Achieving the butt of your dreams is now a possibility for a wider range of patients than ever before. With a surge in providers offering augmentation procedures and growing interest in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) surgery, individuals are increasingly opting for this transformative experience when diet and exercise fall short.
However, there's a crucial aspect to the immensely popular BBL procedure that warrants close attention – the emergence of unregulated, fly-by-night facilities staffed by unqualified medical practitioners. These establishments pose a significant risk, potentially leading to devastating and irreversible consequences.
Prior research is vital before undergoing any plastic surgery, but for butt augmentation, it is an absolute imperative. We sought insights from two board-certified plastic surgeons, both esteemed members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who regularly perform BBLs. They shed light on the red flags that demand unwavering attention.
Understanding the "Bargain BBL"
A "bargain BBL" refers to a butt augmentation procedure that comes at a fraction of the cost compared to a typical, safe BBL surgery. Undoubtedly, cost is a major factor for anyone contemplating plastic surgery. However, the allure of these bargain prices often conceals surgical shortcuts, inadequate postoperative care, and unaccredited pop-up clinics that appear and vanish with alarming frequency.
Dr. Joe Hadeed, MD, FACS, points out, "These clinics offer incredibly low prices, which can tempt patients more interested in the bottom line than their own safety or the qualifications of the provider. They solely focus on saving money without considering the bigger picture."
Many individuals enticed by the promise of affordable surgery mistakenly believe they will achieve the same results as a more expensive option. Dr. Chris Funderburk, MD, a prominent plastic surgeon in New York City, cautions that patients selecting these clinics often "have no idea about the potential consequences."
The High Price of a Failed BBL
Revision plastic surgery presents significant challenges for both patients and surgeons alike. Dr. Hadeed emphasizes that "in many cases, especially if a patient experiences severe complications from their initial surgery, they may require multiple corrective procedures, ultimately spending far more than they would have with thorough research and a board-certified surgeon in the first place."
Dr. Funderburk, who performs 100 to 150 BBLs annually, sees a common issue in BBLs – overly aggressive liposuction leading to loose skin, pronounced contour irregularities, and lumps that are often irreparable. Conveying this news to patients is emotionally taxing. "I must explain to my revision patients that perfection may never be achieved. Our goal is to improve their appearance, but it's truly disheartening because they come seeking restoration, only to be told that complete resolution may not be possible," he laments.
It's noteworthy that patients who initially choose a board-certified plastic surgeon rarely require revisions.
The Importance of Aftercare in a Safe BBL
In the office of a trusted, board-certified plastic surgeon, numerous postoperative follow-up appointments are standard to monitor the healing process. Furthermore, patients can expect attentive care even before these appointments.
Dr. Hadeed stresses the significance of surgeon availability, saying, "The operating surgeon must always be accessible to address any patient concerns, regardless of their severity. Patients might perceive minor issues as major, so it's crucial for the surgeon to promptly assess the situation, provide recommendations, and modify treatment if necessary."
Contrastingly, in many unregulated clinics, patients are directed to visit the nearest emergency room rather than consulting with the surgeon, as Dr. Funderburk points out.
For Dr. Funderburk, the surgeon-patient relationship extends well beyond the surgery. "We closely monitor aspects like compression garment adjustments, nutritional modifications, and massage routines. Our team is readily available, and if concerns arise, we'll see the patient on the same day if needed," he emphasizes.
Investing in a Safe BBL
The cost of a safe BBL varies by location and surgeon experience, with Dr. Hadeed estimating a range of $12,000 to $18,000 for most regions. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon comes with a higher price tag, but it ensures a practitioner who prioritizes safety and ethical practice over quantity.
"Investing in a board-certified plastic surgeon guarantees your safety and ethical treatment, in stark contrast to the factories focused on quantity over quality," underscores Dr. Hadeed.