What to Expect During Butt Augmentation Recovery
Butt augmentation is a cosmetic procedure used to enhance the shape or size of the buttocks as well as lift a sagging buttock by removing excess hanging skin on those who have lost weight and are left with a slack or shapeless butt. There are three main methods for augmenting the buttocks and they are:
- Brazilian butt lift (BBL)
- Traditional butt lift
Each of these procedures has recovery guidelines which must be followed to alleviate post-surgical complications and to have a successful outcome. Knowing what to expect after butt augmentation surgery can help the recovery period go much smoother.
The recovery period for any buttock augmentation procedure requires plenty of rest, a healthy diet and an adequate supply of water for hydration. Patients will not be permitted to drive home after the procedure so arrangements should be made in advance. After butt augmentation surgery, the patient should expect some pain and bruising in the treatment areas for several days to a week. Swelling can be more persistent and may take several months to dissipate while the body is healing. Patients should stop smoking at least 6 weeks prior to any surgery and avoid smoking during the recovery period. Smoking can cause complications as well as hinder the healing process.
In addition, patients should avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and certain herbal supplements which can thin the blood and cause increased bleeding. During the recovery period, the patient can expect to spend most of the time resting on her stomach since pressure on the buttocks is not recommended. Sleeping on the side is not permitted for the first few weeks because it may cause a shifting of the tissue or implant. Patients should not do anything that exerts pressure or puts a strain on the surgical areas for the first few weeks including bending over, swimming, bathing and soaking in a hot tub.
Recovering patients should be able to resume normal activities and sit for short periods within two to three weeks post-op. Any strenuous exercise and heavy activity should be avoided for 6 weeks or until cleared by the surgeon. Most patients are fully healed between 2-6 months after butt augmentation but it is not advisable to expose the newly healed tissue to the sun for about a year due to the tissue’s sensitivity.
Implants are optimal for patients who desire a larger and more prominent enhancement or for patients with flat butts. Butt implants are also a good option for those with a limited amount of fatty tissue. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision within the natural crease where the cheeks meet the back of the thighs. Other surgeons may choose to make an incision vertically down the buttock crease. A pocket is created for each implant either above or below the gluteal muscle. Implants placed below the muscle are preferable due to a more natural look and feel. In addition, there are less complications in regards to weight fluctuation with implants placed below the muscle. However, the patient may require more recovery time since the muscle is being manipulated during the surgery.
After the implants are placed, the incisions are closed and a drain can be used at the incision points to excrete excess fluid. The surgeon places a compression garment around the buttocks to minimize swelling while supporting the implants and helping the skin re-drape properly. The garment should be worn 24 hours a day for approximately 2 to 3 weeks except when cleansing the area. Patients should avoid sitting on their butt for at least one week and, during the second week, they can sit for short periods of time. Implant patients can generally return to low-intensity jobs within a few days. The drains will be removed about a week after the procedure and the sutures will be removed in approximately 10 days. Patients can usually see the final results approximately 3 months after surgery since it takes time for the swelling to subside and the implants to settle into place.
Brazilian butt lift (BBL) removes unwanted fatty tissue via liposuction from another area of the patient’s body such as the abdomen or thighs. The purified fat is injected back into the buttock. This method provides the patient with an enhanced and shapelier buttock without an implant being placed. However, patients who do not have enough fatty tissue for a transfer may be limited to implants. During the liposuction portion of a BBL, the surgeon makes several small incisions just big enough for the insertion of a cannula. The incisions are so small that they rarely need sutures and will be covered with surgical dressing.
Drains can be used at the incision points to keep fluid from accumulating within the treated areas. Although this procedure is less invasive than implants, the guidelines for the recovery period are a little more complex to achieve optimal results. Compression garments will be worn on all areas including the liposuction regions. The compression garment will be worn 24 hours a day for up to 3 weeks on the buttock area. Patients will not be permitted to sit on their buttocks for at least 2 weeks following the BBL because sitting will damage the newly injected fat. During the third week, patients will be permitted to sit for short periods of time. However, they will be required to use a rolled towel under the legs, at the hamstring muscle to keep the butt from touching the surface.
Although driving is not recommended until 6 weeks after the surgery, patients can drive short distances with a pillow placed behind the legs to raise and keep pressure off the buttocks. Depending on their profession, many patients can return to work two weeks after surgery while using a pillow to sit. A massage regimen may be recommended to help the tissue settle into place. Most of the discoloration and inflammation should subside between by 2 to 6 months post-op and then the final results will be apparent.
Traditional Butt Lift Recovery
Patients who have had significant weight fluctuation resulting in a saggy buttock may benefit from a traditional butt lift. During a traditional butt lift, the surgeon makes an incision in the natural crease of the butt and then lifts the skin to manually remove the excess fatty tissue. The remaining tissue will be sculpted into a rounder and shapelier form. The surgeon may also tighten the underlying muscles. Sutures will be placed deep within the tissue to hold the buttocks in a lifted position. The skin is pulled tight and sutured in place to provide a lifted appearance.
The recovery period for the traditional butt lift is similar to the others in regards to wearing a compression garment, minimal sitting on the buttock and residual swelling which can last a few months. However, due to the invasive nature of the procedure, the recovery may take longer than the other methods. The traditional butt lift can also be performed in combination with implants or a BBL to improve enhancement.