Hip Augmentation Options: Fat Injections vs. Hip Implants
Hip augmentations come in a range of options — including hip implants and cosmetic hip injections — and are designed to enhance and widen the hips for a curvier, hourglass-like figure.
One of the reasons hip augmentation surgery has gained so much traction in recent years (no, we’re not talking about Kim Kardashian, but we don’t deny that she’s a factor) is because the hip and thigh areas are some of the most difficult to sculpt through exercise and diet. Additionally, transgender people often undergo hip augmentation to attain a more “feminized” figure.
In this article, we’ll cover the various types of hip augmentation procedures now available to help you make the right decision for your particular situation. The two primary options for hip augmentation are cosmetic hip implants, which utilize silicone slices implanted into the hips to create the illusion of wider hips, and natural cosmetic hip injections, which take fat from another part of the body in order to widen the pelvic area.
There are pros and cons to both procedures and a myriad of reasons for choosing one over the other. The good news is that both options are great choices for people who desire a more dramatic and curvy figure.
Cosmetic Hip Implants
One of the most popular procedures for achieving a curvy figure is the hip implant. Cosmetic hip implants are generally made from the same silicone material used in breast implants, which create a natural look and feel with minimal risk of deflating or leaking over time.
Prior to the procedure, the patient is given general anesthesia to numb the pain. The surgeon will then make an incision near the hip area where the silicone implant is to be inserted (beneath a muscle to ensure that it permanently stays in place). The same method is used on the other hip to create a natural, symmetrical look. These flat slices of silicone are positioned beneath the skin to create a more curvaceous appearance in the pelvic and lower pelvic regions.
Although there is a some risk and an extensive recovery period associated with hip implants, the recovery is less challenging than similar silicone implant procedures in the butt or calves. That’s because there are fewer nerves in the hip area, which is also relatively free of veins or arteries.
Additionally, the implants aren’t generally placed deeply within the tissue, so potential complications are minimal. With that being said, for the first 30 – 60 days after hip implant surgery patients are typically required to wear special protection garments and avoid any rigorous exercise.
Hip Implant Advantages
- A Permanent Solution — When you have silicone implanted anywhere in the body, you can expect a long-term result. Unlike cosmetic hip injections, which use fat injections that could be re-absorbed back into the body over time, silicone implants will retain their shape and quality permanently.
- More Consistent Results — Hip fat transfer procedures tend to have more touch-and-go results than implants, which generally yield more consistent results for the majority of patients. That’s because some fat may take, and some may not, so several fat injection procedures could be required to achieve the same result as a single implant surgery.
- Good for Those with Low Body Fat — This is the recommended procedure for hip augmentation patients with little body fat, since hip injections use fat collected from other parts of the body in order to widen and plump the hips.
Hip Fat Transfer and Cosmetic Hip Injections
In other instances, plastic surgeons will use liposuction at the waist and fat injections into the outer hips in order to create an hourglass figure. This method is referred to as fat transfer, or fat grafting, to the hips. It’s virtually the same as the Brazilian Butt Lift, but instead of plumping the butt, doctors add the extra fat to the hips.
When performing this procedure doctors typically take fat from other portions of the body, such as the thighs or the tummy, which is why it’s not generally recommended for patients with a low percentage of body fat. On the other hand, the fat transfer method provides a double benefit for those who desire a slimmer figure by reducing the fat present in other areas of the body.
Hip fat transfer procedures are slightly less risky than silicone implants because there’s no incision involved. With that being said, this procedure is performed with a syringe and a cannula, making it more time-consuming. What’s more, fat transfers require that the cells receive a healthy supply of blood to stay alive, so there is potential for the results to diminish over time.
The full recovery time for this type of hip augmentation ranges from six to eight weeks. Patients may have to spend most of the recovery period lying on their stomach or back in order to allow the hips and butt to heal properly.
Although you may see options for synthetic hip injections or injections that use something other than fat from the body, such as collagen injections, these procedures are generally not recommended by most reputable plastic surgeons. There’s evidence to suggest that injecting synthetic materials into the hips or butt can cause dangerous reactions and poor results.
To boot, using a substance such as collagen for hip augmentation would be extremely costly, as the procedure would need to be repeated regularly in order to maintain results. If you prefer the injection method over surgery, make sure you opt for the natural injection option of body fat.
Hip Injection Advantages
- Faster Recovery — Because this method uses injections rather than an incision, the recovery time is shorter than with hip implants. Additionally, there are fewer risk factors associated with injections. For example, those who have hip implantation surgery are more likely to develop seromas, infections and capsular contracture, among other risks.
- More Shaping Opportunity — This procedure is a good option for those patients who not only want to widen the hips, but also reduce some of the fat in the rest of their body. Because surgeons remove fat from the tummy, butt, thighs or any other high-fat region, patients are able to enjoy the benefits of slimming liposuction and hip-shaping at once.
- More Affordable — Fat transfer procedures generally cost anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000, depending on the procedure and the area where you live. Hip implants will run you upwards of $8,000 or more. Costs will vary depending on a range of factors, but injections tend to be more affordable overall.
Hip Augmentation for Male-to-Female Transition
Both hip implants and hip injections are common procedures among male-to-female transgender surgery patients. Trans women may choose to undergo these procedures alongside breast implants, facial feminization surgery, butt lifts and other surgical procedures in order to help their physical appearance more closely reflect their inner identity.
Transgender body-contouring surgery is a good option for those in transition who want to “feminize” some of the body’s more masculine features. The waist-to-hip ratio differs significantly from men to women, with women tending to have more dramatic hips than shoulders (the quintessential hourglass figure), and men tending to have wider shoulders than hips.
Trans women who undergo transfeminine hormone therapy will naturally experience a redistribution of fat around the hips and butt. However, according to the 2014 landmark book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, these hormones aren’t enough to adjust the bone structure beneath it all, which is why transgender women often opt to for augmentation procedures in these areas.
It is possible to achieve a more feminized waist by removing fat from another part of the body and adding it to the hip region. However, many transgender women prefer silicone implants over injections, as they create more pronounced results. Both options are a good choice for transgender people who desire a more curvaceous figure.
Ask a Cosmetic Doctor on Zwivel
Got a question about a cosmetic treatment? With over 2,000 doctor answers and counting, the Zwivel forum is the best place to get expert professional opinions.
Hundreds of questions have already been answered: