What you need to know before going under the knife!

Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular as more people seek to enhance and improve their appearance. Celebrities, influencers, and everyday individuals flock to clinics across Florida in search of that perfect look – but it’s important to recognize that cosmetic surgery comes with risks. Just recently, a Kim Kardashian lookalike, Christina Ashten Gourkani, paid the ultimate price for her desire to look like the star after undergoing yet another plastic surgery. Unfortunately, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

While most procedures are relatively safe, some cosmetic surgeries carry a significantly higher risk of complications or death than others. Below are five of the deadliest cosmetic surgery procedures and what you need to know before going under the knife.

1. Liposuction

Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries, but it can also be extremely dangerous if not carried out correctly. For example, in 2022 Hank Williams Jr.’s wife, Mary Jane Thomas, died of a punctured lung that happened when liposuction went wrong.

Complications from liposuction can include infection, bleeding, blood clots, organ damage, nerve damage, and even death. Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is a rare but life-threatening condition that can occur after liposuction and involves fat entering the bloodstream and being deposited in the lungs or other organs. These risks are heightened if large amounts of fat are removed or multiple areas are treated in a single session.

2. Breast Augmentation 

Breast augmentation involves inserting implants to enhance breast size and shape and is another very common cosmetic surgery with potential risks and complications. These can include implant rupture, infections, auto immune disorders, and scarring.

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare type of immune system cancer that can develop following breast implant surgery. Symptoms of BIA-ALCL may include swelling, pain, and lumps in the breast or armpit. While BIA-ALCL is rare, it is important for those who have had breast implant surgery to be aware of the potential risk and monitor for any symptoms.

3. Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

The BBL has recently gained popularity, but it’s also the deadliest of all cosmetic surgery procedures. The Brazilian butt lift promises to deliver more aesthetically pleasing, fuller, and rounder buttocks. BBL plastic surgery involves removing unwanted fat from other body parts, such as the abdomen, back, or thighs, and grafting it into the buttocks through small incisions.

The appeal of the BBL also lies in the fact that it does not require the use of implants, which some patients may feel uncomfortable with. However, BBL has a high mortality rate, with 1 in 3,000 procedures resulting in death. This can be attributed to fat embolism, where fat is accidentally injected into blood vessels, leading to complications such as pulmonary embolism and cardiovascular issues. At least 15 women in South Florida have died from BBL complications over the last few years.

Despite the dangers involved, its popularity continues to rise, making it crucial to weigh the potential risks against the benefits before making an informed decision.

4. Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)

Essentially multiple surgeries in one, body lifts target different areas of the body at once to improve one’s silhouette. This can include a thigh lift, tummy tuck, genital lift, or buttock lift.

Body lifts are more complicated and tend to carry a higher risk than other cosmetic surgeries because of the multiple procedures involved in one session and the longer duration of anesthesia. 

Complications include cardiac and pulmonary complications, deep vein thrombosis, fluid accumulation, persistent pain and swelling, bleeding, numbness, infection, scarring, and more. A study of body lifts found that 36% of patients who underwent the procedure experienced a complication, with wound separation being the most common.

5. Anesthesia

While virtually all cosmetic surgeries require anesthesia, “going under” can be as dangerous as the procedure itself. There are four categories of complications associated with anesthesia:

  Errors made by healthcare personnel

  Adverse reactions to the anesthesia    


  The physical condition of the patient

  Sentinel incidents or events

Common complications include postoperative bleeding, allergic reactions, airway obstruction, and death in rare cases. For example, a Boca Raton teenager recently had a fatal reaction to anesthesia during breast augmentation surgery. South Florida is the epicenter of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic surgery complications. Many of the physicians who perform these procedures are not properly trained or do not have appropriate supervision.

In conclusion, understanding the potential dangers associated with cosmetic surgery procedures is crucial before making a decision. Choosing a qualified, experienced, and board-certified cosmetic surgeon who takes the necessary precautions can help minimize the risks associated with these procedures.

Above all, if you or a loved one has been injured due to a botched cosmetic surgery, a qualified board-certified personal injury attorney can help protect your rights and provide you with the best possible outcome. Leighton Law has successfully obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Florida for our clients. We have 38 years of experience representing people who have suffered medical mistakes, and treat each client as an individual. If you or a loved one has suffered a medical mistake and want to know whether there’s a medical malpractice case, please call us any time at 888-395-0001.