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BBL, social media, cosmetic procedure, lip fillers, Botox, Face Med Store

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A new study conducted by the Face Med Store, a medical supply retailer based in New York, found that social media users have a deep fascination with cosmetic procedures. According to the study, the Brazilian Butt Lift, also known as the BBL, was social media’s most viral cosmetic procedure, with TikTok users viewing it 4.8 billion times in the past three years.

Creators used the hashtag approximately 225,313 times when posting about the popular cosmetic trend. The BBL also ranks the number one most-searched-for procedure in 24 states, with California having the highest average monthly search volume of 68,823, according to the Face Med Store’s new study. Residents in Massachusetts and New York were also infatuated with the booty-enhancing trend.

What is a BBL?

A BBL involves transferring fat from other areas of the body, like the abdomen or thighs, to the buttocks to enhance their shape, size and overall appearance. The procedure aims to create a more lifted, fuller and rounded backside for patients, but the surgery can be very risky and dangerous.

In 2017, the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) conducted a study examining the mortality rate of BBLs. Out of the 692 surgeons surveyed, 3% said they experienced a patient fatality due to the procedure. Over their careers, surgeons reported 32 fatalities from pulmonary fat emboli as well as 103 nonfatal pulmonary fat emboli in a patient throughout their career. According to the data, around 7% of respondents reported having at least one patient develop a pulmonary fat embolism (PFE) following the procedure, which is a condition that occurs when fat globules travel through the bloodstream and cut off circulation. Blocked pulmonary vessels can lead to respiratory failure and death.

In 2021, Botched star, Dr. Terry Dubrow, spoke with TMZ about the dangers of BBLs, which can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $30,000, according to The New York Times.

“It’s extraordinarily dangerous. It turns out that it’s the most dangerous, not only plastic surgery procedure, it’s the most dangerous operation there is with the highest fatality rate,” he explained.“The problem is there are these very small, little veins in the buttock that lead directly to the vena cave, which is the major blood vessel that brings blood back from your body to your heart, to your lungs. If you get fat in those little vessels and it gets in the main vena cava and goes to your lungs —  it’s over.”

Botox was the second most popular cosmetic procedure searched on social media.

BBLs aren’t the only cosmetic trends popular on social media. According to the Face Med Store, Botox is the second most sought-after procedure, followed by lip fillers. Content about Botox soared over the past three years, garnering 1.7 billion TikTok views. The term Botox was searched 502,897 times on average a month. Residents living in California searched videos and other content related to the procedure.

Lip fillers, also known as lip injections or dermal fillers, are cosmetic procedures used to enhance the lips by adding volume, shape and structure. They typically involve injecting a substance — often hyaluronic acid — into the lips to increase their size, redefine their borders, and smooth out wrinkles around the mouth. U.S. residents have watched TikTok videos related to the buzzing trend 1.6 million times over the last three years, 90% more than Microblading procedure videos on social media, which landed in fifth place on the rankings. 

In a statement, Hardik Soni — medical director of Face Med Store — called the study “fascinating.”

“It’s fascinating to delve into which specific cosmetic procedures people are being influenced by and to see if these will also change over time.”

Soni urged for people interested in cosmetic surgery to do “extensive” research before going under the knife. “When considering cosmetic procedures, it’s important to speak to an expert and choose a reputable and qualified practitioner,” Soni added. 


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