Patient of Risky BBL Surgery Compares Recovery to 'Getting Hit by a Truck'

A woman who underwent a risky Brazilian butt lift surgery has lifted the lid on the procedure, as she compared the recovery to "getting hit by a truck."

Mary Malito, from Boston, Massachusetts, got a BBL at the end of 2020, and has been sharing the recovery process on her TikTok page.

The 36-year-old has kept followers updated with her progress, including not being able to sit down for eight weeks, as she shared a very honest account of what the days, week and months post-op are really like.

Malito, who works in biotech marketing, is no stranger to cosmetic surgery, previously undergoing botox, coolsculpting, lip fillers, veneers, breast augmentation, cheek fillers, and microblading. But her videos over the last few months have focused on the BBL, as she uploaded a three-minute clip at the beginning of July attempting to "cover all questions" on the surgery.

A BBL is essentially a surgical fat transfer, with the aim being to remove unwanted fat from a certain parts of the body, and reinject it back into the hips, breast and butt.

Malito initially underwent liposuction on her flanks, arms, inner thighs, outer thighs, back, stomach hips and knees. Over eight months she gained 35 pounds to be injected into her rear, which she described as a "pancake butt."

Malito echoed the experts, saying: "A BBL is a plastic surgery procedure where they liposuction you and they transfer your fat into your a**. It is not injecting anything fake, it is your own fat. You can't sit on your a** for at least eight weeks. Why is that? Because your fat has to take time to regraft essentially into your butt and it needs to oxygenize, if that's a word, it needs to fuse to your butt. The fat cells need to fuse to its new location, and the fat cells will actually die if you squish them. Only about 50 percent of that fat cells transfer and survive. There is such a thing as a BBL pillow that goes underneath your thighs essentially, you can sit forward so that you're not putting any pressure on your b***.

"It is the riskiest plastic surgery of plastic surgeries at least according to the most recent research that I had done, and that is because, or at least that was because back in the day, physicians did not know how to do this surgery where they would inject the fat too deeply into your muscle which could cause a fatty embolism which could go straight to your heart, or somewhere else and kill you. Any surgery has risks to it. Other complications that may happen is that you could get infections and then not be able to treat them well."

Malito's surgery, at the end of 2020, appears to have been successful, and she was finally able to sit down again in February, as she showed off her rounded rear to followers.

But it wasn't without struggle, as she continued: "Pain level. So you are under anesthesia so you don't feel anything for the actual procedure. When you wake up you're going to feel groggy. You're going to be sore. The first 24 hours are not pleasant, you're very very sore. It's like, I guess working out a very long time then getting hit by a truck. Maybe. You will need someone to be with you to accompany you after the surgery. It's a long recovery period.

"It's very hard to use the bathroom I recommend using a thing called a Shewee. It's like a little funnel that you can under your hoohah and pee like a dude. You are going to drain. It's going to be liquids from the inside of your body. It's going to look gross it's going to look like blood but it's not it's just bodily fluids that are draining from the parts that were punctured to liposuction you.

"You're going to have to sleep on your stomach for the entire time you're recovering. About eight weeks, the same time that you can't sit on your a**. You need to get lymphatic massages or you need to massage yourself and that's so you don't get hardened scar tissue clumps of all the places they liposuction you. But don't massage your butt or else again, you will kill those fat cells. At least for me my butt didn't actually hurt but all the liposuctioned parts were parts that felt very very sore. It's not uncommon that you might get training tubes. I didn't for my actual draining, but other people do sometimes, and the doctor will remove them for you."

Lastly, she seemed to address negativity she'd received over getting the surgery, as she added: "And lately as everyone likes to judge I do work out a lot."

She shared a snap of her toned physique in a bikini, continuing: "See I do work out, but I could never get a round a**. So again it's a choice I don't recommend for young people. This was after many, many, many, many squats, many, many, many deadlifts and working out that I finally decided I'm just going to do it. I did it for myself, it's not about society's beauty standards. You have to make the decision that's right for you."

Confirming what Malito said, the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) stated a BBL is the most dangerous cosmetic surgery, explaining: "The risk of death for BBL surgery is at least 10 times higher than many other cosmetic procedures, and it has the highest death rate of all cosmetic procedures."

The biggest risk is developing a developing pulmonary embolism, where the injected fat causes a blockage in a blood vessel in the lungs, the NHS said. Cellulitis, fat necrosis and lumpy scars are also other potential side effects.

BBLs were deemed so risky in 2019, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), asked its members to stop performing the procedure, following on from the deaths of two British women who underwent BBLs the year before.

NHS list of risks associated with surgical fat transfer

  • A collection of blood underneath the skin (haematoma)
  • Death of fat tissue (fat necrosis)
  • A blockage in a blood vessel caused by a piece of fat (fat embolism)
  • Air leaking into the space between your lungs and chest wall (pneumothorax)
  • Thick, obvious scars – sometimes known as hypertrophic scars

Any operation also carries a small risk of:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Developing a blood clot in a vein
  • Infection
  • An allergic reaction to the anaesthetic

A statement at the time, from Paul Harris, BAAPS president, said: "Anyone thinking of having a fat-graft buttock augmentation should await the emergence of further, evidence and BAAPS will be working hard to provide the public with information to help them with informed consent about this procedure. Around the world there are still patient deaths as a result of this procedure and patient safety should not be compromised."

In the U.S. the surgery, referred to as "buttock augmentation with fat grafting," was performed 21,823 times in 2020, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Amid the risks and statistics, numerous people thanked Malito for sharing an honest account of her recovery, with some of her videos amassing millions of views.

On her latest question-answering clip, which racked up thousands of views, Tracy Beeler commented: "Very thorough, thanks."

Brittany.Mirandaaa commented: "Very accurate description of the first 24h. My mom thought I was dying. I was super nauseous too lol."

While Deez Nutz joked: "Working out and getting hit by a truck. Can't wait! Surgery is scheduled for August 5 ahh."

Newsweek reached out to Malito for comment.