Aug 25, 2022 - Business

Miami plastic surgeon touts new method for a less invasive butt lift

A headshot of S. Alexander Earle wearing a suit.
S. Alexander Earle. Photo: Daniel de Souza, courtesy of S. Alexander Earle

A Miami plastic surgeon says he's invented a new, less invasive version of the Brazilian butt lift (BBL).

What's happening: S. Alexander Earle, founder of Pure Plastic Surgery and president of industry group World Association of Gluteal Surgeons (WAGS), tells Axios his "South Beach Butt Lift" rethinks how to do incisions during the butt enhancement surgeries.

How it works: A butt lift surgery involves "harvesting the fat" — pulling fat from a patient's abdomen, sides, waist and back via liposuction — and then injecting it into the buttocks to create the desired shape, Earle tells Axios.

  • "With your traditional BBL, you could potentially have about six incisions in the back, four of which could be very, very visible if you're wearing a small swimsuit or bikini," Earle said.
  • His version, by contrast, uses two incisions near the armpit area (to get the fat) and one incision for the injection in a very low area in between the butt cheeks.
  • "It's hidden," Earle said. "Therefore, there's no visible scars across the entire back."

The big picture: The Brazilian butt lift is among the most dangerous cosmetic surgeries and can result in severe health issues and even death. In 2017, BBLs had the highest death rate of any cosmetic surgery in the U.S., Bloomberg reports.

  • The problems have been blamed in part on a lack of regulations, per Bloomberg.

What they're saying: Earle said before 2019, he wasn't able to see beneath the skin when making injections.

  • But three years ago, he started using ultrasound imaging technology, which allows him to see exactly where his instrument is and prevent fat embolisms from getting into the bloodstream, he said.
  • Earle said he's used his method on 2,000 BBLs with no problems and is teaching it to other surgeons as part of his work with WAGS.

Of note: The average BBL costs around $8,000. Earle's costs "a little more," he said. Insurance won't cover it.

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