Brazilian Butt Lift
Medically reviewed by a licensed NHS consultantLast updated: 15/08/2019
PhotoCredit: B-D-S Piotr Marciniski/Shutterstock
Ever wished you could remove fat from one area of your body and transfer it to another? Well, Brazilian Butt Lifts can provide this two-in-one treatment.
If you’re looking for that celebrity-esque hourglass figure, a Brazilian Butt Lift could be for you!
Table of Contents:
Butt lift named cosmetically as a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), is an invasive surgical procedure augmenting the buttocks size and shape. Brazilian Butt Lifts do not use implants, and instead transfer fat into the buttocks. The procedure is used purely for cosmetic desires and is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic surgeries performed. In 2015, approximately 320,000 buttock augmentation or buttock lift procedures were performed globally (approximately a butt procedure is done every 30 minutes of every day). The International Society of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Surgery stated that since 2015, the surgery has risen by 30%.
Nowadays the shape and proportion of your buttocks has become an important factor in achieving an attractive, well-proportional body.
However, the shape and proportion of a person’s buttocks is hugely dependent on their genes. The buttock area of your body stores fat, and your skeletal structure affects the appearance of your lower body. So, in spite of many people maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating clean and exercising, they cannot achieve their desired bodies due to their genes. Furthermore, the process of building your butt naturally requires a large amount of time and effort.
Brazilian Butt Lift surgeryoffers a fast and permanent way of overcoming your genetics to achieve your dream physique.
No implants: Fat is transferred to your lower body, instead of using implants. This reduces the risk of rejection and/or allergic reaction as the fat is autologous (from your own body).
Permanent enhancement: No further treatments are required as once the fat is transferred (assuming your weight doesn’t fluctuate hugely) it will remain there for life. In comparison, both implants and Sculptra butt lifts require further treatments (e.g. implant removal/replacement is recommended every 10 years).
Dramatic change: Brazilian Butt Lifts remove fat from the mid-section of your body, making the mid-section a few centimetres smaller, and then re-adding it to the buttocks making them a few centimetres larger. This results in an overall dramatic change.
Limited size increase:Most surgeons will transfer a maximum of 300ml of fat into the buttocks. The body must be able to build new blood supplies to the transferred fat. If too much is administered the fat will simply die and be reabsorbed by the body.
Some re-absorption: Generally, 60-70% of the transferred fat should remain - meaning that the buttocks volume is likely to reduce by 30% post-surgery. For this reason, many surgeons will over inject the fat cells to ensure that the surviving cells achieve the preferred augmentation.
Cost of two procedures: Brazilian Butt Lifts costs approximately £8,000 in the UK. Brazilian Butt Lifts are one of the costliest surgeries due to two procedures being required. Firstly, fat must be harvested from the body using liposuction before the fat transfer procedure itself can occur. However, the total cost can vary depending on a number of factors such as the shape and size, the number of areas being treated with liposuction and location etc.
However, the price should not be the primary factor in choosing your procedure. Cosmetic surgery is not something you should do on the cheap, and there are many finance options to pay for plastic surgery.
Need fat to harvest:You need to have enough fat to make the surgery worthwhile. Patients are often rejected due to their lack of harvestable fat. In general, patients who are slightly overweight will benefit most from the surgery.
Butt injections involve injecting filler into the buttocks. For example, Sculptra is a dermal filler which actively thickens the skin stimulating collagen growth and increasing the volume of the buttocks.
Non-surgical- No anaesthesia is required as the procedure only requires a series of injections.
Minimal recovery time- as no invasive surgery takes place, little to no recovery time is needed.
Less painful- discomfort associated with the procedure is mild at most.
No excess fat needed- people of different weights and sizes can have a Sculptra butt lift, as no excess fat is required for fat transfers.
- No scars- small injections leave no marks
- Several procedures are required- Approximately 3 sessions.
- Less dramatic changes - the results of a Sculptra Butt Lift are subtle in comparison to other butt lift procedures.
Silicone implants are surgically emplaced into the buttocks through well-hidden incisions in-between the butt cheeks.
- Effective butt enhancement- Implants can be almost any size, if insertion is safe.
- No excess fat needed -silicone implants add volume instantly and may be a good option for patients who lack enough excess fat to obtain a Brazilian Butt Lift.
- Cost- implants only require one procedure, making them cheaper than most Brazilian Butt Lifts. Butt implants in the UK cost around £4000 to £6000.
- Unique risks- Implants have their own unique risks, such as ruptures and capsular contracture (hardening). Which can cause excess pain and discomfort.
- More unnatural results- Implants can shift from their original position due to an enormous amount of pressure from sitting and moving, this can cause contour deformities.
- Scarring – butt implants always leave a scar
A Brazilian Butt Lift can be a great option for those looking to add more definition to their buttocks. However, the decision is extremely personal, and patients should consider the advantages and disadvantages of cosmetic procedures, in general, before permanently changing your appearance.
Certain patients are naturally better suited for a Brazilian Butt Lifts than others. Patients must be realistic about the operation, recovery and results.
Typically, if you agree with the following you are likely a good candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift:
- Lost your natural shape due to age or weight fluctuations OR
- Struggle to achieve your desired body due to genetic factors
- Hold adequate fat stores in areas of your body for grafting
- Are at a healthy weight- a normal to slightly overweight is preferable (e.g.BMI around 25 to 30).
- No recent health problems involving infections or complications during surgery.
- Have unwanted skin laxity, excess skin, and/or ptosis (sagginess) in the lower body.
- No chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Unless you have obtained clearance for plastic surgery from your doctor.
1. Stop smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery
2. Avoid taking medications that can cause increased bleeding (aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications).
3. Hydrate our body and eat a healthy diet (nutrient dense food) to support your body in recovery.
4. Rest up- ensure you get plenty of sleep to prepare your body for surgery.
5. Exercise- finding butt workouts that work for you can help accentuate your results.
The Brazilian Butt Lift surgery is technically called gluteoplasty. Different clinics can use a variety of techniques and approaches, but generally:
1. Areas for fat transfer are marked.
The surgeon will use a surgical marker to highlight the areas you have chosen to remove fat (known as harvest sites). Common areas include the abdomen, hips, and/or lower back. However, the right spots for liposuction will depend on each individuals needs/desires.
Your surgeon will also mark approx. 3-5 incision sites where the extracted fat will be injected (often just below the waistline). Don’t panic, the incisions are tiny being the length of a single grain of rice (around 2-3 millimetres). Most of these incisions are also hidden in the buttocks crease.
Anaesthesia is used to make you comfortable during your procedure. Different types of aesthesia can be used during a butt lift. Your surgeon will recommend the best option for you. Typically, general anaesthesia is used to send patients to sleep during the entire operation. However some patients are given local anaesthesia, instead of intravenous sedation.
Areas of incisions (harvest sites and the buttocks) are disinfected with antibacterial soap to reduce the chance of infections. The incisions are then made at the marked areas and an infiltration cannula and liposuction cannula are emplaced.
The infiltration cannula contains tumescent fluid. Tumescent fluid contains lidocaine (used to numb the area) and epinephrine (which minimises bruising and bleeding by narrowing your blood vessels). These two medications are diluted and combined into a saline-type solution which is then injected into your fat.
After which the liposuction cannula administers anaesthetic numbing the area, before liposuction takes place.
Fat cells are broken up using high-frequency vibrations (using a weak laser pulse or a high-pressure water jet). After which a small vacuum tube is inserted which loosens the fat using a controlled back and forth motion. Once the fat is dislodged it is suctioned out of the body and any excess blood or fluid is drained. In general, liposuction takes 1-3 hours and your surgeon can take three times the amount of fat that will be re injected into the buttocks.
Once the fat is removed from the body it is placed in a special canister preventing it from contamination. The container also keeps air from interacting with the fat, increasing the fat's viability.
5. The Fat Is Purified
Once the fat has been collected it is separated from the tumescent fluid and purified. The remaining fat is transferred into smaller syringes (this allows for more precise placement of the fat into the buttocks). The syringes are then connected to a special cannula. This cannula allows your surgeon to add the fat into your butt through small injections (reducing scaring).
6. The Fat Is injected into the Buttocks
The fat is injected all over your gluteal region and usually passed multiple times in and out of the augmented area. Thus, a line of fatty tissue bundle is carefully deposited in planes of natural tissue. This procedure is repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
When injecting fat, the safest technique is to simply inject the fat into the subcutaneous tissue (the area closest to the surface of your skin). Although, at a greater risk, you can inject fat into deeper muscular areas producing more dramatic results.
7. Incisions Are Closed
Both liposuction and fat transfer incisions are sewed together using sutures (preventing fat from leaking from the buttocks). Dressings or bandages are also applied to the areas, and there may be small tubes temporarily placed under the skin to help drain any excess blood or fluid.
The procedure usually lasts two to five hours
Here are some examples of what a Brazilian Butt Lift looks like. Make sure you ask your surgeon to show you their portfolio pictures, as each surgeon results can differ.
PhotoCredit: Dymtro Flisak/Shutterstock
As with any invasive surgery, risks are inevitable. Many common side effects of a Brazilian Butt Lifts are minor; however, a few are extreme.
Brazilian Butt Lifts can result in:
- Fat embolism- when fat is injected too deeply.
- Excessive blood loss
- Cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Necrosis of fat and/or surrounding tissue
Minor side effects can include:
- Stretch marks
- Lumps under the skin- in areas where liposuction was performed
- Infection-deep infection can cause you to lose skin
- Blood clots
Brazilian Butt Lift procedures have been known to cause death in some cases, with the current fatality rate being 1 in 3000.
However, in almost all reported fatality cases the surgeon wasn’t professionally trained and incorrectly performed the procedure. Inexperienced surgeons can/have incorrectly injected fat into large veins/muscles in the buttocks. This enables fat to travel up into vital organs (lungs and heart), clogging its vessels and resulting in death.
To avoid any possible risks and complications, seek professional advice and make sure you follow your surgeon’s post-surgical advice carefully.
What to expect after your surgery?
It is important to realise that recovery varies from patient to patient as each individual’s pain tolerance and healing response is different.
TIPS FOR A SPEEDY BRAZILIAN BUTT LIFT RECOVERY
- Follow your doctors’ advice and attend all post operation appointments.
- Avoid sitting and laying on your back until cleared to do so by your doctor.
- Wear your compression garments as much as possible.
- No strenuous physical activity (e.g. exercise, sex, etc.) until cleared by your surgeon.
- Plan to take 2-3 weeks off work.
- Make sure someone is around to look after you, especially in the first week or two post-surgery.
- Rest up
- Eat healthy nutritious-dense meals (feed the fat)
- Stay hydrated
- Wear loose fitting clothes.
- Avoid trying to look at your scars/incisions as that could re-open your wounds.
- Avoid driving
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
- Avoid pools and hot tubs until fully healed.
- Stretch your legs and buttocks- this will help your blood circulation and speed up healing.
Getting a well-trained experienced surgeon will ensure you get the results you desire. Your surgeon should have years of experience and up to date training in fat grafting/Brazilian Butt Lifts.
Make sure you have a consultation with your surgeon, so you can ask them questions about their education and board certifications. During the consultation make sure to look at their portfolio of pictures to see if their work suits you.
Trust your gut feeling and make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon.
1. Are you registered on the General Mdical Council (GMC) online? It is vital to check they are a certified surgeon on the General Medical Council online register (not a cosmetic surgeon). Board certified plastic surgeons will offer the safest most successful procedures. Furthermore, make sure this surgeon will be doing your surgery. Some clinics have pass patients on to an in-experienced doctor.
2. Where will my surgery take place? Brazilian Butt Lifts must take place in a hospital or accredited outpatient surgery.
3. How many Brazilian Butt Lift procedures do you perform a year? Choose a doctor whose level of experience you are confident with.
4. How much will it cost? You will probably get what you pay for, so asking the total price of the surgery can be useful. If one doctor’s rate is significantly lower than the average price, you may be sceptical as to what they are not providing.
5. What results can I expect? Ask to see the doctor’s portfolio of before and after photos. Pay particular attention to patients who have a similar body shape to yours. Make sure your doctor understands what you would like to achieve and ask questions to understand what your butt lift is likely to look like. Look at patient reviews.
6. Has something ever gone wrong? Every experienced doctor is likely to have dealt with some complications. They may have nothing to do with the plastic surgeon’s skills but can be due to an unknown health issue or the different ways our bodies heal. Knowing the likelihood of complications and learning how your surgeon has dealt with them, may help you to make a decision about your Brazilian Butt Lift.
7. What happens if a complication occurs during or after my surgery? If you’re having surgery in an outpatient surgical centre, make sure you can be admitted to a nearby hospital if something goes wrong.
As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and normal weight range, your results will be long lasting. Although there is a possibility of the injected fat being reabsorbed by the body, in most cases, at least 60-80% of the fat is maintained.
- Patients who are too thin will not have enough fat for the transfer and may not see significant results. Another procedure such as butt implants may be more suitable.
- Patients who are over a body-mass index of thirty-two are at a higher risk for complications with anaesthesia. If you are still keen to have the procedure you may be advised to lose some weight before your surgery to gain the most desirable results.
- No sitting is recommended for about 2 weeks, as it can disrupt the fat transfer.
- Patients are encouraged to avoid sitting for long period of times until the areas are fully healed.
- Walking and light activity can take place two to three weeks post-surgery. Most doctors will give patients the all clear to do full physical activity six to eight weeks after the procedure. Although you may feel better sooner, it is vital to give your body time to stabilize the fat transfer.
- A Brazilian Butt Lift can cause discomfort and pain, especially in the first week. However, recovery takes approximately 6 weeks and the majority of patients would argue the pain endured is worth it for the end results.
- Some procedures can be combined with Brazilian Butt Lift. Tummy tucks, for example, can be safely combined to give a great result. However, combining the butt lift with a breast augmentation is usually not advisable.
- After a few weeks post-surgery, you will start to see results. However, it can take months to a year to see the final results (most patients can enjoy final results in about four to six months).
- While a Brazilian Butt Lift is considered a long-lasting procedure, it can be partially reversed by using liposuction to remove some of the transferred fat. Reshaping or less than ideal results can be adjusted through adding more fat to your buttocks. However, this depends on how much you have left to harvest.
Brazilian Butt Lifts are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. You have the best chance of a safe outcome, and a great result, if you use an experienced, certified plastic surgeon. Make sure you ask lots of questions beforehand so you can be prepared. You should fully understand the process, the results you can expect for your body shape, the costs, possible complications and the likely recovery time.
Although Brazilian Butt Lifts are one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgeries, they are not for everyone. Talk to your doctor – they may recommend this procedure or could advise that a different approach may be more suitable for you.
Mr Debashis Ghosh
Mr Debashis Ghosh, renowned breast and oncoplastic surgeon and consultant at The Royal Free NHS, UCL London, The Wellington Hospital & Harley Street - MS, FRCS(Edin), FRCS, FEBS(Breast), FEBS(Surgical Oncology). Over 25 years of expertise in breast augmentation, breast cancer treatments and reconstruction. In the forefront of clinical trials, research and has several publications in Kirk's Operative Surgery on breast surgery.
Royal Free London Consultant Profile:https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/services/staff-a-z/mr-debashis-ghosh/
NHS Consultant Profile:https://www.nhs.uk/profiles/consultant/4657664