Warning: The following article contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.
Bum, caboose, butt, posterior — there are many harmless ways one can refer to the gluteus maximus, and even more that are a bit on the crude side. But whatever you call it, this part of the body is not usually the one we think of when we hear about serious health problems. But for the 27-year-old Brazilian model Andressa Urach, her bum nearly ended up costing her her life.
Andressa had always dreamed of becoming a model and with a slender figure, silky hair and hypnotising eyes, all the ingredients seemed to be there. But in Andressa’s part of the world there is one other quality every model must have: a great posterior! Although Andressa had an amazing figure, she felt that her butt needed to be more voluptuous in order to make it in the competitive modelling world. She was so determined that she chose to undergo a very risky procedure. It is so dangerous, in fact, that it is actually illegal in her home country of Brazil. But as Andressa says, “We are slaves to beauty.” And with that in mind she found a black market alternative and had hydrogel and PMMA injected into her hips and thighs to increase the size of her bum and keep it firm.
At first she believed that she had made the right decision. Her modelling career took off and in 2012 she won the world famous Miss BumBum contest. This made her so famous in Brazil that people actually started noticing her on the street and asking for autographs.
But then everything went wrong for Andressa. Complaining of sharp pains in her legs she was admitted to a hospital in Porto Alegre. It turned out that the gel that had been injected into her thighs had not been properly absorbed into her body and had caused her muscles to rot. Doctors punctured her skin to release the gel and filled the gaping wounds with a special foam. But the wounds resulting from the operation became infected and Andressa had to be brought to intensive care. At one point doctors even considering amputating her legs.
Andressa underwent several operations and treatment to stop the infection and was able to make a full recovery. She later said that her 200,000 Twitter followers' prayers and good wishes helped her through the ordeal. Andressa has even written a book about her experience and hopes that it will serve as a warning to other people who are considering this type of cosmetic surgery.
In Brazil there is a huge black market that takes advantage of people who are willing to risk their lives in order to 'improve' their body using prohibited substances. Andressa’s case should serve as a warning to all, especially in a country that is number one in the world for cosmetic surgery operations.