When the Florida Board of Medicine approved an emergency order on June 15th, 2022 that requires the use of ultrasound to improve the safety of Brazilian butt lift (BBL) surgeries, Dr. Pat Pazmiño, MD, FACS was delighted. Using ultrasound to image under the skin allows plastic surgeons to accurately inject fat into the subcutaneous compartment during BBLs, avoiding intra-muscular injections that can lead to fatal embolisms if the fat travels to the heart or lungs.
An ultrasound user for the past nine years, Dr. Pazmiño created the ultraBBL™, which combines the latest techniques in aesthetic surgery with ultrasound for the safest outcomes. Dr. Pazmiño expects that the use of ultrasound will change this once dangerous and blind procedure into a safe and reproducible surgery.
Ultrasound helps us see the anatomy and our instruments clearly in real-time so we can ensure we’re placing fat above the muscle safely with millimeter accuracy,” he says. “I commend the Florida Board of Medicine for recommending the use of ultrasound for BBL procedures; it’s a positive step towards making the procedures safer.”
Dr. Pazmiño is one of a large team of physicians who participated in the Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting, which was assembled in the wake of patient deaths resulting from the popular Brazilian butt lift (BBL) surgery. Within the past five years, 19 women have died following their BBL surgery performed in South Florida. The procedure is considered to have one of the highest mortality rates of any cosmetic surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
A Working Group on BBL Patient Safety, charged with creating new guidelines for the safety of BBL patients, released its first Practice Advisory on Gluteal Fat Grafting earlier this year. The key recommendations from the task force included using ultrasound guidance during fat injection and limiting BBL cases to three per day.
Safety of Wireless Ultrasound-Guided Gluteal Fat Grafting
Dr. Alexander Zuriarrain, MD, FACS, is another Clarius user who has long been an advocate for using wireless ultrasound for safer gluteal fat grafting. He is one of three plastic surgeons who published an article in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery on the use of wireless ultrasound for gluteal fat grafting. The article presented a case where real-time ultrasound guidance was used to facilitate the injection of fat exclusively into the subcutaneous tissue to decrease the risk of fat embolism. The conclusion was positive.
Wireless ultrasound-guided gluteal fat grafting is an effective and reliable method of visualizing the anatomy of the gluteal region and preventing intramuscular injection of fat. The technology is readily available, very user-friendly and serves as a great learning tool.“
Dr. Zuriarrain and Dr. Pazmiño use the Clarius L7 HD3 wireless ultrasound, which is considered the leading choice for plastic surgeons due to its affordability, ease of use, and high-resolution imaging powered by artificial intelligence. It is available with a new Advanced Aesthetic Package for physicians who need additional customizations for examinations and procedures in the realm of facial aesthetics, breast augmentation, BBLs, hair follicle imaging, and more.
It’s a crucial advancement in patient care to see organizations like the Florida Board of Medicine and leading physicians recognize the value of using ultrasound for safer procedures,” says Clarius President, Ohad Arazi. “We’re excited to be on the forefront of delivering affordable and easy-to-use ultrasound devices that can enable physicians from every specialty to deliver better outcomes.”
Clarius introduced its third-generation line of handheld ultrasound scanners earlier this year. Our app-based scanners, which connect wirelessly with an app on Apple and Android phones and tablets, are designed to enable more physicians to use ultrasound. The third-generation devices are now 30% smaller, lighter, and more affordable.
In addition to using ultrasound guidance during surgery, Dr. Pazmiño uses ultrasound before the procedure to understand how much fat graft can be placed in each patient. If the patient has limited space and wants a large result, he often recommends performing the surgery in stages rather than injecting too much fat in one surgery.
Each patient’s anatomy is different and each patient desires different results,” he explains. “I like to prepare the patient before the surgery so they understand the kind of results they can expect. Ultrasound also helps me maximize the amount of fat that will survive by ensuring I put it in the right place.”
Free Webinar on Ultrasound-Guided BBL Best Practices for Plastic Surgeons
Dr. Pazmiño is presenting a webinar with Clarius on July 14, 2022, to provide free education for plastic surgeons looking to use ultrasound for safer, more accurate BBL procedures. The webinar will present real patient surgeries recently captured on video and live patient scanning. Physicians are invited to register on the Clarius website for the live webinar “Ultrasound Guidance for Safe Brazilian Butt Lifts: Precision BBL Techniques from the Expert.”
Clarius Wireless Ultrasound for Plastic Surgery
Wireless and pocket-sized, Clarius delivers high-definition imaging devices with an easy-to-use app that’s powered by artificial intelligence.
With a little bit of training, I think anyone who has ever used an iPhone or an iPad will intuitively know how to use this,” says Dr. Marc Salzman, a plastic surgeon based in Louisville, Kentucky who has been using Clarius ultrasound to ensure safer surgical procedures for over five years. “Clarius HD3 is like holding your iPhone; it’s so small and light. There are no complicated knobs and buttons. You simply use the functions of your smart device such as swiping, pinching, and zooming and the AI does the rest. I don’t know how you do a practice like mine without it.”