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Buttock Augmentation (Brazilian Butt Lift - BBL)


The Brazilian butt lift, commonly referred to by its acronym BBL is an increasingly popular procedure. It is a fat transfer procedure that grafts patient-derived adipose tissue to the buttocks. Butt augmentation from the fat transfer of the patient's fat allows for customized placement of the extracted cells. A buttock augmentation from fat transfer is more customizable than an implant that remains in a specific location, as cells can be injected all around the tissue for increased volume and projection while simultaneously improving body contours.

Buttock augmentation that uses patient-derived fat is also beneficial due to its lower risk of rejection since no foreign materials are being implanted. A Brazilian buttock lift can be advantageous over buttock implants, which may cause problems for certain underweight patients. The fact that butt implants might shift, be rejected by the body, or become encapsulated makes them a bigger risk. The fat transferred into the butt is usually taken from the thighs, hips, abdomen, or other areas of the body. An expert surgeon can use the extracted fat to enhance the proportions of the entire lower body region by subtracting fat from problem areas and adding volume and definition to a patient’s behind.

Ideal Candidates for a Brazilian Butt Lift

A good candidate for the BBL procedure is a healthy individual with enough excess fat cells for grafting. Additionally, patients with the following attributes are good candidates for Brazilian butt lift surgery:

  • Those who have experienced weight loss and desire to have the shape and volume of their buttocks restored.

  • People who do not want butt implants.

  • Patients with flat and sagging buttocks that they wanted to be lifted and enhanced.

  • People who desire a defined and contoured posterior are in a better position.

  • Additional butt augmentation and lifting procedures may be discussed with the patient seeking increased volume in addition to a fat transfer. Patients with realistic goals who want to enhance their gluteal regions with a more shapely behind - including those who have thoroughly researched the procedure - are the best individuals to undergo the cosmetic change.

Contraindications for a Brazilian Butt Lift

As with all cosmetic procedures, any patient who is undergoing treatment to please another person may not be an ideal candidate for plastic surgery. Other qualities that may make a patient ineligible for surgery also include:

  • Thin patients who do not possess enough fat in their bodies are not the best candidates for the procedure.

  • Individuals not willing to avoid sitting on their buttocks for several weeks after surgery.

Pros of a Brazilian Butt Lift

  • Reduction of unwanted fat during the necessary liposuction procedure.

  • Usage of a patient’s body fat means low rejection risk.

  • Nearly invisible injection points for donated fat.

  • Long-lasting results.

Cons of a Brazilian Butt Lift

  • Fat embolisms may happen due to misguided cannulas during a fat transfer.

  • The recovery period involves not sitting directly on the buttocks for weeks.

BBLs require expensive qualified surgeons who understand the complexity of fat transfer surgery, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

Side Effects of a Brazilian Butt Lift

All surgeries have some degree of risk associated with the procedure, including the Brazilian butt lift, which has side effects ranging from asymmetry to fat reabsorption to death. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons even issued a warning about the mortality rate of BBLs, which is higher than any other cosmetic surgery.

The increased dangers and side effects were cited as a result of plastic surgeons who weren't certified to perform the cosmetic procedure, along with people who weren't licensed physicians performing BBLs. It is essential to seek a knowledgeable certified plastic surgeon and remain informed about the procedure.

Patients should also note that fat cells may react the same way they did in their former location when it comes to weight loss proclivities for a specific individual. Dramatic weight gains or losses can have an impact on the surgical results.

Recovery From Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery

Recovering from a fat transfer procedure relies upon the method of liposuction used to extract the donor fat. Other factors also impact recovery, such as the type of anesthesia used - be it general or local anesthesia.

Expect numbness immediately after the fat transplant. Bruising and swelling, along with discomfort, may last for two days to several weeks - but should improve. You will be advised to avoid sitting on the buttocks for two to eight weeks after surgery. Patients will need to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and improve postoperative body contours.

Approximately 30% to 50% of the transferred fat will likely be reabsorbed by the body, so the immediate post-operative swelling and gluteal volume should reduce in size over time. During recovery, the patient will be told to refrain from engaging in fat-burning workouts for approximately eight weeks post-surgery and to indulge in a high carbohydrate diet for several weeks to prevent the loss of newly grafted buttock fat.

To better understand the healing and downtime associated with the procedure, check out our complete guide to Brazilian butt lift recovery.

BBL & Mommy Makeovers

If additional surgeries are undergone at the same time as a BBL, the recovery period might last longer. A mommy makeover procedure involves several surgeries undergone simultaneously - at times including a Brazilian butt lift, a tummy tuck, breast lift, thigh lift, arm lift, breast reduction, or a combination of other cosmetic procedures. Certain surgeries should not necessarily take place simultaneously. Having breast augmentation surgery at the same time as buttock surgery may not be ideal due to how patients are advised to avoid sleeping or sitting on newly-operated body parts.

Brazilian Butt Lift Before & Aftercare

Viewing real photo galleries of patient results can help give you an idea of the final results you might expect to achieve from a Brazilian butt lift. During your consultation, discuss with your certified plastic surgeon the amount of fat that you can safely transfer from problem areas into the butt to improve the shape of the buttocks.

Healthy patients who enjoy a stable weight and no underlying medical conditions should ensure they thoroughly research the plastic surgeon they plan to have performed their surgery. Some controversial recommendations may include encouraging patients to gain weight before the surgery to have more fat that can be grafted.

After the procedure, patients can expect that any transferred fat that remains in the buttocks area after approximately 90 days will remain permanently. However, the transferred fat's firmness may soften a bit over time, as the weight of the patient tends to fluctuate with the shape of the buttocks. For these reasons, certain individuals may choose to have a future fat grafting procedure. However, many Brazilian butt lifts are one-time surgery.

The Takehome Message

If you are unhappy with a flat, misshapen, or sagging backside, a Brazilian butt lift procedure could provide the enhanced shape you seek. It is most important to select a board-certified surgeon who knows how to safely perform the surgery.

The ABCS notes that while BBL surgeries have gotten more popular than traditional procedures such as butt implant surgery, it’s important to select the most qualified surgeon for your fat grafting procedure. Avoid cheap alternatives from “surgeons” who do not know how.

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