top of page

What happens to dead fat cells after a BBL?

Brazzillian butt lifts (BBL) are a growing procedure worldwide as women are faced with another ideal body type . Many women have put some thought into the shape of their bums. It may start by using shapewear that enhances the shape and look. To actively growing the gluteal muscle in the gym for a rounder appearance. BBL’s falls under an extreme version of attaining this body goal as it remains the most risky cosmetic procedure.  The personal reasons for going through such body  enhancement are complex and up to the individual - frankly none of my business. In a world where influencers have begun to shape decisions on medical procedures - shouldn’t everyone have a better understanding of the human body to make independent decisions?  

We  wanna know how she get that ass like that

How she get that ass like that

We wanna know how she get that ass like that

   That ass like that yea yea 

   -Victoria Monet -ass like that

NECROSIS: Non-programmed cell death leading to inflammation 

One of the risks of the BBL procedure is fat loss. Fat can be lost through reabsorption or cell death(necrosis). The procedure accounts for a certain amount of fat loss and some patients will undergo a second surgery for a top-up. Cell death in general biology terms is a natural process. Cells die and are cleared by the body in a regulated maintenance cycle. This process is called Apoptosis. In BBL cases, the cell death is often unplanned and hence there are many guides on ‘how to maintain fat’ which in other words is to keep the new fat cells ‘happy’ in their environment so they don’t die off.  

Cell death is a whole research field linked to many diseases such as cancer, lupus and more. So let's dive in a little deeper .


 What is the difference between necrosis and apoptosis

Why do cells die? 

As mentioned earlier cells die as part of a natural process to maintain optional functionality of a cell to do its job. Different cells have different purposes and to do that they must remain efficient. Blood cells for example are used to transfer oxygen and nutrients to other cells that need them in the body. Blood cells only last 120 days in the body before they are renewed. In this process they will ‘die’ and be cleared out as new ones are generated. Fat cells on the other hand don’t regenerate as often  and only 10% of them are replaced yearly . In diseases such as cancer , cells can trick the natural process of cell death and skip it , leading to problems such as tumour growth. 

The importance of how a cell dies 

Cell death is a natural phenomenon that happens to maintain the healthy functioning of tissues in the body. Tissues are just a group of cells working together and tissues collectively form an organ.

Heart cell - heart tissue- that collective tissue carrying out a function  is the heart as the organ we know it to be. 

Cell death can widely be put into two groups.

  1. Programmed and

  2. unprogrammed cell death.

In cell necrosis, the process isn't so ‘streamlined’ , the cell abruptly bursts releasing its contents and through that also producing signals that it needs to be cleared away. This bursting isn’t normal as cells are usually contained within a wall - the cell wall.  Instead of the body being prepared for this it is ‘reacting’ and hence leads to inflammation. Inflammation is where- you guessed it inflammatory cells surround an area trying to fight this strange thing in your body ! .This inflammation can be treated in most cases including the BBL  but in extreme cases an attempt to remove the cells through a second surgery might be most appropriate. 

The build up of dead cells leads to a more hardened feel in the area due to the release of calcium  from that burst cell that solidifies. Interestingly there is a hierarchy of clearance and programmed cell death takes priority in the body through recognisable signals of ‘eat me’ , with necrotic cells taking longer to be cleared naturally by the body. Inflammation through unprogrammed cell death is a whole area of disease study through - inflammatory diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiac disease:atherosclerosis which all deal with cells not doing as they are supposed to in the body . 

Necrosis due to BBL is evidently a scary thing to experience through many accounts on social media and web forum experiences. While BBL’s might be the most-spoken about procedure currently, necrosis is not uncommon in other cosmetic procedures. 

I hope you’ve learnt a little more about cell death and clearance and for all the people with a science background if you want cell-pathways and receptor names, I’ve linked some really good review articles to trigger your love for science 


  1. Overview scientific history of BBL procedure development: 

  2. Diversity and complexity of cell death: A historic view 

3. What is the difference between necrosis and apoptosis( Video): 

4. A detailed review of cell death: Apoptosis, necrosis and more: 


bottom of page