Hip augmentations come in a range of options 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 about to talk 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 women 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 some risk and an extensive recovery period associated with hip implants, the recovery is less challenging than similar silicone implant procedures for 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 particularly deep 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 to avoid any rigorous exercise.

Hip implant advantages

  • A permanent solution — When you have silicone implanted anywhere in your 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 a Brazilian Butt Lift, but instead of plumping the butt, doctors add the extra fat to the hips.

The procedure is not generally recommended for patients with a low percentage of body fat as it typically requires a patient to have a level of excess fat in areas like the thighs or the tummy. 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 as there’s no incisions involved. With that being said, this procedure is performed with a syringe and a cannula, making it more time-consuming. Fat transfers also require that the cells receive a healthy supply of blood to stay alive, so there is potential for the results to diminish over time particularly in for those with circulation issues.

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 option for synthetic hip injections or injections that use something other than fat from the body — like collagen — 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 may cause dangerous reactions and poor results.

Moreover, 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 any results. If you prefer the injection method over surgery, make sure that you opt for the natural injection option of body fat.

Hip injection advantages

  • Faster Recovery As this method only 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 who not only want to widen the hips, but also reduce some of the fat in the rest of their body. As 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 multiple 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, or other surgical procedures, in order to help their physical appearance match their gender identity.

As the waist-to-hip ratio differs significantly between most males and females, transgender body-contouring surgery is a good option for those who want to “feminize” some of the body’s more typically masculine features.

Trans women who undergo 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 trans women who desire a more curvaceous figure.

About The Author

Articles by

Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS is a highly regarded board certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, known by both patients and peers as a problem-solver with a warm, engaging personality, and an instinctive ability to identify and truly understand the goals of his patients and the patients, themselves.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Dr. Breslow graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science degree and received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine.

Following medical school, Dr. Breslow spent 6 years training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s nationally renowned Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Program. There he received extensive training in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery from some of the nation’s top practitioners. After leaving Penn, he returned to NYU Medical Center to spend one year as the Microvascular Reconstructive Fellow at NYU’s prestigious Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Breslow is Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is licensed to practice plastic and reconstructive surgery in both New Jersey and New York.

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