What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
A Brazilian Butt Lift is a popular procedure that combines two different surgical techniques to accomplish one goal: the creation of gorgeous and voluptuous buttocks. BBL’s have become more popular over the past two years as new technologies have made it possible for women with flat or sagging buttocks to achieve a look that’s much more rounded and shapely.
Buttock implants have been in use for some time to create better curves, but the results can look and feel unnatural in comparison with the Brazilian Butt Lift. The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure utilizes the patient’s own fat stores to augment the size and recreate the shape of the rump. This method of using the patient’s own tissues has become more and more popular because the results look natural and are natural. Buttock implants simply can’t rival the appearance and feel of a BBL.
There are obvious advantages to using the patient’s own fat stores over synthetic implants, but BBL patients also enjoy the benefits of body sculpting during the fat harvesting process. The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure is performed in three stages:
- LiposuctionThe first stage involves liposuction and body sculpting. During this stage, the plastic surgeon will harvest fat cells from an area of the body where there is an excess. The waist, inner thighs, or upper arms are commonly targeted areas. The doctor will aim to remove between 4 and 5 liters of fat from different areas of the body during the first stage of a BBL procedure. The body is carefully sculpted by the surgeon so that the new proportions created by the liposuction procedure will look aesthetically pleasing with new, larger and more shapely buttocks.
- Fat ProcessingDuring the second stage of the procedure, the surgeon will take the harvested fat cells and purify and prepare them for transfer into the buttocks. During this phase, some of the fat cells may be rejected by the doctor because they aren’t of high enough quality which is why it’s important that enough fat cells are available for removal during the first phase of the procedure.
- Fat InjectionIn the final phase of the procedure, the doctor transfers the purified fat cells into the buttock-region, placing them carefully within each buttock cheek so that the final outcome looks smooth and natural.
What outcomes can patients expect after a BBL?
After a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, patients report that their clothes fit better and they feel better about their appearance overall. The combination of liposuction (WaterLipo) and fat transfer create a dramatic change in the whole body, not just the buttocks, which is why this is quickly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available to patients today. Below are some of the issues that can be solved by a BBL:
- Asymmetrical buttocks
- Sagging buttocks
- Flat buttocks
- Disproportionately small buttocks
- Irregular buttock shape due to extreme weight loss
Who is a Candidate?
To find out whether you’re a good candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift, you’ll want to begin by visiting a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who specializes in BBL procedures for an initial consultation. The ideal patient has drooping, flat, or sagging buttocks that could be enhanced through a butt lift procedure. Finding out whether you’re a good candidate for the Brazilian Butt Lift begins with a visit to a board certified surgeon for an initial consultation that will take your own unique physiology and physical attributes into consideration.
Generally speaking, the ideal candidate for this procedure will be:
- in good general health
- a non-smoker
- able to avoid alcohol during the pre-op and recovery period
There are other candidacy requirements to consider as well. BBL patients must have enough fat stores on their body for the surgeon to be able to harvest enough cells for the fat transfer procedure. The fat stores have to be distributed in such a way throughout the body as to be accessible to the surgeon using liposuction techniques. In other words, the fat must be stored subcutaneously and not under the abdominal muscles in the visceral organs. Patients who don’t have a lot of excess fat stores may be advised to gain some weight before the butt lift procedure.
Smokers are not good candidates for a Brazilian Butt Lift because smoking diminishes circulation in the body and good circulation is crucial in order for newly transplanted fat cells to survive. Alcohol has similar effects on the body. After a fat transfer procedure, new fat cells must quickly develop a blood supply in order to survive transplantation. Smokers and heavy drinkers are less likely to be able to build the necessary vascular system to feed the new fat cells which can lead to poor results. Prospective patients should consider quitting smoking and abstaining from alcohol before a BBL procedure to ensure the best possible outcomes.
It’s important that patients are in good general health before a BBL procedure because it is a surgical procedure and that means that patients should be able to tolerate anesthesia and the rigors of the surgical process. Diabetics, patients with cardiovascular issues, or patients with other chronic disorders should consult with their plastic surgeon to determine whether a butt lift procedure is right for them.
rospective Brazilian Butt Lift patients should also have realistic expectations about the procedure. Unrealistic expectations about a BBL can lead to disillusionment about the final results. Your surgeon will talk with you about your expectations during the initial consultation to make sure that this procedure is a good fit for you. Though the results from a Brazilian Butt Lift are dramatic, patients should still be able to acknowledge the limitations of this procedure.
How is the procedure performed?
The Brazilian Butt Lift is performed as a three-stage process over the course of about 3 hours (though actual surgical time will vary based on the number of areas of the body treated with liposuction and other factors). Most patients receive local anesthesia and sedation which lessens any risks that might be involved as a result of using general anesthesia.
On the day of the procedure, the patient will arrive at the hospital or clinic and receive a gown. Once the patient has dis-robed and put on the gown, the doctor will make markings on the patient’s body to designate which areas of the body are going to be treated with liposuction and fat transfer. The patient will then be prepped for surgery, receiving local anesthesia in the targeted areas of the body. The patient will receive a sedative that will allow them to be fully conscious throughout the procedure, but still relaxed and pain-free.
The exact surgical details for each patient varies somewhat depending on the number of areas of the body being treated with liposuction. Some patients have several areas of the body treated with liposuction while others have only one. Having more areas of the body treated can increase the amount of time it takes to perform the surgery as well as the position the patient is placed in on the operating table.
During the first stage of the BBL procedure, following the administration of local anesthesia and sedation, the surgeon will perform suction-assisted liposuction on targeted areas of the body. Liposuction is the surgical removal of fat cells through a tiny incision in the skin via a cannula, or a hollow tube, inserted through the incision. Fat cells are suctioned through the tube into a container where they are stored until the second stage of the BBL procedure.
Fat extraction is an essential part of the BBL procedure, but it is also cosmetically significant by itself. During this part of the procedure, the doctor will carefully sculpt the body into a more pleasing form, removing fat from areas where there is an excess so that it can be re-injected into areas that need more (in this case, the buttocks). Many patients have fat cells removed via liposuction from the back (particularly the area right above the buttocks), the abdominals, the waist, the inner thighs, or the upper arms.
In the second stage of the BBL procedure, fat cells that were harvested and placed in a container are carefully prepared for re-injection into the body through centrifugation and decanting. The process by which the fat cells are prepared is proprietary. Each surgeon has his or her own special formula for preparation. The preparation and purification process can lead to an increased rate of fat transplantation success in some instances.
Only about 25% of the fat that’s removed via liposuction will be suitable for transplantation. Most doctors harvest fat cells from at least 2 areas of the body (3 is even better) to guarantee that there will be high-quality fat cells available for transplantation. Only the best donor cells should be transferred to the buttocks during the BBL fat transfer.
The fat re-injection process is the third stage of the BBL procedure. The doctor will begin this stage by putting tiny incisions in the butt cheeks. Fat cells will be inserted into each side of the buttocks using a hollow tube to do micro-fat injections. The doctor carefully works to place fat cells in different regions of the buttocks and at different levels within the gluteal muscles. Surgeons work hard during this stage of the process to create symmetrical results that add volume that looks natural and pleasing to the eye.
The tiny incisions made in the buttocks need not be closed with stitches. They will be small enough that no stitches are necessary and scarring is unlikely. The risk of infection is also diminished by the lack of large incisions required for this procedure.
The Importance of Surgical Technique
Different doctors use different surgical techniques to achieve desirable BBL results. Ask to see before and after photos of BBL patients during your initial consultation. Some doctors focus more on liposuction technique as a way to highlight the buttocks, while other doctors are especially diligent about the methods used to purify fat cells before re-injection into the body. Look for surgeons who have excellent references and before and after pictures that demonstrate competence and a final outcome like the one you hope to achieve.
Cost of the Brazilian Butt Lift
The cost of a Brazilian Butt Lift will vary depending on a number of different factors. It can range anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. This is a big range because a large number of factors can influence the overall cost. Contact at least three different plastic surgeons and get an initial consultation from each of them along with a cost estimate. Choose a surgeon who’s board-certified, adequately trained and experienced with butt lift procedures, and affordable according to your budget. Never choose a plastic surgeon on the basis of cost alone. Below are some tips to help you find an affordable BBL procedure without sacrificing quality:
- Amount of fat extractedThe amount of liposuction required and the number of different areas of the body targeted by liposuction can have an impact on the total cost of a Brazilian Butt Lift. Most surgeons target at least 2 different areas of the body to ensure a high quality of fat cells. Liposuction is an important part of the procedure and requesting that fewer locations on the body be targeted with liposuction can diminish the overall outcome of the procedure. Still, you can talk with your doctor about achieving a cost/outcome balance that you’re comfortable with.
- Surgeon's experienceOther factors that influence the cost of a BBL is the experience and skill of the surgeon, the area of the country where the procedure is performed, the type of anesthetic used, and the cost of renting the facility where the procedure will take place. The skill of the plastic surgeon who performs the BBL procedure is the most important consideration when shopping for a physician. Always look for a board-certified surgeon with a lot of experience performing BBL procedures. Regular practice performing fat-transfers will increase the surgeon’s likelihood of being successful with your fat-transfer procedure.
- The CityThe area of the country where the BBL procedure is performed can play a big role in the cost of the procedure. The bigger the city, the higher the cost of the Brazilian Butt Lift. Plastic surgery practices is less urbanized areas may be able to perform a BBL at a lower cost, but be aware that doctors in less urbanized areas may have less experience performing BBL procedures. Typically, the less urbanized the practice, the fewer fat transfer procedure the doctors there will be performing each month. Choosing a doctor with a lot of practice can increase the odds that your fat transfer procedure will be successful, but it will also cost more. Patients must balance out their desires and choose a situation that works best for them.
- Sedation CostMost patients will be able to undergo a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure without general anesthesia. Instead, the surgeon will locally anesthetize the targeted areas of the body and the patient will be sedated. The use of sedation and local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia significantly reduces the risks involved in surgery and the costs as well. However, some patients may be require general anesthesia. The cost of general anesthesia is higher than the cost of sedation and local anesthesia. Talk with your doctor to determine which type of anesthetic is right for you.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Anesthesia is an important consideration for prospective BBL patients. Typically, local anesthesia is used along with a sedative that allows the patient to be fully conscious but pain-free throughout the procedure. Local anesthesia is injected into the targeted areas of the body. These include not only the buttocks, but areas that will be treated with liposuction. Local anesthesia numbs those areas of the body so that the doctor can perform the necessary surgical techniques without the patient feeling pain.
Sedation is used to help the patient relax during the procedure. IV sedation is commonly used for BBL procedures, though some physicians will administer oral sedation in certain circumstances. IV sedation diminishes the pulmonary risks associated with general anesthesia as well as, reducing the risk of fat embolism, and post-op nausea.
Types of Butt Lift
There are two different types of “butt lift” procedures available to patients. The first type is called a Traditional Excisional Butt Lift. This procedure is much more invasive than a Brazilian Butt Lift and it is designed to treat a different set of issues than the BBL. The Traditional Excisional Butt Lift is used to literally “lift” sagging buttocks. It’s the right choice for patients who have excess skin that’s causing the butt to sag. For example, patients who have lost an excessive amount of weight may have a lot of extra skin in the buttock region. This skin can only be removed through a traditional butt lift procedure.
Types of Traditional Butt Lifts
A traditional butt lift does not involve adding extra volume to the buttocks, although patients can opt to have buttock implants inserted in tandem with the lift. During a Traditional Excisional Butt Lift, a large incision is made and the butt skin, muscle, and subcutaneous fat tissues are pulled upwards and “lifted” (as if pulling up the pants). Excess, drooping skin and fat are removed through surgical excision during the procedure.
Below are the four types of traditional butt lift procedures:
- Upper Butt Lift – This is an intensive surgery that involves an incision across the top of your buttocks. Skin, muscle, and subcutaneous fat tissues are repositioned and then sutured into a more attractive position.
- Bottom Butt Lift – Unwanted tissues are removed from the bottom buttock crease to create a more lifted appearance.
- Butterfly Butt Lift – So-named because of the shape of the incision made from the central crease of the buttocks out and upward in the shape of a butterfly, this procedure aims to tighten tissue that’s sagging. It does not involve the same kind of repositioning or lifting in an Upper Butt Lift.
- Lateral Incision Butt Lift – The surgeon will make an incision on either side of your buttock. This type of butt lift is most appropriate for mild sagging.
The Brazilian Butt Lift, in contrast to a traditional butt lift, is a procedure that creates a more lifted appearance to the buttocks through the addition of extra volume (fat cells) as opposed to the removal of excess skin. The Brazilian Butt Lift involves only tiny incisions and therefore no scarring. No excess skin is removed from the body. Fat cells are harvested via liposuction from various target regions of the body and the fat cells are then transferred to the buttocks. Patients who have a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure performed can expect to have a shapelier, curvier physique as opposed to patients who undergo a traditional butt lift, who will see primarily the removal of excess, sagging skin in the buttock region of the body.
In summary, patients who have excess skin and a lack of fat in the buttocks may benefit most from a traditional excisional butt lift. Patients who have excess fat in other areas of the body, but not in their buttocks would benefit most from a fat transfer using the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure.
Before the Procedure
Before your Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, there are some important things that you can do to ensure that your surgery will be successful. Your doctor will give you specific advice about how to prepare for the procedure based on your medical history and your unique situation, but in general, patients should take the time to prepare their home and their lives for the recovery process which initially takes approximately 6 weeks. Below are some additional recommendations for BBL pre-op preparation:
- Get prescriptions filled before your surgery so that they’re ready and waiting for you at home. Talk with friends and relatives who might be willing to care for you during the first 24 hours after your procedure. Schedule your procedure at a time when a companion will be available to help you through those first 24 hours.
- Your doctor may ask that you gain some weight prior to the procedure to ensure that enough fat cells will be available for harvest.
- If you smoke, your doctor may require that you stop smoking for at least 4 weeks before the procedure. Stop taking aspirin the week before your BBL.
- You’ll need baggy, comfortable clothes to wear during recovery. Make sure you bring some of these comfortable clothes with you to the clinic or hospital on the day of your procedure, but also have several changes of baggy clothes at home. It’s important that you have clean clothing to wear each day of your recovery to help prevent the development of infection. Talk to your friends and relatives about helping out with laundry during your recovery.
- Cook healthy meals for yourself in advance of your procedure. Good nutrition is an important part of the recovery process after a fat transfer procedure. Getting the proper amount of nutrients and drinking plenty of water can help newly transferred fat cells survive the transplantation process. Plan ahead to eat healthy during recovery.
During the Procedure
Patients can expect the BBL procedure to be a pain-free and relaxing experience. The doctor will administer either oral or IV sedation prior to applying local anesthesia to the areas of the body being targeted. The patient will experience a variety of sensations like pressure or mild stinging during this part of the procedure. Once the sedation takes effect, the patient will be in a drowsy state. The doctor may only awaken the patient briefly to change positions throughout the surgical process which involves three steps:
- Fat Cell Preparation and Purification
- Fat Transfer
After the Procedure (Recovery)
Recovery from a surgical procedure like the Brazilian Butt Lift occurs in stages and patients should prepare themselves to deal with each of these stages. The first stage of recovery takes place over the first 24 hours. During the first 24 hours, you’ll need to have a trusted companion stay with you and help you with basic activities of daily living like showering, cooking food, and taking medications. Contact friends or relatives and line up a companion who will be willing to care for you for those first 24 hours after surgery. You won’t be able to put pressure on your buttocks so you’ll need to have comfortable furnishings available to help you endure this aspect of recovery.
Below are some additional BBL post-op recovery tips:
- Your doctor will give you a compression garment to wear for 24 hours a day for the first 2 weeks following surgery. This garment will help prevent inflammation and enhance the results of the procedure. Follow your surgeon’s instructions precisely regarding the compression garment.
- The first 3 to 7 days after surgery are typically the most painful. During this time, you’ll experience some soreness, but your doctor will give you pain medication to deal with it. Be sure to get the prescription for the pain medication filled before your surgery and have it ready and waiting for you when you return home. Get any prescriptions for antibiotics filled before surgery as well. Set a timer on your smartphone to help you remember to take the medications religiously and on schedule.
- After the first 3 to 7 days following surgery, the soreness, swelling, and pain will start to diminish slightly. For the following two weeks, you’ll see improvements daily in how your body looks and feels. Be sure to continue taking prescribed antibiotics on schedule to prevent infection. You still won’t be able to put pressure on your buttocks so you’ll need to have a comfort plan to help you find different restful positions. This is a crucial period of time during which you’ll want to eat well, drink plenty of water, and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
- Eat healthy food during the recovery process. If you weren’t able to cook food ahead for yourself, at least eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Choose food items that are high in nutrients and low in empty calories during the first six weeks of recovery from a Brazilian Butt Lift.
- Your doctor will advise you regarding exercise during the recovery process. Light walking is generally advised after the first week or two of recovery, but each patient is different. Most patients can begin returning to their normal workout routine after the first six weeks of recovery.
Once you get through the first two weeks of recovery, you’ll begin to feel noticeably better. Inflammation will go down bit-by-bit over the next four weeks, revealing the final results of your Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. Keeping direct pressure off your buttocks will continue to be important through end of the first 6 weeks following surgery. Fat cells that can survive this time period have likely developed a permanent blood supply. At six weeks, you’ll still have some inflammation. Over the next six months, the final results of your procedure will begin to emerge.
Is there a risk of volume loss after surgery?
Volume loss can happen following surgery if the patient doesn’t follow the surgeon’s instructions, leading to the death of newly transplanted fat cells. Sitting on the buttocks too soon after surgery or smoking during the recovery period could lead to volume loss, for example.
Weight loss that happens after surgery shouldn’t affect the final results of the Brazilian Butt Lift. Most patients are able to gain or lose weight without experiencing volume loss.
How much fat volume is needed for the surgery to be successful?
Most doctors aim to remove 4 to 5 liters of fat during the liposuction phase of the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. Doctors then purify and prepare between 500 and 1000 cc’s into each butt cheek.
Can I sit after my surgery?
No. You’ll need to avoid putting pressure on your buttocks for at least 3 weeks following surgery.
What are the other risks involved with the surgery?
All surgery involves some risk. Risks involved with Brazilian Butt Lift include:
- excessive blood loss
- blood clots and pulmonary embolism
- fat embolism
- deep vein thrombosis
- pain and bruising
- fluid shifts
- lidocaine toxicity
- complications related to anesthesia.
Will the compression garment put too much pressure on the butt?
The compression garment must be worn for 24 hours a day for the first two weeks of recovery. The garment prevents inflammation that can be damaging to the results of the BBL.
How painful is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
Pain from a BBL usually lasts from 3 to 7 days following the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to make you more comfortable during this time.
Can I have sex after a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The problem with having sex during the recovery period following a BBL has to do with the amount of pressure put on the buttocks. Most doctors recommend avoiding sex for at least 2 weeks. If your doctor gives you permission to have sex, make sure that it is gentle (no spanking, no forceful grabbing, and no pressure on your buttocks from your partner).
For a proper buttocks lift - Dr. Joffrey (before & after photos of actual patients) uses a safe, advanced autologous fat transfer process. The fat we extract from other areas of your body around the buttocks is specially treated before we inject it into the buttocks, and we use tiny injections to ensure that the transplanted fat is evenly distributed and smooth. Removing fat directly adjacent to the buttocks not only provides the fat we need for your buttock enhancement, it also helps to shape and contour the areas around the butt for a curvier and more dramatic result.
* results may vary - (disclaimer)