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What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?

The Brazilian Butt Lift is a buttock enhancement or gluteal augmentation procedure where fat cells are collected from specific parts of your body (abdomen, outer thighs, etc.) and carefully grafted (injected) into the fat cells of the buttocks. This procedure improves the buttocks’ contour, shape, projection, and size rather than actively lifting the backside. For those looking to reduce sagging and excess skin of the buttocks, a buttock or gluteal lift may be necessary in conjunction with fat grafting to achieve the desired results. 

Your safety is the most crucial concern related to any surgical procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, those looking to have fat grafting to the buttocks should seek an experienced board-certified surgeon who will openly discuss possible complications from this procedure. These risks and others will be thoroughly discussed before your consent. It would be best if you addressed all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. 

Who is a good candidate?

  • In good health and leads an active lifestyle
  • No smoke exposure
  • Want to remove fat from one or more areas of your body
  • Want to enhance the contour, size, and shape of your buttocks
  • Want to see moderate rather than dramatic changes
  • Be within 20 pounds or so of your goal weight
  • Have had a stable weight for at least six months

What can I expect from the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure?

During the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, fat removed via liposuction from one or more areas of your body will be purified and carefully injected into the fatty (subcutaneous tissue) part of the buttocks. An average of 350cc and up to 700cc of fat will be transferred to each buttock, depending on body type. To account for the body resorbing 20-30% of the injected fat, both buttocks usually are overfilled by 30%. Many prefer fullness in the upper aspect of the buttocks. Defining the hourglass figure created by the hips, thighs, and buttocks is essential in the BBL. Liposuction along the love handles, and lower back will help make this a desirable shape. Liposuction from the abdomen, thighs, and other areas per patient preference is possible. 

Your initial results look more dramatic than your final results as the swelling and inflammation resolve. This process is an expected part of post-operative healing and complete recovery, which can take up to 6 months.

It is imperative to follow post-operative instructions and stay in close contact with your surgeon in the initial months following the procedure. Call your surgeon’s office if you experience a fever of 101F or higher, chills, purulent/pus drainage, or worsening pain that isn’t relieved with the prescribed medications. Call 911 if you have chest pain and/or shortness of breath. 

Complications such as pain, bleeding, infection, fat embolism, DVT (blood clot in legs), scarring, hematoma (bloody fluid collection), seroma (watery fluid accumulation), fat necrosis (transplanted fat doesn’t develop blood supply), need for revision surgery, etc., may occur.

After surgery, you may resume home medications. Plan to take prescribed pain medications with food to improve absorption and ensure full effect. 

You will be prescribed non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medicine and a non-narcotic muscle spasm medicine. You will not have any drains and may shower the first day after surgery. Avoiding soaking in open water or a bath for four weeks is essential. 

After eight weeks, the more permanent results of fat grafting can be appreciated. It’s recommended that you maintain your weight and remain physically active as before the procedure for the best results possible. Should weight loss occur, the injected fat may be lost. 

For the best results possible after your BBL procedure:

Compression

You will need to wear comfortable compression to the areas that had liposuction; an abdominal binder and ace wraps will be provided. The compression should be worn 24 hours daily (except when showering) and for at least six weeks. No compression should be applied to the buttocks for at least three weeks. However, we recommend purchasing several compression garments, including the abdomen and thighs, so you may wash them as needed. 

Sleeping

You may sleep in a position that is comfortable for you as long as you maintain no pressure on the buttocks. Sleeping on a flat bed vs. an adjustable (head and legs) bed is essential. 

No pressure!

Your results will be best if you avoid sitting, as this puts pressure and stress on the newly injected fat cells. Do not sit upright or apply pressure to the buttocks for the first three weeks following surgery. Standing at your desk or while eating is recommended to protect your investment and fully enjoy the maximum amount of post-op curves. Special BBL pillows may be useful for those times you can’t stand.

Avoid smoke 

Smoke is damaging to every system in the body. The chemical compounds in cigarettes work against every healthy physiological process, destroying your skin, restricting healthy blood flow, and elevating your blood pressure. For health’s sake and especially after the BBBL, it’s essential to avoid exposure to smoke months before having surgery. Smoking will interfere with your body’s ability to develop necessary blood vessels to nourish the injected fat cells making them less likely to survive successfully. It can be a struggle to quit smoking and a challenge to avoid it if a loved one smokes. You’re worth it! Let the prospect of your beautiful new shape motivate this change. 

Loose clothing 

After surgery, your new shape will need TLC. Avoid tight underwear and pants for eight weeks. Enjoy the loose comfy outfits to prevent putting pressure on the recently sculpted backside.

Self-care

Healing will be faster and more complete with diligent hydration and nutrition–drinking eight glasses or more of clean, fresh water daily in addition to the coffee, tea, and other fluid intakes will keep you on track. Getting the daily values of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, is best through whole foods. Eating fruits and vegetables can add essential nutrients to our diets and contribute to the hydration our bodies need. Protein in our diets aids the healing process. Add nuts, beans, eggs, grass-fed meat, and dairy products to help your body preserve muscle mass and satisfy you. Skip the processed foods and reach for the apple and your water bottle. 

In addition to hydration and nutrition, a proper balance between activity and rest is essential. Avoid vigorous exercise, including running and weight lifting, until released to return to specific activities. Gentle walking is encouraged for overall health and to prevent severe surgical complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or a blood clot that forms in the legs that can move to the lungs. 

Applying sunscreen to both the scars (and to all skin exposed to the sun) is a great way to prevent unintended darkening of the scar. 

Keep that fabulous shape.

Maintaining your results from a Brazilian butt lift takes commitment. As with anything worth keeping, if you’re willing to take care of yourself, you can plan on enjoying your results for a long time. Avoid weight fluctuations as much as possible. Continuing to build muscle under those fat cells with daily exercise can help to improve the buttocks’ overall shape and size. The effects of aging could mean you’ll eventually need skin tightening treatments. However, with a dedication to moderate exercise, good nutrition, and post-op guidelines, you’ll be happy with your Brazilian backside for years to come. Finally, scars will continue to fade with time. Silicone strips and gel may be helpful when applied at least three weeks after surgery to flatten and soften scars and reduce redness, itching, and pain. 

Resources

American Society of Plastic Surgeons
https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/buttock-enhancement

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body-procedures/brazilian-butt-lift/

Cleveland Clinic
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23308-brazilian-butt-lift

 

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