Inundated with images on social media and reality shows, more and more women are trying to obtain an unrealistic body. One young New York City woman who wanted a Kim Kardashians-style butt died trying to get it. Now her mother is warning Americans about the dangers of the plastic surgery procedure called the Brazilian Butt Lift (or BBL).
The BBL is a surgery where a doctor transfers fat from the patient’s abdomen, hips, lower back, or thighs to your buttocks, according to WebMD. Women have the procedure to achieve a more of an hourglass-shaped figure, with larger buttocks. The procedure’s name actually has nothing to do with Brazil.
“It wasn’t even invented in Brazil. In 1996, Dr. Leonard Grossman, M.D. was performing a fat transfer surgery on television and the patient happened to be from Brazil. The show was titled ‘Building the Brazilian Butt.’ The nickname for the procedure stuck and it’s now known by that moniker,” according to DrGrossman.com.
No matter how the name came to be, the procedure has grown over the years. As with all surgeries there is a risk but BBLs are not particularly dangerous, say experts. The danger comes in when the procedure is done incorrectly or by unqualified people.
According to Nancy Negron, her 25-year old daughter Samantha Santana was lured by the promises of a BBL done at extraordinarily low prices, which is a red flag, according to experts.
The dental assistant from the Bronx and single mother was quoted $7,300 by a medical practice called Goals Plastic Surgery, which has offices around New York City. Santana found the office on Instagram and visited the Harlem location. Goals has an Instagram following of 1.2 million. Typically BBL costs more in the range of $12,000 to $25,000, The New York Post reported.
More than 20,000 people had the Brazillian Butt Lift procedure by board-certified surgeons in 2017, an increase from 8,500 in 2012, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The BBL is particularly controversial due to the high number of death associated with the surgery. A 2017 report surveyed 692 surgeons from around the world and found that 3 percent (about 21) of them experienced a patient death following a BBL, Business Insider reported.
After dropping 10 pounds as requested from her Goals doctor, Santana had her surgery on September 23, 2020. According to her mother, the Goals doctor prescribed Samantha a toxic combination of oxycodone, alprazolam (Xanax), lidocaine and fentanyl to take before surgery. Patients at Goals are awake during the procedure and are given a cocktail of pills to numb them, The New York Post reported.
Marie Claire magazine did an investigation into the Goals clinic and called the practice is a “little shop of horrors,” charging the clinic uses deceptive social media methods to lure in vulnerable women.
“The way they’re promoting it on social media with discounts, [it’s] like you’re going to Bed Bath and Beyond. So it targets people who they know can’t afford the real deal,” Samantha’s sister Aliyah Santana told The New York Post. Aliyah and her mother are now warning other women to think twice before having a BBL.
Samantha “would want to save people. She did everything for everybody else. It was not about Samantha most of the time. It was all about everybody else,” said Negron. “And I know that she would have wanted this to get out there and just bring awareness.”
Goals was founded in 2016 by pediatrician Sergey Voskresenskiy, a native of Azerbaijan. He later changed his name to Dr. Voskin while becoming a U.S. citizen and the clinic was originally called Allure before changing its name to Goals in late 2017.
Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-technology-clinic-doctor-4483332/