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28th Feb 2024

Sophie Kasaei says BBL surgery ‘nearly killed’ her – Let’s talk about the dangers

Jody Coffey

Respect to Sophie for using the harrowing experience to educate others

This week, Geordie Shore’s Sophie Kasaei opened up about her near-death experience after having BBL (Brazilian Bum Lift) surgery.

Bum augmentation is the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery, with an increase of 77.6 percent globally from 2015 to 2021, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

In 2020, they revealed that an estimated 396,105 people worldwide had undergone buttock augmentation that year alone.

Unfortunately, BBLs also carry the highest risk of all cosmetic surgeries – with more than one death occurring per 4,000 procedures, according to a Norwich inquest.

Credit: Getty

Sophie Kasaei said undergoing BBL surgery ‘nearly killed’ her

Brazilian But Lift surgery can be fatal and has a concerning number of risks.

Sophie Kasaei is one of the lucky people who survived following BBL complications.

The social media personality had a BBL in 2016, when she was feeling unhappy about her figure and the ‘flat’ shape of her bum.

At the time, surgeons had been approaching her about ‘free BBL’ and promising an ‘amazing hourglass figure’, which 24-year-old Sophie agreed to and booked her flight to Turkey.

She admitted that she kept quiet on the harrowing experience for some time, but ultimately felt educating and spreading awareness on the dangers of BBL was the right thing to do.

“Looking back now, I wish I’d just got filler or gone to the gym. I just wish I never did what I did. Even to this day, I can’t believe it,” Sophie confessed on TikTok.

The first signs that something had gone wrong began to show a few days after the procedure.

@sophiekasaei Iv been wanting to tell this story for a while now but this is my BBL hell journey. This video is for educational purposes only. Any questions feel free to ask ❤️ #surgery #bbl #fyp ♬ original sound – sophiekasaei

“A couple of days later, I looked at myself in the mirror and was like, ‘Wait, should I be this bruised? Should I look like this?'” she recalled and then shared an image showing the severity of her purple, raw, swollen bruising, which covered both bum cheeks.

Sophie decided to remain calm and waited another few days after surgery to see if the bruising would dissipate.

However, after six to eight weeks, she began to experience ‘agonising’ pain in her left bum cheek while holidaying in Mexico, which prompted her to go to a hospital.

Upon her arrival and medical assessment, she was put on a drip and staff began to panic, according to the Geordie Shore star.

Credit: Getty

Sophie was then informed by medics that she had an abscess growing inside her bottom and warned that her life would be at risk if it were to burst.

“I was like, ‘You know what, no’. Book me on a flight home, because if I’m going to die, I want to die with my family around us,” Sophie said.

She returned home and was rushed to a nearby hospital where a litre of puss was drained from the abscess in surgery, which had an extremely painful recovery.

“It was hell. I felt ill, I couldn’t walk, and my whole leg was numb. I couldn’t even sit on it, it was absolute agony.

“And secondly, my body wasn’t what it was supposed to look like, like, I was bigger. I was actually bigger than what I was supposed to be.”

Credit: Getty

Thankfully, with proper care and treatment, Sophie recovered over time.

Many users have applauded her for sharing the real dangers of BBL for young girls and women.

In an industry where bodies are a source of influence, it is refreshing to see a public figure admit to and denounce such a risky and unnecessary procedure.

The Procedure

During this procedure, a surgeon transfers fat from the belly, hips, lower back, or thighs to the buttocks, to achieve a more hourglass-shaped figure.

The surgeon uses liposuction to remove fat from an area of the body of an anaesthetised patient, using a syringe attached to a cannula to re-inject or ‘graft’ the reserved fat under the skin of the buttocks, repeatedly and deeply.

They will then fan out a few small incision points to distribute the fat across different areas of the buttocks.

The Dangers

While all surgeries come with their risks, BBL runs the risk of causing death by pulmonary fat embolisation.

Fat can travel via the bloodstream to the lungs and heart, causing death from a pulmonary fat embolism (PFE), just hours after the BBL surgery, or even on the operating table.

The procedure is known as a ‘blind’ one as surgeons can inadvertently injure the large vessels in the muscle or inject fat directly into those vessels too deeply.

With the growing number of BBL-related fatalities, in 2017, The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) conducted research on the topic, with devastating results.

For the research, 692 plastic surgeons were surveyed.

Of those surgeons, 3% said they had at least one PFE death, and 7% reported at least one PFE from gluteal fat grafting.

The research estimated the mortality rate for BBLs to be between one in 2,351 to one in 6,241.

Some other risks include:

  • Infection after surgery
  • Changes to skin sensation, including numbness
  • Loose skin, particularly where liposuction was performed
  • Scarring
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Skin discolouration

There’s no doubt Sophie’s honesty will raise vital awareness about this dangerous cosmetic surgery. Her honesty is both reassuring and welcoming in a world obsessed with ‘perfect’.