A Brazilian Butt Lift, also know as a Brazilian Butt Fill, is the most common procedure for buttock augmentation. Through gentle liposuction, excess fat is removed from a donor site such as the abdomen, hips or thighs and is strategically injected into the layers of the buttocks using a precise method to ensure natural looking results. The Brazilian Butt Lift is the often the preferred method for buttock augmentation by plastic surgeons because the technique utilizes the patient’s own fat and has a significantly reduced complication rate as compared to butt implants.
Buttock augmentation (also known as a Brazilian Butt Lift) is a procedure performed to enhance the shape of a flat or poorly developed buttocks. Popular amongst both men and women, buttock augmentation has become one of the most requested procedures in Los Angeles and Orange County.
In the same fashion that many women will increase the size of their breasts for better proportion, many patients find that the size of their buttocks is inadequate for their figure. Many patients visit our office frustrated that no amount of diet and exercise will shape their rears in the way they desire. Now, the Brazilian Butt Lift is helping these men and women solve this once impossible problem! Our patients say their clothes fit better, they feel sexier, and their confidence levels are greatly improved with a fuller, shaped derriere.
The Brazilian Butt Lift is an advanced form of fat grafting utilizing excess fat from other areas of the body, which act as donor sites. These sites most often include the abdomen, hips, back or thighs. During the buttock augmentation process, fat cells are removed from the donor sites with a gentle liposuction technique. Fat cells are then processed and prepared for fat transfer to the buttocks. Fat injections are placed into the different layers of the buttocks using small incisions and advanced technique to ensure a smooth, natural looking result.
Brazilian buttock augmenation is often preferred over it's alternative -- butt implants. Patients prefer the idea of using one’s own fat to add volume and shape to their rears. With the Brazilian butt lift, there is no chance of the body rejecting the fat cells. But the cells are sensitive and require careful and meticulous handling by an experienced buttocks augmentation surgeon. The fat must be placed strategically through tunnels in layers for smooth and natural result. Patients also enjoy the added benefit of body contouring that the liposuction of the donor site provides.
The Brazilian butt lift, usually performed under general anesthesia and requires between one and a half to two hours in the operating room. An important consideration for buttock augmenation is the availability of donor sites. While fat is usually in abundance, some people may not have extra fat available. In this instance, fat transfer to the buttocks is not an option and the use of butt implants should be considered. The amount of fat transferred depends upon your individual aesthetic goals, and donor site availability. This will be discussed with your surgeon during your consultation.
The Brazilian butt lift is well tolerated and requires minimal downtime. Discomfort is mild and is easily relived by prescribed pain medication. Unlike butt implants, after fat transfer to the buttocks, patients are able to sit soon after surgery. Compression garments are to be worn for 3-4 months after surgery to reduce swelling and ensure optimal results. Patients are able to return to exercise and normal activities after 2 weeks and usually return to work after 3-5 days.
When performing fat transfer to the buttocks it is important to be aware that some of the fat injected may be absorbed by the body within 6-8 weeks after surgery. Because of these findings, plastic surgeons specialized in the Brazilian butt lift will inject extra fat into the buttocks for a fuller affect initially. There is no way to predict the rate of absorbtion. In some cases, patients may require additional liposuction and fat transfer. Aside from absorption, occasionally a minor touch-up may be necessary to correct minor irregularities or asymmetry.
Other possible, but uncommon complications include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, and scarring.
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A growing number of buttock augmentation surgeries are performed with the technique called Brazilian butt lift in which the patient’s own fats (typically derived from the tummy and flanks) are used to reshape her derriere. However, individuals who are naturally thin are not good candidates for the said procedure.
Using buttock implants is another way to reshape the area; this technique is particularly ideal for patients with very little excess fat and/or those who want larger augmentation.
Unlike breast implants which are linked to leakage and its subsequent complications, buttock implants are made of soft but solid/form-stable silicone gel that makes them resistant to rupture. In fact, under the best circumstances their results are supposed to last a lifetime, according to some surveys.
Contrary to popular belief, buttock implants can provide natural-looking results as long as their size and shape is within the confines of the patient’s underlying anatomies. The general rule of thumb, as suggested by celebrity Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili, is to avoid prostheses that are too large for the frame.
Using smaller and comfortable butt implants, he adds, not only delivers natural results but also minimizes the risk of complications such as palpability, rippling, wound breakdown, and poor healing.
Choosing a conservative implant size is almost necessary with buttock augmentation because it involves the gluteus maximus muscles, which are noted for their strength and large surface area. Thus the muscles are less forgiving if the implants are too big for the underlying anatomy, increasing the reoperation rate.
For patients with a flat derriere—i.e., they have insufficient buttock muscle or “coverage”—the leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon says that implants bigger than 500 cubic centimeters can increase the risk of complications and often require immediate reoperation.
While some buttock implants are round, Dr. Smaili says for the vast majority of patients the oval or “egg-shaped” implants are the ideal choice if the goal is to achieve natural results.
Some oval implants even have more volume in their bottom part, thus resembling a teardrop, so they can reshape the buttocks in a way that the mid part has the most projection.
But regardless of the implant’s contour, the prosthesis can only reshape the upper half of the buttocks due to its placement. Dr. Smaili says the idea is to position the device above the sitting area where it will not receive unnecessary pressure that could affect its long-term stability.
There are two safe and effective ways to perform buttock augmentation surgery: Brazilian butt lift in which fat grafts are injected to reshape the area, and butt implant in which a synthetic prosthesis is used to augment one’s derriere.
Brazilian Butt Lift
The results of Brazilian butt lift are supposed to last a lifetime or at least 10 years. But to achieve a near permanent outcome it is important for the new blood supply to form within and around fat grafts.
Dr. Tarick Smaili, one of the leading Los Angeles plastic surgeons, says the results obtained between one and three months are most likely to be permanent. Nevertheless, the surrounding tissue absorbs a small percentage of fat injections, thus a slight over-correction is a common practice, he further explains.
A good blood supply is needed for the long-term survival of fat grafts, thus correct injection of fat cells plays a crucial role. The general rule of thumb, according to Dr. Smaili, is to inject them at a varying level and with minute spaces between them so that blood vessels can form and flourish within and around them.
Other variables that affect the survival rate of fat grafts include manner of harvesting, i.e., gentle liposuction is imperative while collecting them, purification to separate any contamination, and correct postop care that encourages new blood vessels to form around the microinjections of fat.
The rule of thumb is to avoid prolonged sitting for at least three weeks to make sure the grafts will not shift or “die” due to the excessive pressure or compression.
Buttock Implant Surgery
The butt implants sold in the US are made of soft but highly cohesive silicone polymer (i.e., solid or form stable), so they do not leak unlike those used in breast implants. For this reason, under best circumstances the surgery’s results are near permanent.
Despite their solid silicone makeup, today’s buttock implants have a “squishy” natural feel but nonetheless slightly firmer, almost resembling the gluteal muscle of someone who works out a lot.
Butt implants can remain for the duration of the patient’s life, and the only time they should be removed and/or replaced is when they rotate, become infected, or form thick internal scar tissue called capsular contracture.
Because infection is linked to high reoperation rate, many surgeons recommend the use of antibiotics. Other ways to minimize the risk include the use of sterile equipment and facility at the time of surgery, proper wound closure, and correct postop care.
The consensus among plastic surgeons is that Brazilian butt lift is generally a safer way to augment flat-looking buttocks compared with silicone butt implant surgery in which an artificial prosthesis is placed within the soft tissue. Nevertheless, the ideal “approach” depends on many variables including the patient’s goals and motives, amount of excess fat, and her anatomies.
The notable “safety” of Brazilian butt lift stems from the use of the patient’s own fat, which eliminates the risk of adverse reaction and rejection that are associated with the use of artificial implants.
Nevertheless, the most important way to minimize risks associated with any type of plastic surgery is to consult only with board-certified plastic surgeons—i.e., considered to be the “elite members” because they have passed the rigorous exams of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Board-certified Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili explains some of the common risks from Brazilian butt lift and the corresponding ways to avoid or at least reduce their incidence.
* As with any surgery, infection could happen because an incision makes it possible for germs to get through the protective layer of skin. But one way to significantly minimize the risk is to postpone any elective operation if the patient is sick or has a medical condition that predisposes her to poor wound healing.
Pre- and post-operative antibiotics, proper wound care, and good hygiene can further minimize the risk of infection.
* Low survival rate of fat. While it is common for some of the transferred fat to be reabsorbed by the body within months, patients can increase its survival rate by avoiding pressure to the buttocks area. The usual guideline is to avoid prolonged sitting for at least three weeks and use a donut-shaped cushion thereafter so the grafts can form their new blood supply.
Avoiding “pressure” for a couple of weeks can also prevent fat grafts from shifting and causing asymmetry.
* Despite avoiding pressure to the buttocks during the initial healing phase, some patients may still develop irregularities due to the unpredictability of fat reabsorption. For this reason, a minor touch-up is occasionally needed after a Brazilian butt lift surgery.
* Any type of surgery involves bleeding, although this can be avoided through proper patient selection—i.e., the patient should have no medical condition that affects her healing, not a smoker, does not use blood-thinners such as aspirin 2-3 weeks before the procedure, and avoids strenuous activities during the initial healing phase.