Brazilian Butt Lift

Published: 01/23/18

Thanks to famous backsides with names like Kardashian, Minaj, Lopez, and the mononymous Beyonce, voluptuous booties are on the rise. And while many women are trying to attain the perfect butt shape by hitting the gym, countless others are turning to their doctors' offices.

In recent years the demand for one particular procedure has grown at an exceptionally fast rate, rising a shocking 26% between 2015 and 2016. That buttock enhancement procedure is the Brazilian butt lift, or BBL.

A Brief History of Butt Enhancement

Over the last 20 years or so, the BBL, also sometimes called “fat transfer to buttocks,” or “Brazilian buttock augmentation,” has become so popular that it has gone from being a relatively unknown procedure to one of the most popular mainstream cosmetic options. But it wasn't always like that.

In fact, butt lifts and butt injections in general were so rare before the year 2000 that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons didn't even bother to track them. So what changed?

It all started with breast implants.

Although the idea of enhancing the breasts with some sort of implant has been around since the 1890s, using the same technique to change the way the buttocks look didn't show up in medical journals until 1969. In fact, these early attempts at buttocks augmentation utilized the very same implants used for breast augmentation.

Unsurprisingly, the results left much to be desired. Doctors turned to a new and improved butt implant, specifically designed for placement between the skin and the outermost muscle layer. These prosthetics provided better results, but not by much, leaving most patients disappointed.

Shortly thereafter, surgeons started to realize that there was more to this bit of human anatomy than just a single layer of muscle. Pioneer Argentinian surgeon Dr. Jose Robles was the first to try placing the implant between two layers of muscle, instead of directly below the skin.

This procedure became known as a “submuscular gluteoplasty,” and was far more effective than any butt enhancement procedure that came before it. But it still wasn't perfect, and surgeons continued to experiment with buttock augmentation techniques.

The next successful development came in the form of yet another improved location for the implants -- the “intramuscular implant.” Similarly to a submuscular gluteoplasty, the intramuscular implant is placed within the muscles layers, only closer to the surface, giving it more stability and a better overall look.

Unfortunately, while this method is still used for larger implants, most artificial implants are simply not designed for use in such a dynamic, “moveable” part of the body. These limitations ultimately led South American cosmetic surgeons to develop new techniques using fat transfer instead.

In the early '90s, as liposuction techniques continued to improve, Brazilian surgeon Dr. Ivo Pitanguy devised a new approach to butt enhancement -- by using fat taken from another part of the body (a procedure know as 'autologous fat transfer') to successfully shape and lift the buttocks, he created what is now now referred to as the Brazilian butt lift.

RELATED: Fat Grafting Turns Liposuction Byproduct Into Liquid Gold

How the Procedure Is Performed

The Brazilian butt lift uses liposuction to remove unwanted, extra fat, usually from near and around the buttocks. The most common fat donor sites are the stomach, inner thighs and lower back – those troublesome “love handles.”

Of course, these aren't the only areas where fat can be taken, but they tend to be where fat is the most abundant. Sometimes fat can even be taken from up to 3 separate locations to make sure there is enough of it for the transfer.

No matter where it's taken from, it's usually done in pairs, one on either side of your body. This helps make sure you keep a symmetrical look throughout the process.

Once enough fat is removed, it is purified. Then, the fat is re-injected into your buttocks and expertly reshaped by your surgeon.

In essence, the Brazilian butt lift is actually a two-phase surgery:

Phase 1: Liposuction

During the first portion of the procedure, fat is taken from your body through liposuction. Because areas of excess and unwanted fat are targeted for this part of the surgery, the BBL has the added bonus of improving overall body shape and appearance, not just enhancing your buttocks.

A few small incisions are made to allow your surgeon access to the fat stores where the liposuction will be performed. In most cases, this is done around the waist, giving you a leaner, hourglass-shaped figure. Once the fat has been removed, it's processed to remove impurities and other tissues and fluids.

Phase 2: Fat Transfer

The second part of the Brazilian butt lift procedure involves a number of injections of your own purified fat back into your buttocks. Your surgeon sculpts the entire area, making your butt larger, rounder, and perkier.

The entire procedure usually takes a minimum of 2 hours, but you should expect it to be longer by a couple more hours if you're seeking a more dramatic change. This time frame can be affected by a lot of different things, including the following:

  • Your individual surgeon
  • How much fat needs to be removed
  • How long the process of purifying the fat takes before it can be re-injected
  • The extent of your buttocks contouring

When the procedure is over, you'll likely experience swelling and bruising that lasts for a few weeks. Any pain or discomfort after the surgery will be controlled with prescription medication.

Some results from a BBL are immediate, but it's important to remember that your backside will be its biggest right after the surgery, and will probably decease slightly in size over the course of your recovery. This is normal. Your final results, and the size of your new butt, will be fully apparent after about 3 months of recovery and healing.

The Brazilian butt lift provides results that look and feel totally natural (unlike silicone butt implants, which can sometimes be visible or palpable), without impacting movement in any way, and with zero risk of allergic reaction — all because your own fat is used to augment your butt.

Over the last few decades, this technique has continued to increase in popularity, turning what was once an obscure, uncommon, and intensive procedure, into a relatively short outpatient surgery with a remarkably quick recovery phase.

RELATED: Butt Enhancement -- Why Big Booties Are All the Rage

The Advantages and Benefits of BBL

The Brazilian butt lift is a somewhat unique procedure, because while its aim is to give your backside a more appealing size and contour, the fact that it uses your own body fat presents a number of added benefits.

Since the fat that is eventually grafted into your bottom is taken from other areas of your body, this is an ideal solution for people who have tried and failed to get rid of stubborn love handles or excess fat in other areas of their body. And since it's just a part of you that's being injected, you can't have an allergic reaction, or reject the graft.

Of course, it's also important to keep in mind that you will need enough fat cells to achieve the desired results. Those who don't have enough fat must consider implants instead, or gain the extra weight needed.

These are some of the main benefits that BBL surgery provides:

  • Improved or restored volume to the buttocks
  • Lift of the lower portion of the buttocks
  • Better overall shape and contour of the body
  • Cellulite reduction
  • Clothing looks and fits better
  • Improved body proportions
  • Greater confidence in one's physical appearance

Highly Customizable

One of the biggest drawbacks to implants is that they are set at specific sizes and volumes. Essentially, you're stuck choosing the size of your new butt based on the implant sizes available.

A BBL offers much more in terms of controlling the exact shape and size of your new derriere. Since it's your own fat, once it's removed, purified, and ready for injection, your surgeon can carefully control the amount that is injected, using only enough to allow for the fullness and shape you want, exactly where you want it.

In fact, this procedure is entirely customizable to your unique goals, so you can get the curves you want, without having to settle on a “standardized” size and shape.

Long Lasting Results

The recovery period for the BBL procedure can last several months, but when compared to the long lasting results, it's remarkably short. As the fat settles and forges connections to your body's blood supply, your full results start to reveal themselves.

Once you've fully recovered, you'll be able to enjoy your new butt for years to come. In fact, many patients have found that with a healthy lifestyle, their results are permanent. However, aging and any weight fluctuations will gradually take their toll.

Ideal Candidates and Results

The Brazilian butt lift is a versatile procedure that can be used on a wide variety of body types. That being said, there are some specific criteria that make an ideal candidate for this particular kind of lift.

In general, candidates for a BBL are adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who are in good health. Although excess fat is needed to properly perform the procedure, the ideal patient should be no more than about 30 pounds over his or her ideal weight.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it's important that you have realistic expectations. Before deciding on a BBL, make sure that you fully understand the procedure, and the results you can expect.

The shape of your buttocks before the procedure can have an impact on the success of your procedure. In fact, there are 4 general buttock shapes:

  • A Shape
  • V Shape
  • Square Shape
  • Round Shape

The V Shape, which is characterized by a lot more volume at the top of the buttocks than the bottom, is by far the most difficult shape to correct. All three of the other shapes are easier to fix, with rounder buttocks being ideal. A butt that sticks out a little, showing what surgeons refer to as “projection,” is also good, since the fat can be moved around and reshaped. A bum that it too flat can be improved, but it can be a lot more difficult to shape.

Skin tightness and elasticity also play a role. Skin that is too tight can actually prevent a fat transfer to the butt, while skin that is too loose can make lifting and shaping difficult. Ideally, you should have just a little bit of skin looseness, with good tone, and no drooping.

Non-ideal Candidates

Unfortunately, the Brazilian butt lift isn't for everyone. In most cases, a few pounds of fat are removed from the body and purified. After having been purified, there is usually very little fat left over that is still useful for the transfer. Generally, only a pound or two of the liposuctioned fat is actually re-injected into your backside.

That means that anyone with a petite frame and not enough fat in the flanks, stomach, or thighs, is a poor candidate for the BBL. In order to be a good candidate, it's essential that you have those few extra pounds for the transfer. Some surgeons will even encourage patients who are too thin and don't want implants to gain some weight.

Of course, being excessively overweight can also make you a poor candidate. Liposuction, which makes up the first half of this surgery, isn't designed as a weight loss procedure. That means it can't handle large volumes of excess fat. Therefore, you'll need to be within 25 to 30 pounds of your ideal weight to even qualify for this portion of the BBL.

Any procedure that involves liposuction also involves the removal of a fair amount of blood and other bodily fluids. A little bleeding and seeping is therefore normal and to be expected. For this reason, anyone with a bleeding disorder or diabetes will be a poor candidate. Similarly, if you are taking medications or supplements that thin your blood, you'll be asked to stop a few weeks before the procedure to make sure your body is ready.

10 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Brazilian Butt Lift

  1. The very first thing to do when preparing for a Brazilian butt lift is to set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon. This is the perfect opportunity for you to address any concerns you might have about the procedure, surgical facility and the staff.
  2. Adopt a healthy diet. Proper hydration and nutrition can help to boost your immune system, keeping your body strong and ready for the procedure and recovery.
  3. Keep your stress levels under control. Activities like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are all fantastic ways to cut down any stress you might feel as you get ready for your BBL. In fact, these are also great practices to work into your recovery as well.
  4. Get food and other home essential shopping, as well as any pressing “to-dos” out of the way in the days before your surgery. You're not going to be in the mood to be running errands afterwards. Make sure your kitchen is fully stocked, and any other household responsibilities are taken care of ahead of time.
  5. About 2 weeks before your surgery you should stop taking all medications and supplements that work as blood thinners. This includes aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, and diet pills.
  6. About a week or so before your procedure you'll have received your prescriptions. Now, before the big day, is the time to get them filled at your local pharmacy. You won’t want to have to wait to have them filled afterwards. Be sure to bring them with you on the day of your surgery.
  7. Some of the medications you might be prescribed can have uncomfortable side effects -- namely constipation. You can start drinking prune juice or taking stool softeners a couple of days before your surgery to help take the edge of this unpleasant aspect of recovery.
  8. A few days before your BBL you should start washing the donor and injection sites with antibacterial soap. Make sure to wash with a strong scrubbing action for several minutes, at least twice a day to make sure that it is nice and clean for surgery day. This helps to keep the risk of infection down.
  9. Choose loose fitting, comfortable clothing to wear on the day of your surgery. You will likely be sore and uncomfortable after the procedure, so don't make it worse by trying to force your swollen body back into tight clothing.
  10. Stay in contact with your doctor throughout your preparation. You'll probably have a few questions pop into your mind after your consultation, and your surgeon should be your go-to resource.

Recovery Timeline: Week by Week 

For many people considering this procedure, their main concern is what to expect after BBL surgery. Recovery following a BBL can take 6 to 8 weeks, or even longer, depending on the particulars of your procedure.

Weeks 1 & 2

During the first few weeks of your recovery, it's critical that you don't sit for longer than a few minutes at a time. Sitting directly on your new fat grafts can cause damage to them and leads to poor results, or preventable complications.

In fact, sitting puts an incredible amount of pressure on your backside; as much as 400 pounds per square inch in certain places, regardless of what your actual weight is. This intense pressure effectively cuts off the blood supply to the healing fat graft, because the new, young blood vessels supplying it with life-giving nutrients are fragile and easily closed.

If you absolutely must sit for longer periods of time, shift around frequently and use a nice, soft cushion under your upper thighs. You might even consider a medical “donut” cushion. For this same reason, try to sleep on your stomach or side.

During these first two weeks some minor swelling and discomfort is normal. You should be able to control any pain with ibuprofen or your prescriptions. Be sure to stick to only these medications for controlling your pain. Medicines like aspirin or Advil can thin your blood, which can cause complications in the new blood vessels forming within the fat transfer.

Continue to wear your compression garment according to your doctor's instructions. This will help keep swelling to a minimum, while also preventing dangerous fluid buildups beneath the skin. Remember, swelling can stick around for 6 to 8 weeks or longer.

Light exercise is an important part of your early recovery as well. You'll need to avoid over exerting yourself for a while still, but you should start taking light walks as soon as you feel able to. Getting up and moving around for even a short time can help to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.

Your butt may look too big, but that’s normal due to swelling and over injection of fat (to compensate for fat loss).

Week 3

A lot of people are able to go back to work during their third week of recovery, as long as their job doesn't require them to sit for long periods of time. So, if you have a desk job, it's better that you continue to rest at home.

Around this time in your recovery, if you're feeling up to it you can add some light cardiovascular activities to your exercise routine. Try going out for a walk, using the elliptical machine, or light weight training. As long as you avoid any exercises that specifically target your buttocks, your recovery shouldn't be negatively impacted by upping your activity level at this time.

Weeks 4 & 5

Ah, finally, you can sit! But you'll still need to be mindful of what you're sitting on, and how long you stay there; any long sitting sessions should be done on a nice soft cushion. You can also start adding more difficult and strenuous exercises to your routine. Try bicycling -- with a well cushioned seat, of course. Swimming is another great fitness option that will be safe at this point.

However, despite being able to exercise a little more freely, it's still best if you continue to relax and sleep on your stomach as much as you can.

Weeks 6 – 8

Sometime during this period, depending on your unique recovery, you'll most likely finally be healed enough to go back to most of your normal activities. Your transferred fat cells should be stabilized and strong enough to handle the stress of everyday life. That includes more intense fat-burning exercises, like jogging. Athletes, including the part-time “weekend warriors,” will be able to rejoin their teams, and enjoy outdoor sports like soccer or baseball once again.

RELATED: Zwivel's Complete Guide to Butt Lift and Augmentation Surgery

A Word On Weight Changes After Recovery

It'll be important for you to maintain the healthy lifestyle choices you started in preparation for your Brazilian butt lift, including proper nutrition and hydration, as well as a good level of physical activity.

Once you have completely healed from the procedure, the fat that has been transferred to your backside will act the same way as fat throughout the rest of your body. As your weight changes, your sculpted buttocks will change proportionally.

Because of this, it's not hard to understand why one of the most common questions about the BBL concerns weight loss after the procedure. If your surgery is performed by a skilled and experienced doctor, the basic shape of your new figure should be maintained through any normal, slight weight losses or gains.

That being said, the best way to ensure that your BBL results stay looking good for years is to take care of yourself with a healthy diet, and regular exercise.

Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery: 10 Important Instructions

  1. Avoid sitting for 2 to 6 weeks. The longer you can avoid it during your recovery, the better. You'll need to protect the newly transferred fat until it's able to establish a connection to the blood supply, and can take hold in its new location. Putting too much pressure on the new fat can kill of some of the cells, which can lead to indentations and generally poor final results. This goes for sleeping as well: you should try to sleep on your stomach or side, with a pillow between your thighs for support. Depending on the particulars of your surgery, you might be able to sit for a few minutes at a time, or even longer if you get up and move often after a few weeks of recovery.
  2. Although it's not as bad as sitting, you should avoid squatting or stretching during the first part of your recovery as well. These kinds of movements cause shearing and tearing stresses in the muscles and tissues of your thighs and butt.
  3. Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding the use of compression garments. This special medical garment can help keep you comfortable, reduce swelling, and even helps your body heal into its new shape. You might need to wear one to control swelling caused by the liposuction, and another one on your butt to promote your ideal shape as it heals. This latter garment should be snug, but not so tight that it puts too much pressure on the transferred fat.
  4. You will probably feel stiff and sore after surgery, but you should try to get up and walk around a bit as soon as you can. Even just a little motion helps with blood circulation and can reduce swelling. Moving about after surgery helps your body heal faster and more easily. Don't push too hard though, just a few leisurely laps around the house are all you need at first. Ease into it.
  5. Exercise is good for the body, of course. But you'll want to avoid any strenuous activity for the first couple of months. This is to make sure that you're not burning off any of the transferred fat before it's had a chance to establish itself. After the 8-week mark, it should have a strong connection to the blood stream, and a good workout can help pump fresh, nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood into the healing area.
  6. Stick to that nutrient-rich diet you started before the procedure. Your body will need the extra calories and nutrients to make sure that the transferred fat successfully connects to your blood stream, and to recover from the trauma of surgery. Adding in more healthy fats, like from salmon, almonds, or avocado, can also be helpful for your body. Adding in some extra fiber can also help with any constipation caused by recovery medications.
  7. Proper hydration is just as important as good nutrition during your recovery. As it heals, your body relies on water to help it flush away waste and move those important nutrients throughout the healing tissues. But water alone isn't enough. Your body will also need electrolytes, the salts and minerals it uses to hold onto water. Try fitting a sports drink, like Gatorade or Smart Water, into your daily diet during the first few months of your recovery.
  8. During and beyond your recovery, it will be even more important than before that you maintain a stable weight. Weight changes after any kind of fat transfer can have a negative impact on your results, but this is especially crucial after a Brazilian butt lift. Significant weight gain after a liposuction and transfer won’t cause fat to accumulate in a new area, but it may look like it. For example, a woman who never had a problem with underarm flab might suddenly find that that's where weight gain is more visible, rather than on her stomach where liposuction was performed. This is because there will be fewer fat cells in her stomach but the same number in her underarms, so weight gain may become more noticeable there. Weight fluctuations after a BBL can cause the buttocks to lose or gain fat volume, though it should be in proportion with the rest of your body.
  9. Be patient waiting for your results. There will be an immediately noticeable difference right after your surgery. Your butt should be fuller, and rounder right away, but it's important to keep in mind that these are not your final results. In fact, it takes some time for the newly transferred fat to stabilize and grow. Also, as much as 25%-50% of the injected fat will inevitably die off and be absorbed by your body. Skilled surgeons are aware of this cell die-off, and plan the volume of your injections accordingly. This fat re-absorption will happen over 3 months or so.
  10. Your surgeon will likely want you to schedule follow up appointments so they can keep an eye on your recovery and progress. It's important that you actually attend these follow ups. The well trained and experienced eye of your surgeon will be able to identify any problems or concerns before them become serious. And they can easily put your mind to rest if you have and questions or concerns that arise during your recovery.

Results: What to Expect

Brazilian butt lift surgeons love to show off before and after photos to highlight the results that can be achieved through a BBL. The problem with many of the comparisons, however, is that the “after” picture is often taken immediately after the surgery in complete. Sometimes the patient hasn't even woken up from the anesthesia yet. While these comparisons show an incredible transformation, they can be rather misleading.

You will, in fact, be able to see some changes right away, and your butt will be remarkably larger; huge even. This is because all of the fat that was injected is still there, and there hasn't been enough time for some of the fat cells to be absorbed by your body. Add in the expected level of swelling, and you can see that how you look right after the procedure can be deceptive.

It's important to keep in mind that swelling will fade over the course of the first few weeks to months, and a fair amount of the injected fat will be reabsorbed as well. This means that a significant amount of size will be lost between the end of the procedure and the end of your recovery, as fat that did not survive the surgery and healing process is slowly cleared from your system.

Which begs the question, how much fat actually survives? It's an excellent question to ask, but it's also incredibly difficult to accurately predict. Most conservative estimates put the survival rate of transferred fat at about 50%, though many surgeons claim to be able to save a more significant amount.

That's why it's so important to realize that your final results are actually made up of the fat that can make a connection to your blood stream, and can survive in its new home for at least 3 months. Whatever is left after 3 months of recovery will be your actual final result; not what you look like right after surgery.

So, if that much fat is lost during the process, is BBL surgery worth it? If you're willing to take extra care during recovery and maintain your results after you've healed, then absolutely! In fact, there are two major factors that ultimately play into how much of your transferred fat can survive: your surgeon's skill and experience, and even more importantly, how you treat your new buttocks during your recovery.

While a poor surgeon without the proper knowledge or experience can certainly lead to bad outcomes, your own behavior can make the work of an expert look like that of a surgical student.

As discussed before, the fastest way to damage your newly grafted fat is to put too much pressure on it. As such, there are a number of things you can do to maximize fat survival during your recovery:

  • Wear the right garments. This goes for the compression garments given to you by your doctor, as well as loose fitting clothing. The compression garment puts pressure on areas where it's needed, especially where you had fat removed through liposuction, while loose-fitting clothing help the fat to heal properly in its new location. There are few things that kill freshly transferred fat cells faster than tight or restrictive clothing.
  • Avoid driving for a little while. You already won't be able to sit for longer than a few minutes at a time, and while avoiding driving is an extension of that, driving is actually much worse. As you operate your car, you need to push down on the pedals, which also pushes back against your butt and lower back. Since you're applying pressure with your foot, it's actually causing more pressure on your butt than if you were simply sitting there, not doing anything. For this reason, you should stay out of the driver's seat for at least a few weeks after your BBL. The longer you can go during your recovery without driving, the better for your butt.
  • Try sitting on your thighs. A simple trick you can try that's remarkably effective at keeping you from putting too much pressure on your new butt while sitting, is to use a towel. It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, there's a bit of a trick to it. Roll the towel into a cylinder shape, then put it under your thighs as you sit down, keeping your weight off your derriere. Just be careful that you don't cut off the blood supply to our butt, which can also contribute to fat cell death. If you start to feel your thighs going to sleep, stand up for a few minutes, and then reposition the towel.
  • No smoking! You should never smoke before or after any kind of medical procedure, but it can be especially bad for the results of a BBL. Smoking has a negative impact on the way your blood is able to move essential oxygen and nutrients to the various parts of your body. During your BBL recovery, the fat moved into your buttocks is desperately trying to create a connection to your vital blood stream so it can survive in its new home. Smoking directly interferes with this, making it harder for your body to form new blood vessels, and significantly reducing the quality of the blood that does make it to the new fat cells. In essence, smoking effectively starves the fat to death. Secondhand smoke can be just as bad for your recovery, so be sure to avoid all smoking areas.

Most patients are very happy with their results, and studies have confirmed that the BBL surgery is both a safe and effective method to increase buttock projection, and improve overall appearance. Countless positive Brazilian butt lift reviews and photos back up those findings.

RELATED: Frequently Asked Questions on Liposuction Side Effects and Recovery

Side Effects & Risks

As with all medical and cosmetic procedures, the Brazilian butt lift involves a certain amount of risk. By far, the most common side effects reported by patients are normal, mild and temporary. These generally include:

  • Minor discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

While mild pain and discomfort is expected, on occasion patients will experience much more severe pain during their recovery. If this happens to you, contact your surgeon immediately.

In addition to these minor side effects, the BBL carries the risk of more severe or long lasting complications as well, including the following:

  • Excessive blood loss
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis, leading to cardiac or pulmonary complications
  • Fat embolism, which is when fat is accidentally injected into the bloodstream, causing inflammation in the lungs
  • Revision surgery
  • Infection
  • Fluid shifts and lidocaine toxicity
  • Complications from liposuction
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Asymmetry
  • Seroma or hematoma, which are collections of blood or fluid beneath the skin
  • Fat necrosis
  • Oil cyst
  • Stretch marks
  • Cellulite
  • Unsatisfactory or poor results

Each of these side effects should be discussed in detail during your initial consultation, well before you consent to the procedure.

Lastly, there is the possibility that too much fat will be reabsorbed by your body. It's normal and expected that some fat will be absorbed. The exact amount largely depends on the skill of your surgeon and your behaviors during recovery. Sometimes, the final results after this re-absorption will be poor and will require a second procedure to correct the problem.

How Much a BBL Costs

The vast majority of patients who undergo a Brazilian butt lift find that the risk-to-benefit ratio is well worth it. Many even consider it to be a sort of investment in their own emotional and physical well being, improving both appearance and self-confidence. Depending on your unique situation and needs, the Brazilian butt lift cost can range from $2,000 to $15,000, with the average falling at a little over $9,000. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the actual, final price you will pay for a BBL, including:

  • Your surgeon's knowledge, expertise, and experience. As with most things in life, you get way you pay for, and the most qualified surgeons will likely cost more up-front. Of course, the advantage of this is that their skill and experience may save you money in the long run, since they can provide excellent care and results with a much lower risk of side effects.
  • Where you choose to have your surgery also plays a role in your final cost. Thanks to differences is demand, regional prices will vary. Some patients even choose to travel to lower the cost of their procedure, or see a more experienced or qualified surgeon. If this is something you consider, you'll have to weigh the cost of traveling against the cost of the procedure.
  • Your overall physical health and medical history can also have an impact on price. Any number of chronic conditions, like uncontrolled diabetes or a problem with your immune system, can make the surgery and your recovery more difficult. More often than not, this results in a higher price tag.
  • Sometimes your recovery prescriptions are covered by the price given to you. Other times they are an extra expense. Be sure you discuss with your doctor what your fee includes.
  • The type of anesthesia used can change the cost as well. This will vary person to person, depending on their medical needs and personal choices.
  • Just like post-surgery recovery prescriptions, your compression garment might or might not be included in the price initially given to you.
  • Choosing to combine procedures will also increase your costs, obviously. It's very common for patients to choose to undergo multiple procedures at once, like adding in a tummy tuck, or more extensive liposuction. Often surgeons will offer some kind of deal or package that has a lower price than if you had each surgery done independently, but will still cost significantly more than a BBL alone.
  • Lastly, your insurance coverage can play a role in the price you actually pay. It's incredibly unlikely that your health insurance provider will be willing to cover your BBL, since it's considered an elective cosmetic procedure. That being said, if the BBL is done as part of a process to repair actual, serious medical issues, at least a portion of the surgery may be covered. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your surgeon if you believe it applies to you.

Your surgeon should go over all of your fees and costs in great detail during your initial consultation, well before any surgical procedures begin.

Latest Techniques and Scientific Studies

The Brazilian Butt Lift is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic surgeries in the world at present. As a result, it constitutes a hot topic among plastic surgeons who debate how best to perform the procedure and the ultimate aesthetic ideals to aim for.

A 2016 article published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal recently proposed new ideal waist to hip ratios to provide optimal and more dramatic outcomes for patients. The study’s authors conducted a study among 989 respondents who shared their views and preferences of the gluteal region. The most attractive buttocks hip-to-waist ratio was deemed to be 0.65 by 44.2% of respondents, and 25% of respondents of the opinion that 0.6 was was the most attractive ratio. Both ratios indicate the potential for a shift towards more dramatic implants, resulting in a “curvier” final result.

Another impressive development in the field of buttock augmentation surgery is the adoption of methods to diminish the risk of complications occurring. In a 2017 study published in the Aesthetic Surgery journal, the authors outline the use of the “roller pump injection technique” for autologous buttock augmentation. This technique eliminates the need to manually graft and inject fat into the buttocks, meaning a more efficient surgical procedure. In addition, results show a low percentage of complications.

Brazilian butt lift FAQ

What’s the difference between a butt lift and Brazilian butt lift?

A butt lift is a procedure that reshapes the buttocks to make them perkier and more youthful in appearance. This can involve removing saggy, loose skin, liposuction and/or silicone butt implants. A Brazilian butt lift, on the other hand, is a procedure that takes fat from one area of your body and re-injects it into your buttocks. Instead of silicone butt implants, the fat plumps up and reshapes your buttocks. Usually, enough fat is transferred that it fills out any existing saggy skin, so there's no skin removal performed.

Do I have to be a certain BMI to be considered a Brazilian butt lift candidate?

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is often used to determine whether a patient is suitable for surgery. It’s based on comparing your weight against your height, giving an idea of how much excess fat you may have. A BMI within the healthy to slightly overweight range is considered to be acceptable. If you’re underweight you probably won’t have enough fat to transfer to your butt, and if you’re overweight or obese, the surgery may be too risky for your health.

While many surgeons use BMI, some surgeons find it to be unreliable. Why? Because let’s say you’re a weightlifter with massive muscles and low body fat — you may be considered “obese” according to your BMI!

How long is the Brazilian butt lift surgery?

A Brazilian butt lift usually takes anywhere from 4-8 hours. The first part of the surgery, liposuction, and the last part, fat re-injection into the buttocks, each take a couple of hours to complete. Some time is also necessary for purification of the fat.

Where will the fat be taken from?

Most of the time, fat is taken from areas that have a good storage of it. This is usually the stomach, love handles and upper thighs.

Will a Brazilian butt lift giving me an hourglass figure?

Since your surgeon will most likely remove fat from your mid-section and thighs, you’ll find that you’ll get leaner in these areas. That means you’ll be skinnier in the middle and have rounder and larger buttocks, giving you more of an hourglass figure.

Do I have to stop smoking before my surgery?

Yes, it’s usually recommend that smoking is avoided for at least 2 weeks before and after surgery. Blood vessels need to form in the newly transferred fat in your buttocks to maintain their survival, and smoking has a negative affect on this process. It can also increase your risk of infection.

I have cellulite. Will a Brazilian butt lift make it worse?

A Brazilian butt lift usually makes the appearance of cellulite better, rather than worse. This is because the transferred fat fills out dimples, making them smoother and firmer.

Where will the scars be?

While incisions are made during a Brazilian butt lift, they’ll be so small that they’ll be barely noticeable. Donor sites may have a couple of incisions located in natural creases in your skin, measuring just a few millimeters. The incisions made in your buttocks may be even shorter.

Once incisions have closed, you can help reduce the appearance of any scars by using products designed for this purpose. Silicone scar creams and sheeting can both help, but the best advice most surgeons would probably give you is to follow the scar care instructions they give you closely and keep your scars out of the sun. Sun exposure will make scars look, and feel, worse.

How do I sleep after surgery?

Any direct pressure on the buttocks can compromise the healing process, preventing new blood vessels to form in the transferred fat. Most likely, you’ll be told to avoid lying on your back for a couple of weeks after surgery. That means you’ll probably have to sleep on your front. You may be able to sleep on your side, but you’ll need to change positions frequently since there is still some pressure on one butt cheek when on your side.

The same goes for sitting. Of course, it might be difficult to avoid sitting altogether. So, if you can’t avoid sitting down, simply place a pillow or two beneath your thighs to limit the pressure on your buttocks and shift positions every 15 minutes.

How long will results last?

After you’ve recovered from your procedure and have achieved the results you wanted, your Brazilian butt lift results will last for a long time. However, weight fluctuations and aging will affect your results. You can maintain your results by following a healthy lifestyle.

Should I get a Brazilian butt lift or butt implants?

This depends on your goals and if you have enough fat. Most of the time, patients have enough fat to achieve their desired results. However, if you don’t, then you may need butt implants instead. Keep in mind, though, that butt implants are related to more risks, including capsular contracture (formation of excess scar tissue around the implant that), implant displacement and seroma/hematoma (fluid/blood collection). Butt implants are also not considered to be lifetime devices. Much like breast implants, you should plan on having them replace sometime in the future.

How many cc’s can I get injected?

Rather than looking at the maximum amount you can have injected, consider the amount that would look good on you instead. You might get great results with just 200cc, or you might need 1000cc to get the fullness you want. Your surgeon will let you know how much fat is removed and re-injected before your surgery.

What if I don’t like my results? Can I get them fixed?

Brazilian butt lift results can be reversed, although it will require another surgery to do this. The unwanted fat can be removed with liposuction. Other issues, like asymmetry in shape/size, indentations or inadequate volume, can also be resolved, usually by adding more fat. You should talk to your surgeon to find out what their financial policy is regarding touchups and corrections before your surgery.

When can I start exercising again after surgery?

This depends on your surgeon. Some recommend just 2 weeks while others say about 6 weeks. Either way, you should always wait until your surgeon has cleared you. Always start off with light, low impact cardiovascular exercise, like walking, and gradually add more to your regimen. Strength training, like squats and lunges, should be added last. In fact, some surgeons may tell you to not do any strength training until 2 months after surgery. Once you’ve recovered fully, you’ll be able to get back to all the exercises you did before your surgery. There won’t be any limitations on activities.

Will exercise ruin my results?

Exercise and diet can impact your results because, after all, it is fat we’re talking about. While you may experience some fat loss if you lose weight, you’ll notice that it’s proportional. That means your butt may get smaller, but so will the rest of your body. You should also note that you’ll never lose fat cells — they just get smaller.

Exercises like squats, stepups, lunges and deadlifts, are all helpful in building up the gluteal muscles ("glutes”). They’ll tone up your bum!


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