Is it safe to get a second Brazilian butt lift?

I had a Brazilian butt lift last year, and I really just want more definition and fullness in my butt. My doctor talked me out of doing something more dramatic, but I’m disappointed. Is it safe for me to have a second Brazilian butt lift or would I be at a higher risk of complications?


F, 36, Utah

IN good hands, you can minimize the risks of BBL. No surgery is 100% safe, and BBL in particular as certain risks that you will need to consider.  Be sure to discuss your goals and concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon and consider the pros and the cons. Be certain your surgeon is properly certified.  

Sometimes after an initial plastic surgery procedure, a second surgery is necessary to touch up the results. In the case of the Brazilian butt lift procedure, this may occur for a number of reasons: it could be that the buttocks were underfilled; it could be that the patient was very thin so there was a limited amount of fat to harvest; or it may be that the fat transferred didn’t take as well as expected.

The Brazilian butt lift is a body contouring procedure and as such requires a large quantity of fat injections into the buttocks. Even in the best-case scenario, only 70% of the fat transfer will survive. Most patients lose up to 40% of the grafted fat cells as their body metabolizes them.

A revision procedure is indeed possible, however, it’s important to recognize that there’s still no absolute guarantee you’ll emerge from it with the results you desire. This operation requires an abundance of fat from your own body to be successful. The surgeon needs to be able to harvest sufficient fat from the original donor site, or fat available from other sites on your body. Another factor that can cause complications in a secondary surgery is the existence of scar tissue in the buttocks from the first operation. Scar tissue does not provide a suitable environment for fat cells to live in.

In order to determine if you would be a suitable candidate for a second Brazilian butt lift, you should set up a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing butt augmentation procedures. This is critical, as plastic surgeons who do not commonly perform the surgery may be more likely to underfill the buttocks.

An experienced surgeon will be able to determine whether you have enough fatty tissue to harvest for a second procedure and if you’re likely to enjoy notably better results from a second surgery.

If you are deemed a good candidate, you will need to wait at least six months after your first surgery to allow for enough post-op recovery time. This enables any residual swelling to resolve, your buttocks to heal, and any internal scar tissue from the first liposuction procedure to soften. Patients who undergo a second Brazilian butt lift procedure are often very satisfied with their final outcome.

However, should your surgeon determine that you’re not a suitable candidate for a secondary Brazilian butt lift procedure, you still have other options to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Butt implants can offer an excellent alternative if you are thin, or have naturally flat buttocks. There are a wide range of implants that can be used to add permanent shape and volume to the buttocks. Another option is to undergo a combination of fat transfer and butt implants to improve on the results of your first butt lift surgery. Your surgeon will help you to formulate a plan to achieve the best results.

Dr. Kimberly Henry has 4 "Brazilian butt lift" before & afters:

» View Dr. Kimberly Henry's full profile

The Brazilian butt lift procedure offers an excellent way of augmenting your buttocks using your body's own fat. However, final results vary from patient to patient because not all of the fat cells that are transferred survive. Approximately 30% of Brazilian butt lift patients undergo a revision procedure to achieve an optimal result.

While a second surgery isn’t out of the question, your doctor will need to harvest enough fat from your body to make the procedure possible. Brazilian butt lift surgery consists of extensive liposuction of the abdomen, hips, flanks and waist, then the separation, cleaning and processing of fat before it’s strategically injected into the gluteal area. Fat grafting from these donor sites often has a more limited yield the second time, due to a scarcity of fat and scar tissue. Nor should you count on gaining weight to generate enough fat for the same sites to be used. It is advisable to wait at least a year to attempt fat transfer from the same donor site. However, if you have sufficient fat in another part of your body, this could be grafted instead.

It is essential to recognize that in order to improve upon your first result, the technique and skill of your plastic surgeon is absolutely critical, as the surgery is more difficult the second time around. I strongly recommend that you find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who has extensive experience performing Brazilian buttock augmentation surgery and revision procedures. Be sure to review the before and after pictures on their website to gain a sense of whether the surgeon you’re considering is capable of delivering the results you desire.

Dr. Jonathan Heistein has 2 "Brazilian butt lift" before & afters:

» View Dr. Jonathan Heistein's full profile

Yes - it is safe to have a second Brazilian Buttock Lift, so long as it is performed by a cosmetic doctor who has experience with the procedure.