Fat Necrosis After BBL

When it comes to a BBL, a bit of fat cell death comes with the territory. Your surgeon knows that not all of the harvested fat that he injects into your buttocks will manage to form a new blood supply and survive the transfer process. There is a difference, however, between the dying of these few cells and the condition known as fat necrosis. In fat necrosis, large areas of several fat cells die off due to an interruption of blood flow to a certain place. This can sometimes cause issues you’ll need to address.

What is Fat Necrosis After a BBL and What Causes It?

After a BBL, your surgeon expects about 20% of the newly injected fat cells to die. This loss of cells should, however, occur across the entire buttocks and fail to create any problems. In fact, your surgeon will likely add a few more fat cells than he needs to compensate for this known occurrence.

When larger areas of fat cells die, however, it’s often because they’re under too much pressure. This often happens when patients sit on their BBLs before their doctors release them to do so. It can also occur if the newly transferred fat cells were handled too aggressively by the doctor or simply weren’t of a high enough quality to sustain themselves. Sometimes too many fat cells get injected into one area of the buttocks, resulting in fierce competition for a blood supply and ultimately fat necrosis.

How Painful is Fat Necrosis After a BBL?

Although fat necrosis can cause hard lumps and bumps, it generally doesn’t cause pain. Depending on the size and location of fat necrosis, however, sitting after a BBL can prove uncomfortable. If you are experiencing pain, talk to your doctor right away. He can remove any areas of fat necrosis causing you discomfort.

Common Symptoms of Fat Necrosis After a BBL

Fat necrosis can make your skin change color or texture and may result in skin dimpling. Areas of necrosis may feel like oily lumps or they may feel hard. The skin over the necrosis may feel a little tender. If the necrotic area is large or very close to the surface of the skin, you may be able to see the bump as well as feel it.

Can Fat Necrosis Go Away on Its Own?

Thankfully, yes fat necrosis can go away on its own. Necrotic tissue will never recover — there is no bringing the cells back once they have died. Eventually, however, your body will absorb the dead cells and take care of the necrosis on its own. If this process is taking too long for your liking, your doctor can remove areas of fat necrosis for you.

How to Fix Fat Necrosis After a BBL

Because the body will ultimately absorb the dead cells of fat necrosis, sometimes the best fix for the problem is to do nothing at all. But this process takes time and may not suit you if your necrosis is causing you discomfort or is causing a visible lump in your buttocks.

In this case, your doctor may recommend removing the necrotized area through a syringe. If the necrotic lump contains an oily substance, fine needle aspiration can sometimes successfully suck the fluid out of the lump and cause it to shrink. If the lump is hard, you may need a needle biopsy instead. Performed under local anesthesia and sometimes assisted via a vacuum similar to liposuction, this is generally a fast and easy way to remove small areas of necrosis. If the necrosis is too large to remove this way, your doctor can place you under general anesthesia and surgically remove the offending cells.

How to Prevent Fat Necrosis After a BBL

In order to prevent necrosis after a BBL, make sure you’re in the hands of an experienced and respected plastic surgeon. Overfilling the buttocks and rough handling of transplanted fat cells can cause necrosis so find a surgeon who knows not to make these mistakes. You can also help yourself by following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to the letter. After a BBL, this is especially important with regard to how and when you sit, lay on your back, or otherwise put pressure on your BBL.

Lastly, if you smoke, you can help yourself a great deal by quitting. The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause your arteries to constrict, which decreases blood flow. This is the last thing you want when you have cells trying to establish a new blood supply for themselves. Avoiding cigarettes is the best thing you can do to try and avoid fat necrosis after a BBL or other surgical procedure.

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