An investigation into deaths by Brazilian butt lift surgery in South Florida has prompted a response from the state’s medical board:
No surgeon in Florida may do more than three BBL surgeries per day, says an emergency order approved by the state’s Board of Medicine on Friday, June 3, 2022.
The order also mandates the use of ultrasound technology in BBL surgery as another measure to avoid inadvertently injecting fat into the gluteal muscles where it could lead to a pulmonary embolism and a patient’s death.
The NBC 6 investigation revealed that in five years, 19 women lost their lives to BBL surgery in South Florida.
In 2019, the Sunshine State adopted a rule prohibiting BBL fat injections from being done into the buttock muscle.
But the following year was the deadliest on record for BBL surgery in the state.
“We were very surprised to find that in 2021, more people died from the Brazilian butt lift than any other year before,” Dr. Pat Pazmiño, a Miami plastic surgeon, told NBC 6 on April 11, 2022.
The latest emergency order intends to address that fatal trend by ensuring surgeons are not overly exhausted, and that they can see what part of the buttocks they are injecting into by way of ultrasound technology.
Florida Board of Medicine Emergency Order #64B8ER22-3
“Accordingly, the Board has decided to mandate the following additional safeguards:
“1. The surgeon performing the procedure must use ultrasound guidance when placing and navigating the canula and injecting fat into the subcutaneous space to ensure that the fat is placed above the fascia overlying the gluteal muscle. The surgeon must also maintain the ultrasound video recordings in the patient’s medical record including the time and the date stamp of the ultrasound video recording.
“2. A surgeon must not perform more than three (3) gluteal fat grafting procedures in one calendar day.
“The preceding safeguards come from the Aesthetic Society’s Practice Advisory on Gluteal Fat Grafting, published on April 11, 2022.”
The order expires in 90 days.
Florida’s plastic surgery tourism patients will have no way to know whether they are a surgeon’s first or 15th BBL surgery for that day.
And anyone who believes all surgeons will suddenly stick to this new rule (or that any entity has the wherewithal to actually enforce it) would do very well to watch Season 2, Episode 1 of National Geographic’s Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller, “Black Market Surgery” on repeat.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the order was approved July 3rd. It was approved June 3rd.