Implants vs Brazilian Butt Lift

An increasing number of women are looking to have a bigger, curvier butt and cosmetic surgery offers two great ways to perform butt augmentation. They are fat transfer and butt implants.

Butt augmentation via fat transfer, otherwise known as a Brazilian butt lift, is a method where the patient’s own fat is used to enhance the shape of his or her butt. It is a common procedure that involves performing liposuction to harvest excess fats on areas where they are unwanted such as the abdomen, back, thighs and flanks. Once removed, the fat is then purified and finally injected back into the butt area to add desired volume.

Implants are an alternative for patients who don’t have enough excess fat for a Brazilian butt lift. Like breast implants, butt implants also come in different shapes, texture and sizes. They can either be round or oval (anatomical) as well as smooth or textured and they are made of semi-solid silicone. Semi-solid silicone is a very durable material designed to prevent the implant from rupturing, deflating and spilling every time the patient sits or lies down. Butt implant surgery begins with the surgeon making an incision in the butt area and creating a pocket to hold the implant in place. The implant can then be inserted above or underneath the gluteus maximus which is the major muscle of the butt. Once the implant is in place, the incision is closed using sutures. Liposuction may or may not be needed to enhance the results.

In general, fat transfer is considered the gold standard of butt augmentation and contouring. It is safe and comes with very few complications but its main problem has always been its indication. The technique is not for patients who don’t have enough excess fat to transfer in the butt area. A very fit patient should not undergo fat transfer because more than half of the transferred fat will melt away a few months after the operation. It will be like the patient did not undergo butt augmentation at all.

If fat transfer is not indicated, the alternative is using butt implants. They carry quite a number of complications, and maintenance is required, so they should be considered only by those who absolutely have no excess fat to transfer. Some patients who do not want implants chose to gain some weight first in order to have enough excess for a fat transfer operation.

Fat Transfer Pros and Cons:

For fat transfer, the main advantage is that it enables the plastic surgeon to contour the patient’s overall body shape. Contouring is done with the help of liposuction where excess fat is removed on several areas depending on the patient’s needs. The amount of fat removed is based on how much is available and how much bigger the patient wants his or her butt to be. Typically, at least 500cc of fat is required to produce a significant improvement. On the average, patients receive around 800cc per butt cheek. Fat transfer is also said to produce results that look and feel more natural than butt implants. Overall, the procedure itself is much safer to perform than an implant surgery and the healing and recovery time is also much shorter. While either technique can produce potentially permanent results, butt implants are more likely to require additional revision surgeries in the future. Unlike fat transfer, patients will never need to come back to their surgeon years later to get rid of the injected fat because the body will take care of that.

The primary problem with fat transfer is that the longevity of the results is limited by how much of the injected fat tissue survives over time. Some of the injected fat may be absorbed back by the body but a good amount can remain and become permanent as long as the technique was done properly using the right equipment. Occasionally, additional injections are still recommended to deliver the desired results as well as maintain and add to the results. Other issues associated with fat transfer include the risks and complications associated with any other surgery. Despite these risks, surgeons prefer this method because the benefits far outweigh any risks.

Butt Implant Pros and Cons:

One of the advantages of butt implants is that it provides longer-lasting results. Like breast implants, the improvements should not be considered absolutely permanent. Surgery to replace implants is usually needed around 10 years after they were placed.

Even if the implant surgery is a success, one disadvantage is that they don’t feel as natural as fat transfer results. Butt implants do not have a soft feeling to them and they are even described as having a hard and rubbery feel. Also, a longer recovery time is required and sitting and being on the back is limited until there is adequate healing.

Butt implants tend to have more side effects and these include implant displacement, implant rupture, capsular contracture and fluid collection around the implant.

Combining the Two Methods

Some surgeons opt to use a combination of fat transfer and butt implants. The combination treatment involves placing the implant underneath the butt muscle then topping it off with some of the patient’s own fat for a more natural feel. The results will not be as good as when fat transfer is used alone but the patient will look better.

Given all the facts about fat transfer and butt implants, some surgeons will tell you that one technique is better than the other. But all things being equal, neither option is superior. Butt augmentation is a relatively new area of cosmetic surgery and both surgeons and patients are still figuring out which is the best approach. As long as the technique is done properly by an experienced and board-certified surgeon, both fat transfer and butt implants can work perfectly well.