A Brazilian Butt Lift is the name plastic surgeons give the procedure of performing liposuction in one area of the body, then saving the fat and grafting it to the tissues of the buttocks for a more round and plump look.
The goal of this operation is to sculpt and contour the body to improve the proportion between waistline, hips, outer thighs and buttocks. The ideal aesthetic for BBL is patient-dependent and bringing pictures to your consultation can help your surgeon understand what it is you want to achieve.
Why is it called a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The term Brazilian Butt Lift has been popularized by plastic surgeons but is essentially a marketing term. The concept behind the operation is that performing liposuction of the hip and flank regions changes the curvature above the hip bones from convex to concave when viewing from behind. During the same operation as the liposuction, the fat is saved and used to augment the buttocks with your own fat.
The combination of liposuction above the hip bones, and grafting below the hip bones in the buttocks region, means the skin needs to stretch upwards to fill the new concave curve in the region of the flank, hence creating the appearance of a “lift.”
That being said, patients will often choose to have other areas of the body liposuctioned and have that fat used as grafts to improve the size and curve of the buttocks. Most women choose to have the flank region liposuctioned as well as the abdomen, but this is based on the individual patient preference.
Brazilian Butt Lift vs. Buttocks Implants
The reason BBL has gained so much popularity is that the procedure uses your own fat to give you the look you want. This lowers the risk of potential complications. An implant is a man-made device, and devices can fail. Given the implants are subjected to the force of routine sitting, they are prone to rupture, encapsulate, move around unnaturally and can also become infected. The implants are also harder and do not feel as natural as grafted fat. Because the buttocks muscles are already surrounded by fat, and a BBL just augments the body’s existing anatomy, it is often nearly-impossible to tell whether a person has had the procedure done.
A BBL is not a risk-free procedure and there are downfalls unique to BBL such as unpredictability of fat graft survival, infection of grafts, and the possibility of accidental injection of fat material into blood vessels. For these reasons, it is important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who routinely performs these operations.
Candidates for New Mexico Brazilian Butt Lifta
To be a candidate for this operation, patients must have the fat to graft and also the skin to accept the fat grafts. Some patients are quite thin before surgery, and the challenge for your surgeon may be finding enough fat to give you the results you want. This can mean needing more than one grafting procedure or changing your expectations of the final size. Other patients have very flat buttocks with a very tight skin envelope over the buttocks region and the limitation of the surgical procedure can be getting the skin to stretch enough to accommodate the grafted fat. Again, more than one procedure can be required to allow the skin to re-stretch and obtain a more dramatic result.
It is important to realize that in order to be a good candidate for Brazilian Butt Lift, patients must also be a good candidate for liposuction. This means the ideal patient is at a stable and maintainable weight with little to no excess skin or stretch marks. Plenty of patients choose to have a BBL done at the same time as a tummy tuck if stretch marks and/or loose skin area also a concern.
Patients do not necessarily need to be at an “ideal body weight” for surgery, but their weight needs to be stable and maintainable. Your surgeon may recommend waiting if your weight is not stable. Predictability of size and maintenance of results requires stable weight after surgery.
Our Albuquerque board-certified plastic surgeons have authored body contouring chapters in some of the most well-respected plastic surgery textbooks in the country and pride themselves on getting patients the body they want in a safe and discrete manner.
Albuquerque Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery
The unique recovery after BBL revolves around preserving the fragile fat grafts. For cells to live in the body, they need blood flow. During liposuction, the cells are removed from their blood vessels, and then they are transferred to the buttocks region. The body is capable of growing new blood vessels to these cells and nourishing them so they can live there; however, the cells are fragile during this time, and it takes around 6 weeks for the new blood vessels to attach to the fat cells.
During this period, it is ideal to avoid prolonged sitting. The weight of the body on the fragile cells can decrease the number of blood vessels that grow, and thus decrease the number of fat cells that will remain. Any cells that do not get adequate blood flow will be re-absorbed by the body.
Patients often find it useful to have a standing or at least a kneeling workstation in the recovery period. Most take at least one week off work, and then work from a standing or kneeling position going forward. It is ok to lie down flat, stand up or kneel. Prolonged sitting more than 15 minutes should be avoided. For patients who need to sit to commute or travel, purchasing a BBL pillow may be useful so the weight of the body is seated on a pillow beneath the back of the thighs rather than putting the weight on the healing cells.
Other recovery involves the liposuctioned regions, and your surgeon will discuss what type of foam and garments are required for an ideal result. These are also worn for 6 weeks.
To find out if you are a candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift, please call our office to make an appointment for your personal consultation.
Albuquerque Brazilian Butt Lift Risks
Beyond the general risks associated with any surgical procedure and anesthesia, BBL does have some unique risks. The most common would be unpredictability of result. Each patient will heal differently, swell differently, and different percentages of the fat will live. Some swelling will remain for 6 months and results can not be fully assessed until that time. If the result is larger than desired, some fat can be removed, and similarly if the result is smaller than desired, some more can often be added. This should be part of the pre-operative conversation with your surgeon as some patients are at higher risk than others. You can minimize these results by following the post-op protocol and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It is rare for fat grafts to become infected, and if that does happen, antibiotics or even surgical drainage and resultant scars can occur. To minimize this, your surgeon performs the procedure in a sterile operating room and all the fat is washed and purified with antibiotic solution before injecting it. Minimizing pressure on the grafts and avoiding smoking will aid in decreasing this postoperative complication.
Very rarely, there is the chance some of the grafted fat enters a blood vessel. This can cause serious tissue injury or even death. To minimize this risk, the board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Institute of New Mexico do not do grafting inside the buttocks muscles, and only blunt-tipped cannulas and slow injection technique is used. Many of the complications with entering blood vessels were during a time when less-experienced plastic surgeons were attempting to inject inside the buttocks muscles themselves. We do not perform this operation.
Any liposuction procedure comes with the risk of having skin irregularity. The more fat that is removed, the higher the chance. Patients can help decrease this risk by performing the massage recommended by your surgeon and also being religious about garment usage. Frequent follow up with your surgeon will make sure any early problems are addressed quickly before larger issues arrive. Rarely, another procedure can be required to remove excess skin, and this is part of the preoperative consultation process.
During that consultation, you will be given plenty of time to go over any additional risks unique to your operation.
Albuquerque Brazilian Butt Lift Cost
The cost of the procedure is dependent on the amount of liposuction performed. The more areas and the more volume you want removed, the longer the case will take and thus the more expensive the operation will be. For this reason, it is difficult to give a general price for the procedure. After your consultation, you will be given an exact invoice for the procedure going forward. Having additional procedures performed such as a tummy tuck at the same time will increase the time in the operating room, though many patients choose this operation as it is more affordable that two separate anesthetic procedures and the overall recovery also less.