Is this the future of black market boob jobs? Women are opting for 'risky' fat injections to boost bustsDecember 7, 2018
The op involves taking fat from one area of the body like the belly or thighs and injecting it into the boobs – similar to how a Brazilian bum lift works.
The procedure, known as a fat graft, gained popularity after the PIP breast implant scandal in 2010.
Specific implants were withdrawn from the market after it was found they had been fraudulently manufactured with unapproved silicone gel, and were prone to splitting.
Women started looking for alternative options to make their boobs bigger – that's where fat grafts came in.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons around 1,400 women had the procedure in the UK last year.
International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has seen a 22 per cent rise in popularity of the procedure from 2016 to 2017.
It can also be used with implants to smooth out the breast around them, or on its to boost breast size.
But it comes with it the same risk of potentially deadly fat embolisms which have claimed the lives of several people seeking bum lifts in the past.
In October cosmetic surgeons in the UK were told to stop performing Brazilian bum lifts after the death of two Brits during the popular op.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons asked it's members to stop performing the ops until more research on the dangers of the procedure can be done.
It came after Brit mum Leah Cambridge died in August after suffered three heart attacks while undergoing the bum lift at a clinic in Turkey.
A second British woman also died this year and an inquest into her death is set to begin next year, according to the Victoria Derbyshire programme.
Cosmetic surgeons have labelled the op the most dangerous in the world, begging the question: How safe is it when it's done on your boobs?
Cosmetic doctor and TV doc Dr Tijion Esho said any procedure that involves a fat transfer is risky.
"In procedures were fat transfer is done fat embolism will always be a risk," he told The Sun Online.
"Fat embolism happens when part of the fat that’s injected ends up in the blood stream.
"It then travels through the right side of the heart and the pulmonary vein itself, causing an embolism in the lungs.
"The reason people die from that is usually secondary respiratory failure or cardiac arrest."
Another concern is that scar tissue formed during the op may make it harder to spot breast cancer in the future.
"When fat is injected into the breasts, a lot of it doesn't survive," Dr Esho said.
In procedures were fat transfer is done fat embolism will always be a risk.
"When that happens, the body makes scars with little parts of calcium.
"Those calcium deposits can look like cancer on a mammogram and that can lead to unnecessary biopsies and difficultly in cancer diagnosis.
"In the last few years, it is thought that newer mammogram techniques can distinguish between the microcalcifications that are cancerous from the ones that are not but there are still many doctors that don't think that's true."
THE 'DEADLIEST COSMETIC PROCEDURE' IN THE WORLD
BRAZILIAN bum lifts are the "deadliest cosmetic procedure", a top surgeon has warned.
It came after the death of Brit mum Leah Cambridge, who died during a £3,000 bum lift at a Turkish clinic.
The controversial op involves taking fat from other areas of the body and injecting it into the glutes and bum to make them bigger.
But, if it's not done correctly, it can cause serious problems, Professor for aesthetic surgery Jim Frame from Anglia Ruskin University warned.
"To be successful, a fat graft needs nutrition and so has to be injected into tissue that has a blood supply," Prof Frame said.
"Fat has more chance of staying in place if it is inserted into muscle – but this is where the risk lies.
"Injecting fat into the buttocks can easily lead to serious problems if done incorrectly. These include a fat embolism, when fat enters the bloodstream and blocks a blood vessel.
"In the lungs, for example, it blocks oxygen from entering the bloodstream, while in the brain it can cause a stroke – both can be fatal."
Cheap overseas clinics are contributing to a rise in deaths from having the procedure, Prof Frame, a senior consultant surgeon at Springfield Hospital, Chelmsford, said.
Last year a survey of 692 surgeons from across the world found 32 patients had died from a condition called a fat embolism – where the injected fat travels to other parts of the body that it shouldn't.
""Most of these deaths appear to have been caused by inappropriately qualified practitioners working in non-approved facilities, including homes and garages," he added.
"Other post-surgery problems, such as gangrene and sepsis, can also be fatal."
Gary Ross, a cosmetic surgeon based in Manchester, offers the procedure at his clinic starting at around £6,000. He says it's a good option for women seeking "natural looking volume" without the need for silicone implants.
The cost varies per patient, depending on how big the transfer is and how much of a change they want.
"Firstly, there are no foreign objects being placed within the body during body-jet fat transfer procedures, unlike alternatives based around silicone implants.
"Secondly, as far as breast enhancement options go, a fat transfer procedure is a more gentle approach to gaining breast volume.
"There are no large incisions made, just some small ones to enable the medical professional to take and replace the fat."
Patients also need to consider where they are having to op done – as a rule if the cost of a procedure seems too good to be true it usually is.
I’ve seen people using materials that are like filler but last longer… It varies, but it can be things that are silicone based which are banned for use but is still used widely in the black market.
Around the time the surgical risks of the Brazilian bum lift were scrutinised it was revealed that black market ops were injecting silicone, tyre fluid and even cement into people's bum for a fraction of the cost, prompting cosmetic surgeons to issue a warning against "cut price" procedures.
It's a concern Dr Esho shares with fat grafts in the boobs.
He has already seen patients who have had bad outcomes from low cost procedures and as the op gains popularity it could only get worse, he said.
RISE IN POPULARITY OF BLACK MARKET OPS
Doctors have warned of a rise in black market ops in countries like the UK and US – and you can't guarantee the safety of the ingredients used.
There have been horror cases of silicone oil, tyre fluid and even cement being injected into the muscle in a bid to make bums bigger.
A recent documentary, which aired in the US, called Killer Curves: Bodies to Die For looked at cases of women who have put their lives on the line using cheap ops.
It found injections used were often incredibly dangerous, and despite being peddled as being comprised of “saline”, often contained mineral oil, tire fluid and even cement.
Prof Ash Mosahebi, honorary secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ (BAAPS), said most patients either opt for cheap injections or implants to boost their bum.
"If they are having injections then god knows what they are being injected with, if it is safe,or if it is sterile," he told The Sun Online.
"If you look at the procedures done off the back of a street they aren’t done by qualified doctors, it’s about making a quick buck.
"But then who knows what will happen to the patient afterwards.
"Oil, for example, does make it it look bigger for a few days but then it deflates and it’s likely infection like sepsis can kick in.
"I know of silicone oil being used, which shouldn’t be used for medical purposes.
"I’ve heard of cement but I haven’t seen it myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s things like that."
The procedure should be done under anaesthetic in a surgical environment, but some clinics are already performing the op with smaller amounts of fat using local anaesthetic instead.
"A lot of people who are unqualified are using a local anaesthetic to take away the fat and then inject it into the breast," Dr Esho said.
Infection is a big risk if it’s not done in the right conditions, haematoma or bleeding is another one or necrosis which is the breakdown of the tissue of the skin because of loss of blood supply to that area.
"So it’s done in a less controlled environment because it seen as a less invasive procedure.
"I’ve seen people using materials that are like filler but last longer, so almost like a permanent filler.
"It varies, but it can be things that are silicone based which are banned for use but is still used widely in the black market.
"They might use synthetic materials called microbeads which stay in the body and don’t break down.
"Infection is a big risk if it’s not done in the right conditions, haematoma or bleeding is another one or necrosis which is the breakdown of the tissue of the skin because of loss of blood supply to that area.
"But also there’s the respiratory and cardiac risks of fat embolisms, especially if it’s not done in a controlled environment."
That doesn't mean the procedure is unsafe and should be blacklisted, you just have to make sure you use a qualified surgeon.
Dr Esho's advice is: "I always say these procedures are a want not a need.
"If you do want them then you need to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and if you do make that informed decision then know there are no shortcuts – you have to do it the right way.
"While you might take a risk or a shortcut on a knock-off designer bag or jacket, when it comes to your body you only have one so you can’t make that same decision."
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