Complete Guide to the Brazilian Butt Lift: Techniques, Recovery, and Results
Table of Contents
- Quick Facts
- A brief history of butt enhancement
- How the procedure is performed
- The advantages and benefits of BBL
- Ideal candidates
- 10 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Brazilian Butt Lift
- Your week by week recovery timeline
- Weight changes after recovery
- Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery: 12 Important Instructions
- Results: What to expect
- Side effects & risks
- Latest techniques and scientific studies
- Brazilian butt lift FAQs
- What’s the difference between a butt lift and Brazilian butt lift?
- Do I have to be a certain BMI to be considered a Brazilian butt lift candidate?
- How long is the Brazilian butt lift surgery?
- Where will the fat be taken from?
- Will a Brazilian butt lift give me an hourglass figure?
- Do I have to stop smoking before my surgery?
- I have cellulite. Will a Brazilian butt lift make it worse?
- Where will the scars be?
- How do I sleep after surgery?
- How long will results last?
- Should I get a Brazilian butt lift or butt implants?
- How many cc’s can I get injected?
- What if I don’t like my results? Can I get them fixed?
- When can I start exercising again after surgery?
- Will exercise ruin my results?
- Find a BBL Specialist
- Unlike a traditional butt enhancement, which uses implants, BBL involves collecting fat from one area of the body and transferring it to the buttocks.
- This technique is far more customizable to a patient’s body than traditional butt enhancement, ensuring that results are tailored to meet expectations.
Recovering from a BBL procedure requires two weeks of rest, avoiding sitting as much as possible.
If your job involves sitting for extended periods of time, it can take up to four weeks before being able to return to work.
Within six to eight weeks, most patients are able to resume regular exercise and other physical activities.
- After the procedure, the buttocks are immediately larger.
- Full results are visible roughly three months following the procedure as swelling decreases and the transferred fat stabilizes.
- The most common BBL complications are minor and temporary. These include swelling, discomfort, and bruising.
- That said, Brazilian butt lifts also carry the risk of more severe complications like blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and infection.
- Depending on your needs, your doctor, and where you live, the cost of the procedure will vary.
- The price of a Brazilian butt lift ranges from $2,000 to $15,000. On average, the procedure costs $9,000.
Selecting a plastic surgeon
- While many doctors may offer the procedure, finding a board-certified surgeon that specializes in BBL will help minimize the risk of complications.
In recent years the number of Brazilian butt lift (BBL) procedures performed in the United States has grown at an exceptionally fast rate, rising an impressive 26% between 2015 and 2016.
Here's everything you need to know about this increasingly popular procedure.
A brief history of butt enhancement
Over the last 20 years, the BBL (also referred to as “fat transfer to buttocks” or “Brazilian buttock augmentation”) has become so popular that it has shifted from being a relatively obscure procedure to one of the most popular mainstream cosmetic surgery options.
In fact, butt lifts and butt injections in general were so rare prior to the year 2000, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons didn’t even track them. So what changed?
The shift began with breast implants. Although the idea of augmenting the breasts has been around since the 1890s, using the same technique to augment and enhance the buttocks was not explored 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 then trialled a new and improved implant suitable for the gluteal area, specifically designed for placement between the skin and the outermost muscle layer. These prosthetics provided better results, but not significantly, leaving many patients disappointed.
Shortly thereafter, surgeons realized that there was more complexity to this part of human anatomy than a single layer of muscle. Pioneering 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 previous buttock enhancement procedure that had preceded it. But it still didn’t quite achieve the desired result, and surgeons continued to experiment with other buttock augmentation techniques.
The next development came in the form of a more appropriate location for the implants -- the “intramuscular implant.” Similar to a submuscular gluteoplasty, the intramuscular implant is placed within the layers of muscle, only closer to the surface, providing it with 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 and mobile part of the body. These limitations ultimately led South American cosmetic surgeons to develop new techniques using fat transfer instead.
In the early 1990s, as liposuction techniques continued to improve, Brazilian surgeon Dr. Ivo Pitanguy devised a new approach to buttock enhancement -- by using fat taken from another part of the body (a procedure known as 'autologous fat transfer') to successfully shape and lift the buttocks.
This created what is now popularly referred to as the Brazilian butt lift.
How the procedure is performed
The Brazilian butt lift uses liposuction to remove unwanted, extra fat from locations on the body near the buttocks. That fat is then injected it into the buttocks to give it a more aesthetically pleasing contour.
In essence, the Brazilian butt lift is actually a two-phase surgery:
Phase 1: Liposuction
During the first segment of the procedure, fat is extracted through liposuction. Because areas of excess unwanted fat are targeted in this part of the surgery, the BBL has the added bonus of improving your overall body shape and appearance, not only enhancing your buttocks.
The most common fat donor sites are the stomach, inner thighs and lower back -- where troublesome “love handles” are found.
These are not the only areas that can be used as donor sites, but they tend to be where fat is the most abundant. Sometimes fat can even be taken from several separate locations to make sure there is a sufficient quantity for the transfer.
Regardless of where the fat is taken from, it is extracted evenly from both sides to ensure the body remains symmetrical. Once enough fat has been removed, it is processed and cleaned to remove impurities, tissues and fluids.
Phase 2: Fat transfer
The second part of the procedure entails a number of injections of your own purified fat back into your buttocks. Your surgeon sculpts the entire area, rendering your gluteal region larger, rounder, and perkier.
The entire procedure usually takes a minimum of 2 hours, but you can expect it to take several hours longer if you're seeking more dramatic change. This time frame can be affected by a range of different factors, including the following:
- The quantity of fat that needs to be removed
- The length of the process of purifying the fat before re-injection
- The extent of contouring required for your buttocks
When the procedure is completed, you'll likely experience swelling and bruising that lasts for several weeks. Any pain or discomfort after the surgery will be controlled with prescription medication.
The results of the procedure will be immediately apparent after surgery. However, it's important to remember that your backside will be swollen for some weeks afterwards, and will decrease slightly in size over the course of your recovery.
Your final results, and the size of your new butt, will be fully apparent after approximately 3 months of recovery and healing.
The Brazilian butt lift provides results that look and feel totally natural (unlike silicone buttock implants, which can sometimes be visible or palpable), without impacting on movement in any way, and with zero risk of allergic reaction — all because your own fat is used to augment the area.
Over the last few decades, this technique has been refined and seen an increase in popularity, transforming what was once an obscure, uncommon, and intensive procedure into a relatively short outpatient surgery with a remarkably quick recovery phase.
The advantages and benefits of BBL
The Brazilian butt lift is a unique procedure, because it gives your buttocks a more appealing shape and contour using fat derived from your own body.
Since the fat that is eventually grafted into your bottom is extracted from other areas of your body, the BBL provides an ideal solution for people who would like more shapely glutes but would also like to refine their midsection with liposuction. Moreover, as the fat used for injection is your own tissue, there is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection.
Of course, it's also important to keep in mind that you need sufficient fat cells to achieve the desired results. Those who don't have enough fat may need to consider implants instead.
These are some of the main benefits that BBL surgery offers:
- 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 surgery
One of the most significant drawbacks of implants is that they are molded to specific sizes and volumes. This creates limitations with respect to the range of options available. A BBL, however, offers much more freedom in terms of controlling the exact shape and size of your new buttocks.
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.
Once the fat has been removed, purified, and is ready for injection, your surgeon can carefully control the amount that is injected, using enough to allow for the fullness and shape you want, exactly where you want it.
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 with your body's blood supply, the full results start to reveal themselves.
Once you've completely recovered, you'll be able to enjoy your new buttocks for years to come. In fact, many patients have found that with the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, their results are permanent. However, aging and weight fluctuations can detrimentally affect results.
The Brazilian butt lift is a versatile procedure suitable for a wide variety of body types. That said, there are some specific criteria that make certain individuals ideal candidates for this particular kind of lift.
Ideal candidates for a BBL are:
- Aged between 18 and 50
- In a good state of mental and physical health
- No more than 30 pounds over their ideal weight
Unfortunately, the Brazilian butt lift isn't suitable for everyone. Anyone with a petite frame and insufficient fat in the flanks, stomach, or thighs, is a poor candidate for the BBL. Some surgeons will even encourage patients who are too thin and don't want implants to gain some weight.
Individuals who are excessively overweight are also poor candidates. Liposuction, which constitutes the first half of this surgery, isn't designed as a weight loss procedure -- it slims your figure, removing stubborn fat deposits that cannot be eradicated with diet or exercise. Therefore, you will need to be within 25 to 30 pounds of your ideal weight to qualify for this portion of the BBL.
Anyone with a bleeding disorder or diabetes will also be a poor candidate, since liposuction involves the removal of a significant quantity of blood and other bodily fluids.
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
- Set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
This provides the perfect opportunity for you to address any concerns you might have about the procedure, enquire about the surgical facility and see if you feel comfortable with the staff.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
Proper hydration and nutrition can help to boost your immune system, making your body strong for the procedure and recovery.
- Keep your stress levels under control.
Activities like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are all excellent 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.
- Purchase food and other home essentials in the days before the procedure.
You’re not going to be able to run errands afterwards. Make sure your kitchen is fully stocked, and any other household responsibilities are taken care of ahead of time.
- Stop taking all medications and supplements that work as blood thinners.
Two weeks before surgery, this includes aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Plavix, and diet pills.
- Get your prescriptions filled at the local pharmacy.
You will not feel up to getting the prescriptions filled in the days after surgery. Be sure to bring them with you on the day of your surgery.
- Drink prune juice or take stool softeners.
Starting this a couple of days before your surgery will minimize the likelihood of constipation occurring as a result of the medication you are prescribed.
- A few days before your BBL, wash the donor and injection sites with antibacterial soap.
Be sure to wash with a strong scrubbing action for several minutes, at least twice a day to make sure that it is scrupulously clean for the operation. This helps to reduce the risk of infection.
- 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 exacerbate the pain by trying to force your swollen body back into tight clothing.
- Stay in contact with your doctor throughout your pre-surgical preparation.
You will probably have a few questions arise as you are getting ready for surgery. Your surgeon should be your go-to source.
Your week by week recovery timeline
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. Knowing what to expect and how long healing takes on average can help put your mind at ease.
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 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 the fat with 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 remain 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 several weeks, but start taking light walks as soon as you feel you’re able to. Getting up and moving around for even a short time can help to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
Your buttocks may look larger than you planned, but that’s normal due to swelling and over injection of fat (to compensate for fat loss). The size will reduce over time.
Many 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. If you have a desk job, it's better that you continue to rest at home, or see if you can work from 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 doing some light weight training.
As long as you avoid any exercises that specifically target your buttocks, your recovery shouldn't be negatively impacted by increasing your activity level.
Weeks 4 - 5
By week 4, it is usually safe to sit again. But you’ll still need to be mindful of what you're sitting on and how long you remain in a position: any long sitting sessions should be on a nice soft cushion.
You can also start adding more difficult and strenuous exercises to your activity regime. Try cycling -- with a well cushioned seat, of course. Swimming is another great fitness option that is 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 recovery, you'll most likely feel healed enough to return to your normal activities. Your transferred fat cells should be stable and strong enough to handle the stress of everyday life. That includes more intense fat-burning exercises, like jogging. Athletes will be able to rejoin their teams and enjoy outdoor sports like soccer or baseball once again.
Weight changes after recovery
Recovery is greatly assisted by maintaining a state of good health. It is critical that you continue 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 regular physical activity.
Once you have completely healed from the procedure, the fat that has been transferred to your backside will behave in much the same way as fat throughout the rest of your body. As your weight changes, your sculpted buttocks will change proportionally.
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 essential shape of your new figure should remain the same despite any slight weight losses or gains.
That said, the best way to ensure that your BBL results remain beautiful for years to come is to take care of yourself with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery: 12 Important Instructions
- 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.
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. Roll the towel into a cylindrical shape, then put it under your thighs as you sit down, keeping your weight off your buttocks. Just be careful that you don't cut off the blood supply to your butt, which can also contribute to fat cell death.
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 about often after a few weeks of recovery.
- Avoid driving for a little while.
You already won't be able to sit for longer than a few minutes at a time, and driving is actually much worse than sitting.
As you operate your car, you need to push down on the pedals, which also pushes back against your buttocks and lower back. Since you're applying pressure with your foot, it's actually causing more pressure on your buttocks than if you were simply sitting there passively. For this reason, you should stay out of the driver's seat for at least a few weeks after your BBL.
- No smoking.
You should never smoke before or after any kind of medical procedure, but it can be especially detrimental in the case of a BBL.
Smoking has a negative impact on the way your blood moves essential oxygen and nutrients to the various parts of your body. During your BBL recovery, the fat moved into your buttocks forges connections with your blood stream. Smoking directly interferes with this, making it harder for your body to form new blood vessels, and significantly reduces 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 avoid passive smoking as well.
- Avoid squats or stretches.
During the first part of your recovery, these movements cause shearing and tearing stresses in the tissues of your thighs and buttocks.
- Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding the use of compression garments.
Special medical garments can help keep you comfortable, reduce swelling, and even help your body heal into its new shape.
You might need to wear a compression garment to control swelling caused by the liposuction, and another one on your buttocks 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.
- Get up and walk around as soon as you can after surgery.
Even if you feel stiff, a little movement can help with blood circulation and reduce swelling. Avoid excessive movement however, a gentle walk is all that is necessary.
- Avoid any strenuous activity for the first couple of months.
This ensures that you're not burning off any of the transferred fat before it has 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 surgical site.
- Maintain that nutrient-rich diet you started before the procedure.
Your body will need the extra calories and nutrients to ensure that the transferred fat successfully connects to your blood stream, and to recover from the trauma of surgery. Adding in more healthy fats from salmon, almonds, or avocado, can also be helpful.
Extra fiber can also minimize any potential constipation caused by recovery medications.
- 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 adding sports drinks like Gatorade or Smart Water to your daily diet during the first few months of your recovery.
- Maintain a stable weight.
Weight changes after any kind of fat transfer can have a negative impact on your results, but this is especially true in the case of a Brazilian butt lift.
Significant weight gain after liposuction and fat 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 weight gain is more visible there, rather than on her stomach where the liposuction was performed.
This is because there will be fewer fat cells in her stomach but the same quantity 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.
- Be patient waiting for your results.
There will be a noticeable difference right after your surgery. Your buttocks will appear fuller and rounder immediately, but it's important to keep in mind that these are not your final results.
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, and plan the volume of your injections accordingly. This fat re-absorption will happen over 3 months or so.
- Don't miss your follow up appointments.
A well-trained and experienced eye of your surgeon will be able to identify any problems or concerns before they become serious, and can easily put your mind to rest if you have any questions or concerns during recovery.
Results: What to expect
Brazilian butt lift surgeons love to show before and after photos to highlight the impressive 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 is complete.
While these comparisons show an incredible transformation, they can be rather misleading.
You will, in fact, be able to see a change immediately. Your buttocks will be notably larger. 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. A certain degree of swelling is also to be expected, and this further enlarges the buttocks.
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 some of the volume 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.
Many patients want to know how much fat actually survives. This is a very relevant question to ask, but it's also incredibly difficult to accurately answer. Most conservative estimates put the survival rate of transferred fat at roughly 50%, although many surgeons claim to be able to save a more significant amount. The fat that remains after 3 months of recovery will be your actual final result, not the results immediately after surgery.
There are two major factors that strongly influence how much of the transferred fat can survive: your surgeon's skill and experience, and how you treat your new buttocks during your recovery.
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. Numerous positive Brazilian butt lift reviews and photos support these findings.
Side effects & risks
As with all medical and cosmetic procedures, the Brazilian butt lift involves a certain level of risk. By far, the most common side effects reported by patients are normal, mild and temporary. These generally include:
- Minor discomfort
While mild pain and discomfort is expected, on occasion patients may experience 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 longer lasting complications, including the following:
- Excessive blood loss
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Fat embolism
- Revision surgery
- Lidocaine toxicity
- Complications from liposuction
- Complications from anesthesia
- Seroma or hematoma
- Fat necrosis
- Oil cyst
- Stretch marks
- 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 or too little fat will be reabsorbed by your body. The exact amount largely depends on the skill of your surgeon and your behavior during recovery. Sometimes, the final results after this re-absorption will be poor and require a second procedure to correct the problem.How much does a Brazilian butt lift cost?
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 procedure priced over $9,000. There are a lot of factors that determine the actual, final price you will pay for a BBL, including:
- Your surgeon's knowledge, expertise, and experience
- Where you choose to have your surgery
- Your overall physical health and medical history
- The cost of recovery prescriptions and compression garments
- The type of anesthesia used
Lastly, your insurance coverage can play a role in the price you actually pay. It's unlikely that your health insurance provider will be willing to cover a BBL, since it's considered an elective cosmetic procedure.
That being said, if the BBL is performed as part of a process to correct 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, in advance of your surgery.
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 were of the opinion that 0.6 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 FAQs
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 inserting 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 second 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 an abundance of it. These donor sites usually include the lower back, abdomen, love handles, and upper thighs.
Will a Brazilian butt lift give me an hourglass figure?
Since your surgeon will most likely remove fat from your midsection and thighs, you’ll find you look leaner in these areas following liposuction. You will appear slimmer in the middle but with rounder and larger buttocks, giving you more of an hourglass figure.
Do I have to stop smoking before my surgery?
Yes, it’s usually recommended that smoking be avoided for at least two 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 effect 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 as to 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 is to follow the scar care instructions your surgeon gives 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 you are 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 new buttocks 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 have been linked to more risks, including capsular contracture (formation of excess scar tissue around the implant), implant displacement and seroma/hematoma (fluid/blood collection).
Buttock implants are also not considered to be suitable to remain in your body permanently. Much like breast implants, you should plan on having them replaced sometime in the future.
How many cc’s can I get injected?
Rather than looking at the maximum amount of fat 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?
Although Brazilian butt lifts are not reversible because some of the fat is grafted into the muscles, in some cases the grafted fat can be diminished by liposuctioning the areas around the muscles.
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 touch-ups and corrections before your surgery.
When can I start exercising again after surgery?
This depends on your surgeon. Some recommend just two weeks while others advise 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 instruct you not to do any strength training until two months after surgery. Once you’ve recovered fully, you’ll be able to get back to all the exercise you did before your surgery.
Will exercise ruin my results?
Exercise and diet can have an impact on your results because both have an impact on fat. 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 never lose fat cells — they just get smaller. Exercises like squats, step-ups, lunges and deadlifts, are all helpful in building up the gluteal muscles ("glutes”).
Brazilian buttlifts use a fat transfer method to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks. Using fat instead of implants allows the procedure to be highly customizable, with results that are often closer to patients’ desired butt size and shape.
The level of risk involved with a BBL procedure is higher than with most cosmetic surgeries. Minor temporary issues like bruising and swelling are common and more serious complications like infections, blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis are possible, although relatively rare.
While the recovery process does require one month of minimal sitting, the results of the procedure are immediately noticeable.
Find a BBL Specialist
It’s always important to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon, but procedures that involve an elevated level of risk, like the Brazilian butt lift, absolutely demand the expertise of a certified surgeon for both safety and best results.
Finding a doctor who specializes in Brazillian butt lifts is the best way to get the butt shape and size that you want while minimizing the potential for complications.