What is Safe Ultrasound Gluteal Fat Transfer Training?

The Problem:

The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) performed a study that showed a 1/3,000 mortality rate following a fat transfer to the buttocks. Injections of the fat graft into or under the gluteal muscles injures the inferior gluteal veins in 80% of the fatalities, and injures the superior gluteal veins in 20% of the fatalities. Through these injuries, the fat gains access to the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC), causing fatal pulmonary macro fat embolism (MAFE). No fatalities were observed when the fat graft was injected exclusively into the space over the muscle, known as the subcutaneous space. Unfortunately, because fat transfers are blind procedures, even the most experienced gluteal fat transfer surgeons have accidentally injected the fat graft into the gluteal muscles, causing the described mortality rates, even when it is only intended to inject the fat graft into the subcutaneous space.

The Solution:

The World Association of Gluteal Surgeons was founded by Dr. Michael Salzhauer on January 31, 2019, in order to address this problem. The seven WAGS founding members have collectively performed over 10,000 BBLs with a 0% mortality rate. The group has successfully developed safe guidelines for performing fat transfers to the buttocks. The previous president, Dr. Frank Agullo, performed a study among the WAGS members that demonstrated a 1/26,000 mortality rate instead of the 1/3,000 rate observed by ASERF. The Medical Board of Florida has published the following emergency rule for office-based surgery regarding buttocks fat transfer procedures, also known as the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

What Is UGFT Training?

Current WAGS president, Dr. Steven Alexander Earle, and Dr. Gabriel Patino implemented the safe Ultrasound Gluteal Fat Transfer (UGFT) to their practices after receiving training of the strategy in 2019. Dr. Steven Alexander Earle has done over 1,800 UGFT procedures since then, and is likely the most experienced UGFT surgeon in the United States at this time. The plan is to teach all surgeons already performing BBL’s how to do it safely under ultrasound direct visualization instead of blindly so that the fat graft can be injected safely into the subcutaneous space decreasing mortality even further.

How Do I Get WAGS “ Seal of Safety “ UGFT certification?

WAGS has designated 20 strategically located UGFT centers. All UGFT program directors, regardless of prior UGFT experience, must first attend the workshop hosted by Dr. Steven Alexander Earle’s pilot center in order to standardize the teaching format.

As program directors receive their WAGS safe UGFT certification, they can then start offering workshops at their locations in order to rapidly expand the knowledge and experience to other surgeons.

WAGS “ Seal of Safety “ UGFT certification Requirements:
1. Applicants  must review the BBL articles and pass the online exam designed by Dr. Wilbur Hah.
2. Applicants must take  Dr. Constantino Mendieta’s WAGS Safe UGFT VIDEO Course.
3. Applicants  must  attend a WAGS Live Safe UGFT Workshop at an approved WAGS Safe UGFT Training Center.
4. Applicants must submit a video of themselves performing a Safe UGFT procedure as taught.

After successful completion of the above requirements, WAGS grants the UGFT safety seal.

Register for training here

UGFT Training Centers

These surgeons have received the WAGS safe ultrasound Gluteal Fat Transfer certificationand are now offering
this training at their locations as certified safe ultrasound Gluteal fat transfer training centers.

Dr. Cesar Velilla & Dr. Jose Zayas • Miramar, Florida • Evolution MD

Dr. Anh-Tuan Truong • Chicago, Illinois • Chicago Breast & Body Aesthetics

Dr. Mona Alqulali • Clinton, Iowa • Infinity Medical Group

Dr. Gabriel Patino • El Cerrito, California • The Cosmetic Surgical Center of El Cerrito
Dr. Stephen Alexander Earle • Miami, FL • Pure Plastic Surgery

Dr. Carlos Mercado • Orlando, Florida • Eterna MD

Dr. Humberto Palladino • Fort Lauderdale, Florida • Top Aesthetics
Dr. Michael Salzhauer • Miami, Florida • Dr. Miami
Dr. Gregory Alouf • Salem, Virginia • Alouf Aesthetics
Dr. Tarick Smiley • Beverly Hills, California • Dr. Smiley
Dr. Mark Lowney • Fall River, Massachusetts • Advanced Body Sculpting
Dr. Wilbur Hah • Orange, Texas • Beauty MDs
Dr. Scott Blyer • Islandia, New York • Cameo Surgery Center
Dr. Mark Epstein • New York City, New York • MARK EPSTEIN, M.D.
Dr. Robert Najera • Frisco, Texas • Dr. Dallas
Dr. Gregory Crichlow• Holetown, Barbados • AvantBlue Aesthetics
Dr. Gordon Andan• Garden City, New York • NY Surgical Arts