Plastic Surgery on the Rise, But NYC Top Doc Warns: Brazilian Butt Lifts Can Be Deadly

Brazilian Butt Lifts are among the most requested procedures in the world, but they come at a cost.

Alvina Alston

Release Date

Thursday, March 24, 2022


Having a perfect beach body isn’t worth dying for, and while serious complications are rare, they don’t seem rare when they’re happening to you or someone you love.

If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure before your first summer getaway in a post-pandemic world, it’s natural to feel excited about it. But due diligence is still your best defense against potential post-op problems, cautions top New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Westreich.

“My best advice to people is to go back to the mindset before the Zoom boom,” he said in a recent interview, explaining that virtual consults have streamlined the process and tightened the timeline between concept and completion. “Make sure the process doesn’t outpace your comfort level,” he added. “Don’t rush into something just because it’s easy or convenient.”

Brazilian Butt Lifts are among the most requested procedures in the world, but they come at a cost. A report by Aesthetic Surgery Journal noted a mortality rate of 1 in 3,448 in 2017. In 2019, that rate had dropped to 1 in 14,952 thanks to new recommendations.

Other popular procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and facelifts. Less invasive procedures like Botox injections are skyrocketing.

If you’re considering any cosmetic procedure, these safety tips from Dr. Westreich can improve your chances of a better outcome:

Tip 1: Make sure any doctor you schedule through a virtual visit allows you to cancel AFTER an in-person meeting for surgery. There is no substitute for face to face. 

Tip 2: Your health doesn’t belong in the bargain bin.

Tip 3: Medical tourism can be dangerous. Laws may differ; regulations may differ; problems with after care may arise.

Tip 4: Understand informed consent. Ask for examples of not only the good outcomes but also the potential bad ones. Ask for data specific to the procedure and the doctor performing it (complication rates, death rates).

Tip 5: Surgery belongs in accredited operating rooms. Ask to see accreditation certificate (AAA, AAAA, JCAHO).

Tip 6: Make sure the board certification of a doctor makes sense for the procedure they are performing.

Tip 7: If significant issues arise after a procedure (surgery or office injection), seek a second opinion on management.

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