In some cases, no amount of exercise can successfully enhance the size and shape of a person’s buttocks, which is why Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA includes the Brazilian butt lift, or BBL, among the services offered.
What Is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
BBL is a surgical procedure pioneered in Rio de Janeiro by Dr. Ivo Pitanguy. The treatment uses one’s own fat to make the butt higher, rounder, and fuller without implants. During the procedure, a surgeon uses liposuction to harvest fat from other areas of the body, such as the thighs, back, stomach, and lumbar region. The doctor then injects the fat into the butt cheeks and hips to create an hourglass shape. This technique is also known as gluteal fat augmentation.
How Long Will My Brazilian Butt Lift Last?
Results vary from one patient to the next because approximately 40 percent of the cells transferred during the treatment are naturally reabsorbed by the body during the first four months following the procedure. The final results therefore take about four months to unfold. It is only at this point that the percentage of transferred cells which have survived becomes clear.
The cells still present after four months will essentially be there forever, so the outcome observed then is more-or-less permanent. The best way to keep one’s BBL results long term is to maintain the same weight after surgery. This is because losing weight will slim down the buttocks, whereas gaining a significant amount of weight will alter its proportions.
According to the American Society for Plastic Surgery, over 24,000 BBLs were performed in 2018. This was an increase of 19 percent over the previous year. The Brazilian butt lift is also one of the best researched and reviewed surgeries available.
Among the advantages of receiving this treatment are:
- Natural-looking results
- Contoured waist, thighs, and other areas requiring a reduction in volume
- Long-lasting results
- No possible allergic reaction or rejection
- Safe when performed correctly
- Minimal and easily hidden signs of treatment
There needs to be sufficient body fat to harvest and transfer to the buttocks during the procedure. If one does not have enough fat but is otherwise a good candidate, it will be necessary to gain 10 to 20 pounds before surgery.
What to Expect
A BBL takes two to four hours to perform, depending on the technique. If a candidate does not have enough of their own fat to transfer, a surgeon might recommend a combination of implants and fat transfer. The implants add volume, and the fat can then be shaped more precisely. This procedure is called a composite buttock augmentation, or a supercharged BBL.
Before treatment, a medical assistant will usually take your before photos and your surgeon will have one last discussion with you about your goals and the results you can realistically expect. Then your skin will be marked while you are standing to delineate the areas where fat will be harvested and added.
After you are moved to a pre-op area, an IV will be placed in your arm. If you will be having general anesthesia and sleeping during the procedure, the anesthetic will be administered through the IV. Some surgeons prefer general anesthesia for surgery involving larger areas, whereas others prefer local anesthesia, believing the treatment to be safer when the patient is awake.
If local anesthesia via injections is chosen, though you will be awake, the treated areas will be numb. However, the surgeon might also incorporate IV sedation so you are relaxed.
You will be taken to the operating room to prepare for surgery. Once you are there, your skin will be cleansed with an antiseptic surgical prep like Betadine. Before performing liposuction, your surgeon will inject a mix of saltwater, epinephrine, and lidocaine to minimize any reactions.
Normally your fat will be purified to extract the healthiest cells for transfer. Also, some surgeons use a device that processes the fat as it is removed so it will be ready for use right away.
Once the fat is processed, the surgeon injects it into the tissue just below the surface of the skin. Injections are placed in the buttocks to give more projection and in the hips to give more curves. Some surgeons perform these injections using a blunt-tipped, vibrating cannula, or thin tube, that is large enough to not accidentally tear a vein. Others feel they have better control using a syringe.
In either case, the most important safety factor is for the injections to remain above a covering called the fascia and not go into the muscle. Injecting intramuscularly was a technique many surgeons used in the past to improve the take of the fat being transferred and to inject a greater volume of fat. However, a recent study found that the long-term retention of the fat transferred using subcutaneous-only gluteal fat grafting is just as effective as that achieved with intramuscular injections.
The surgeon will continue to layer the fat just below the skin of your butt and hips until they have achieved the most aesthetically pleasing contours within the bounds of what is safe.
How Much Transfer Takes Place?
The amount of fat that can be safely transferred must be judged by your surgeon. It depends on your current size, the capacity of your buttock’s soft tissues, and your goals. For most people, at least 250–300 cubic centimeters of transfer per side is the minimum to get an appreciable change in size.
Knowing that much of the fat will not survive, many patients feel that having more fat injected is better. However, some doctors say overfilling can create a constriction that leads to a greater rate of fat cell death or abscess. There is a logical limit to the volume of fat that can be transplanted. The maximum volume is usually the volume of the recipient site itself. This amount will vary from patient to patient.
If your aesthetic goal requires more fat than can be placed in the subcutaneous layer in one surgery, you could have a second and even a third procedure. Many patients come back for a second round after achieving satisfactory results the first time. They simply want more. Your surgeon may also recommend a combination of fat transfer and butt implants to get the projection you want.
Recovery time varies between two to six weeks, though the effects of the treatment should decrease after about a week. Full recovery usually takes approximately six weeks. Also, plan to take 10 to 14 days off from work and avoid rigorous exercise for at least one month.
Once your surgeon gives you the okay, lunges, squats, and other exercises that cause hypertrophy of the gluteus muscles will enhance the results by increasing muscle bulk and definition. You just need to be sure you do not overdo it so that your body-fat percentage is held in check and you do not lose too much of the fat.
When Can You Sit After a Brazilian Butt Lift?
You should refrain from sitting and other activities that apply pressure directly to the buttocks for at least two weeks to avoid disrupting the transplanted fat. This is because pressure can cause the injected fat cells to die or move to other areas, compromising results.
When the doctor re-injects the processed fat cells, the only way for the cells to live is for blood vessels to grow into them. If the area is squished by sitting on it, the nutrients cannot diffuse into the cells. As a result, blood vessels will not grow into the area, and the fat might die or the graft might not take. After two weeks, your surgeon may allow you to sit on a special donut-shaped pillow that puts the pressure on your thighs.
How Long Do You Have to Wear a Compression Garment?
You will need to wear a compression garment, sometimes referred to as a faja, for up to six weeks to decrease bruising and swelling and help any loose skin retract. Your doctor may also recommend having periodic lymphatic massages to help manage side effects, but be sure that whoever does the massage has experience with BBL aftercare.
Sex After a Brazilian Butt Lift
Many doctors recommend waiting three to four weeks before having sex following treatment considering the need to avoid putting body-weight pressure on the buttocks.
How Soon Will Results Be Evident?
You will see much more volume immediately, but it can take up to four months to know what your final results will look like. During this time, some volume associated with the surgery itself will go down, and up to 40 percent of the transferred fat cells can be lost.
After seeing their final results, many patients opt to have a Brazilian butt lift revision to add more volume. Asymmetry or less-than-ideal results may also be improved with additional fat transfer to the buttocks, but you will need to have fat left to harvest from other areas.
Can a Tummy Tuck and BBL Be Done Together?
Yes, the two treatments can be combined. When a breast augmentation is also included, people commonly refer it to as a mommy makeover. Benefits to having the procedures done simultaneously include avoiding separate recovery times and having to pay some fees associated with surgery twice, such as facility and anesthesia fees.
Nonetheless, because this means a more complicated recovery, some doctors do not recommend having the procedures performed together. For instance, because patients cannot lie on their front or back, they can only lie on their sides.
What Is the Cost?
The cost of the treatment depends on several factors, including how many areas the doctor performs liposuction, the surgeon’s level of experience, and the office location. Other factors include:
- The length of the procedure
- Operating room and post-op fees and medication
- The type of liposuction received
Regardless of cost, it is important to choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for breast, tummy, and buttocks surgeries.
Am I a Good Candidate?
If you have questions about getting a Brazilian butt lift, contact Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA today so we can share the answers you need and schedule a consultation if you would like. We change people’s lives with surgical skill and artistry and would look forward to the opportunity to help you gain your ideal body.