttock as the multiple fat planes in the buttock can be identified and treated accordingly and safely under direct visualization. There are multiple fat components in the buttock. In the past most plastic surgeons only targeted the superficial fat compartment in an abundance of safety. With direct visualization of the cannula the deep and superficial fat compartments can be augmented safely. This allows the plastic surgeon to further increase the projection of the butt safely during a Brazilian Butt Lift.

The Brazilian Butt Lift is going to continue to evolve as it is a relatively new procedure in the world of plastic surgery. The integration of the ultrasound guided fat transfer for butt enhancement will continue to improve the results and safety of this incredible procedure. Call our team today to learn about our advanced Brazilian Butt Lift procedure.

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