Our cosmetic treatment expert pays tribute to ‘Brazilian butt lift’ pioneer


Plastic surgeon Marc Pacifico has paid tribute to Ivo Pitanguy, the Brazilian plastic surgeon and pioneer of the ‘Brazilian butt lift’ who died aged 90, a day after carrying the Olympic flame through Rio.

According to Marc, who is spokesperson for the British Association for Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons, Dr Pitanguy's contribution to the field was immense.

He told BBC news: ‘I think just to mention that he was the creator of the butt lift trivialises his contribution to plastic surgery.

‘His contribution is so wide reaching. He singularly advanced techniques in reconstructive and aesthetic surgery like breast reconstructions and rhinoplasty. He helped us understand how we tailor facelifts, or how we do body contour surgery and tummy tucks.

‘It is very unusual in the modern world that he managed to a have a profound impact in so many areas because doctors usually specialise in one thing.’

Social media coverage of celebrity butts, such as those of Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, has helped make the cosmetic procedure popular, Marc believes.

A buttock augmentation changes the size and shape of the patient's buttocks by transferring and injecting fat, or by surgically placing silicon implants into the buttock.

The ‘Brazilian butt lift’ specifically involves fat grafting or injection. The patient undergoes liposuction to remove fat from their abdomen, hips and thighs that is then processed and re-implanted into the buttocks.

Nearly 320,000 buttock augmentation or buttock lift procedures were performed globally in 2015, according to the International Society of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Surgery, a 30% increase in the number of procedures since 2014.

Dr Pacifico says butt lifts using fat grafting, where fat taken from other areas of the body is injected into the buttock, are generally safe.

He added: ‘The worst case is fat necrosis where the fat dies and can be become lumpy and infected. I don't perform butt lifts with implants because I think this procedure can cause more problems. There is a greater risk of the implants flipping or moving which can put pressure on nerves which run into the legs and thighs.’

Although there are risks associated with all surgery, Marc Pacifico emphasised the importance of using a reputable and qualified surgeon.

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