Death after butt augmentation!

Butt augmentation has the highest complication rate of any aesthetic procedure. Now a doctor is on trial for negligent personal injury.

“Hopefully the judges will live up to their responsibility and set a sign against the arbitrary endangerment of patients!”, hopes Prof. Dr. Lukas Prantl, President of the German Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (DGPRÄC) in view of today’s opening of the proceedings against an internist at the Düsseldorf Regional Court. Two patients have died after a po augmentation.

The doctor is charged with negligent bodily injury in a buttock enlargement resulting in death in two cases and negligent bodily injury in a third case in which the patient survived. He was temporarily disbarred back in November 2019.

Demands on the new federal government

“This dramatic case impressively shows that the legal situation in Germany is far from sufficient to effectively protect patients from unqualified surgeons,” Prantl states. Although the professional code of conduct stipulates that physicians may only perform procedures such as buttock augmentation that they have learned in their training, this is not usually sanctioned if it is violated.

Complications of buttock augmentation

“As a result, we are seeing more and more complications as the popularity of aesthetic procedures grows and providers of such procedures expand,” the plastic surgeon reports from his daily practice, adding that numerous appeals to lawmakers to make a change here have unfortunately gone unheeded. “We will now use the proceedings and the constitution of a new federal government once again as an opportunity to seek ways with politicians to increase patient safety in this area,” Prantl announces.

Enormous risks require special qualificationsn

“Buttock augmentation, medically referred to as gluteal augmentation has the highest fatality rate of any aesthetic procedure at 1 in 3,000 cases, making it the most dangerous for patients,” explains the plastic surgeon, making it all the more important to choose a qualified, properly trained plastic and aesthetic surgeon.

Already in the summer of 2018, an international consortium of plastic surgery societies had warned of an increased death rate in gluteal augmentation, and the DGPRÄC informed its members accordingly. During surgery, physicians suction fat from areas where it interferes and inject it into the buttocks.

“Members of the international consortium have participated in autopsies: all autopsies of deceased BBL patients had the following findings in common: 1) fat in the gluteal muscles; 2) fat under the muscles; 3) damage to the superior or inferior gluteal vein; 4) massive fat embolism in the heart and/or lungs. No autopsy has yet shown a death with fat in the adipose tissue,” Prantl reports.

This was probably the case in Düsseldorf, where one patient apparently died from fat embolism, and another from hemorrhage in the back and buttock muscles. “Plastic surgeons know how to react in the event of any complications in order to be able to help patients quickly” explains Prantl and adds that in their further training, unlike other specialist groups, they had learned liposuction and acquired anatomical knowledge of the whole body. Finally in Duesseldorf apparently also no anesthesiologist was present and the female patients were not sufficiently long after-observed. “I consider both to be irresponsible in view of the enormous amounts of fat that were suctioned off,” concludes Prantl.

The DGPRÄC therefore urgently advises patients to contact a plastic and aesthetic surgeon; these can be found at, for example.