Nicki Minaj & Cardi B on Butt Injections: Are They Safe?

According to a podcast interview, Nicki Minaj revealed she received “illegal butt injections” early in her career. Looking back on the decision, the rapper described the choice as “insane” and noted that she did not consult with “a doctor, a professional person”, but instead with “some random person”. Minaj explained she was inspired by the types of backsides often celebrated in hip-hop. She noted that rapper Lil Wayne was “always talking about big booties.” Consequently, this affected how she saw herself. Minaj states: “I didn’t feel complete or good enough…this is what you’re supposed to look like in the rap culture, and I don’t look like that.” 

This isn’t the first we have heard of buttock augmentation injections.

Hip-hop star Belcalis Almanza, better known by her stage name Cardi B, has also come forward to discuss the dangers of these illegal injections. Cardi B has previously revealed that she had black market buttock injections and she details the horrifying story of what she went through on a quest to obtain better curves.

According to a 2020 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the demand for butt implants rose by 22% between 2019 and 2020, and 115% . That statistic only accounts for procedures performed by ASPS member surgeons, so the prevalence of illegal procedures, like Cardi B’s and Minaj’s, could make that number much higher.

What are buttock augmentation injections?

Buttock augmentation injections are filled with volumizing substances, such as silicone, that are injected directly into the buttocks. These injections have been deemed unsafe and are not approved by the FDA. This treatment is intended to be a cheaper alternative to surgical procedures; however, reputable providers do not offer this procedure and often the lower fees come at a much higher cost. Buttock injections are not only unsafe, but they’re also technically illegal in the United States. Inexperienced providers may accidentally inject the materials into your blood vessels, which can then travel to your heart, which is fatal.

Unlicensed providers may also operate in unsterile environments. The fatal side effects of these procedures include infections, ulcerations, pain and even cancer.

Unfortunately, disreputable providers may still offer these injections to make a profit, regardless of their illegality. There have been news reports of these illegal injections causing death.

How do I know if a treatment is safe?

If you’re looking for buttock augmentation, it’s important to work with a reputable board-certified plastic surgeon to go over your options without resorting to dangerous injections.

Protect yourself by insisting on the following when looking for any type of body contouring procedure:

  • Only use board-certified plastic surgeons
  • Talk to multiple providers, review their experience and have them discuss realistic outcomes, risks, and benefits of the planned procedure
  • Be sure that procedures are performed in accredited facilities with the necessary support staff and safety equipment

Learn more about how to safely choose a qualified surgeon here.

What are safe alternatives to buttock augmentation injections?

  • BBL

Brazilian buttock lifts are better known as fat transfers with grafting. With a fat transfer procedure, a board-certified surgeon takes fat from other areas and then surgically adds it to your buttocks to create the “lifting” effect you’re looking for. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend a Brazilian buttock lift in conjunction with silicone implants.

  • Implants

Silicone implants are commonly used in breast augmentation procedures, but they can be used for buttock augmentation, too. These are different than silicone injectables, which are (dangerously) shot into your skin. Silicone implants are inserted into each buttock through incisions that your surgeon makes. You’ll experience significant volume that should last for years to come.

  • Dermal Filler

While most buttock injections aren’t safe, there may be a small exception to the rule when it comes to dermal fillers being injected by a certified physician. Dermal fillers provide volume in your skin and can last up to 2 years, however the results themselves won’t be as voluminous as compared with buttock implant or fat transfer surgery. There are many types of dermal fillers, including Juvéderm.

  • Sculptra

Sculptra is a type of filler that helps your body create its own collagen. This protein is often lost with age and can lead to wrinkles and saggy skin due to loss of volume in the face. The idea behind these injectables is that the increased collagen will lead to smoother, tighter skin by increasing the volume and giving more fullness.

What if I have already had buttock augmentation injections?

If you’ve already undergone buttock injections that contain silicone or hydrogel, you may be wondering if you can remove these substances. Unfortunately, removing them may do more harm than good, leading to scars and inadvertent spreading of the materials. This could increase your risk for side effects.

It’s best you consult with one of our board certified plastic surgeons to determine the results of the injections and to create the best personalized plan of action moving forward.

Buttock augmentation injections with silicone should be avoided. Not only are they unsafe, but they’re also illegal and the dangers far outweigh any potential benefits.

The only injectable treatments that are considered safe for the buttocks are fillers, however these don’t deliver as dramatic of results as surgery does and they aren’t permanent.

These women who have come forward seem incredibly lucky to have avoided very real and very serious complications (at least for now). Patients should always seek well-trained health professionals who will provide the best care for patients’ curves.

Your life isn’t worth anything less.

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