What is a buttock augmentation?

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I don't fully get it: is a buttock augmentation the same as a butt lift? If not, how does a butt augmentation differ? I see a lift as being a procedure where a sagging bottom is surgically 'lifted' the same way a facelift would work. But an augmentation? How can the buttocks be augmented? Are fillers used? Again, excuse my ignorance but new terminology comes about so quickly that it's hard to stay current—especially when a lot of the new terms mean the same thing as an existing term that, for whatever reason, no one uses anymore!


F, 48, New Jersey

Dear Sabby7171:

You are soooo right! Why call it a Brazilian Butt Lift if it’s filling the buttock with fat or a Sculptra Butt Lift when Sculptra firms the skin. Let’s try to make sense of some of this….


The "Brazilian" Butt Lift is a combination of tumescent liposuction achieving reduction sculpturing or contouring of the trunk to minimize the thickness of the waist and tummy. It also removes fat from the back rolls and the outer thigh projection to re-frame the buttock which now appears fuller and perkier against a smaller body and thigh width.  The harvested fat is cleansed and re-injected into the buttock tissues to augment volume and contour the shape you desire. So it’s really a Butt Augmentation and body reduction using your fat which was removed when contouring your trunk and thighs. You can also add an implant deep under the fatty tissues as a Butt Augmentation as well.


Decades ago, a before fat grafting, a Butt Lift was really a Butt Tuck as it removed the lower tissue excess of a sagging buttock and tucked the smaller, perkier residual mound into the gluteal (ie., under the buttock) fold. Today following massive weight loss, an incision is made completely around the circumference of the trunk during a Body Lift and the excess remove from the front called a Tummy Tuck; the excess in the back is shaped and under the upper buttock and elevated. Ah ha, a true buttock lift with flap augmentation. The sides of the upper thigh are lifted (not part of the “body-lift” per se).


Just to add to the confusion, a breast lift is not lifted at all but pushed up and tucked from underneath.


Just marketing but confusing!


Good luck with your journey!


Dean Kane, MD, FACS




You're not alone! This is because in the plastic surgery industry, we have used the term "Brazilian buttlift" to refer to a buttock augmentation/shaping with fat grafting - obviously, the BBL term is easier to use and sounds "sexier." The BBL procedure does not so much lift a sagging buttock as increase volume and projection and achieve shaping of the areas of the torso where the liposuction was done. This can all come together to give the appearance of a more voluptuous, more youthful, and pleasing shape to the buttock. However, it is not the same as a true surgical lift which is often done for patients with massive weight loss or excess skin, where we make an incision in the lower back and remove extra tissue in order to actually raise the remaining skin and fat of the buttock.


Buttock augmentation is most commonly done with the patient's own fat or with implants, though some surgeons have strong preferences for one or the other. I have seen colleagues use long acting fillers like Sculptra either to supplement the patient's own fat, or as a touchup after a prior BBL, or in patients who refuse surgery. I have not used Sculptra in that location but would have concerns as to how effective it would be for long term gluteal enhancement when compared to a well performed BBL.

-- Dr. Sayed

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Thank you for sharing your question.  The terms can certainly be very confusing.  A Butt Lift would be Surgical Skin removal above the buttocks, similar to a Body Lift, but it would only involve the back side.  A Brazilian Butt Lift is a form of Butt Augmentation by using the fat of the same patient that was collected by a Liposuction procedure.  This procedure offers a fuller, rounder Buttock, which does create a lift.  Another form of Buttock Augmentation would be Buttock Implants.  There is no fat grafting involved.  This procedure is commonly performed when a patient simply does not have enough body fat to be able to achieve a good result for a Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery.  I hope this was helpful to you.  

Best Wishes, Dr. B. 


Do not be embarrassed. Descriptions can be confusing.

A buttock lift is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and subcutaneous tissue (fat). You can add fat grafting (from liposuction) to improve buttock shape if you want.

A buttock augmentation is adding fat or an implant to improve  and/or enlarge shape. The term BBL or Brazilian Butt Lift is using fat graftiing to augment the buttock.



Jack Peterson MD