ASERF outlines recommendations to increase safety of gluteal fat grafting procedures

5/12/2017 12:00:00 πμ

Buttock augmentation is one of the fastest growing aesthetic procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 20,000 procedures were performed in 2016 alone, (a 3,267% increase compared to 2002, when ASAPS first began tracking statistics for buttock augmentation). ASAPS began tracking fat grafting to the buttocks in 2015, and for the two years it has collected that data, an average of 91% of all buttock augmentation procedures have consisted of fat grafting. Recently, The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) formed the Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force to investigate the risks associated with this increasingly popular procedure.

The Task Force, comprised of board-certified plastic surgeons, identified factors that either added risk or proved to be protective and/or preventative techniques associated with the procedure. These findings were published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and have led to the adoption of the following recommendations:

 Avoid injecting fat into the deep muscle

 Use a >4.1 mm single hole injection cannula

 Avoid downward angulation of the cannula

 Position patient and place incisions to create a path that will avoid deep muscle injections

 Maintain constant three-dimensional awareness of the cannula tip

 Only inject when cannula is in motion

 Consider pulmonary fat embolism in unstable intra- and postoperative patients

 Review gluteal vascular anatomy and draw landmarks to identify and avoid injection into the pedicle

 Include risk of fat embolism and surgical alternatives in the informed consent process


The creation of the Fat Grafting Task Force and its findings are important first steps in research and education surrounding this sought-after procedure. It is ASERF's mission to provide research and data that will contribute to decreasing the morbidity and mortality rates associated with this procedure by educating plastic surgeons about specific techniques. ASERF in concert with ASAPS, is also committed to educating prospective patients about the importance of finding a board-certified plastic surgeon when considering any plastic surgery procedure.


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