A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a cosmetic surgery to augment a flat or sagging buttock to provide a fuller and shapelier silhouette. BBL uses liposuction to remove excess fat from the patient’s own body from areas such as the thighs, abdomen or love handles and then injects it into the butt cheeks.
Patients with small and disproportionate buttocks, asymmetrical buttocks and flat or saggy buttocks may be good candidates for the Brazilian butt lift. Patients should be near their ideal body weight with enough fat on portions of the body that can be removed and transferred into the buttocks. The patient should have good skin tone and elasticity as well.
Patients who are very thin might not be good candidates for the Brazilian butt lift since they may not have enough fat available for a fat graft. Patients who do not have enough fat may be a better candidate for butt implants or a combination of implants and fat grafting. Patients with certain health conditions may not be suitable for the procedure due to the potential increase in risks and complications. Anyone interested in a BBL should check with their doctor to make sure they are in good overall health before having the procedure.
Harvested fat is measured in cubic centimeters or ccs. The number of ccs needed for the procedure depends on the patient’s desired outcome. The average patient typically gets about 580cc of injectable fat per cheek. Patients with a substantial quantity of fat distribution may be able to get 1000ccs of fat per cheek.
The surgeon makes small incisions in the predetermined areas and then inserts a 3mm cannula into the incisions. A solution of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine, along with the motion of the cannula, helps to break up the fat cells. The fluid and fat cells will be extracted through the cannula. The fat is carefully processed and purified using decanting and centrifugation. Small amounts of the purified fat are transferred to the buttocks via injections at various depths.
To get enough fat, the surgeon may need to liposuction two or three areas of the patient’s body since not all of the extracted fat cells will qualify for re-injection. Scarring differs per patient but will generally be less than 1 cm in length. The scars will fade over time and, with proper care, will become virtually unnoticeable.
Although a portion of the fat which is re-injected will naturally be absorbed by the body, the results from a Brazilian butt lift can last up to 20 years. However, natural aging can change the shape of the buttock so the patient needs to sustain a stable and healthy body weight to maintain the results. Significant fluctuations in weight can impact the look and feel of the buttocks since the injected fat behaves like the rest of the fat in the body.
Patients should not need touch-ups after their Brazilian butt lift. This depends on the skill of the surgeon in harvesting, processing and injecting the fat properly. Surgeons who are not properly skilled may cause asymmetry in the cheeks due to improper technique or fat loss. These situations may result in a need for further surgeries to correct the issue.
BBL is a relatively safe procedure with less risks and downtime than other butt enhancement procedures because the fat comes from the patient’s own body. There is a lower risk of infection and of the body rejecting the transferred fat. There are some common risks including bruising, swelling, numbness, fat embolism, scarring, poor wound healing, stretch marks and a partial loss of the fat graft.
When it comes to recovering from a Brazilian butt lift, patients need to avoid sitting on the buttocks for at least two weeks. After the two week period, a pillow can be used under the thighs to keep pressure off the buttocks when sitting for short periods of time. Furthermore, patients must not sleep on their back during the recovery period. A compression garment will be worn for up to 6 weeks to help maintain any swelling and bruising and to help drape the skin over the newly shaped buttocks. Patients can generally return to work in about 10-14 days depending on the amount of sitting required by the job. However, swelling can persist for up to 3 months after the procedure.
The average cost of a BBL can be anywhere from $2000-$10,000. The total price depends on the skill level of the surgeon, the geographic location where the surgery is performed, any facility fees and the number of areas being liposuctioned.