These days, there is a lot of focus on the aesthetics of the buttocks, and many people feel that the shape and size of their own bottom could be better. Demand for buttock enhancement has resulted in a number of effective options for improving the size, shape, contour, and firmness of the butt. While many people know buttock enhancement by the name “Brazilian Butt Lift”, the process is customizable to the needs of the patient, and focuses on achieving beautiful, natural-looking results to suit each patient's goals.
There are two separate components to buttock enhancement: lift and augmentation. Commonly patients use the term "lift" when what they are really thinking about is volume augmentation, and most patients seeking a "Brazilian Butt Lift" are thinking about fat grafting to the buttocks. Depending on the situation, one or both of these procedures may be needed to achieve desired results.
Buttock augmentation is a surgical procedure used to add volume and contour to the buttocks. There are two methods for achieving this: fat transfer or buttock implants. Fat transfer is a procedure that is growing in popularity, and works by using the patient's own fat to add natural-looking volume to the buttocks. Butt implants are synthetic devices inserted into the buttock area for dramatic increase in volume. Butt implants are very rare in the United States as currently there are no FDA approved buttock implants, and fat transfer is by far the most common means of buttock augmentation in this country. This is the method we use at our Atlanta office for the vast majority of patients.
A buttock lift is a more extensive procedure and involves removing the “love handles” just above the buttocks. As the excess skin and fat is removed and tightened, the buttocks are pulled upward for improved contour. A true buttock lift does not typically involve augmentation of the buttock. In massive weight loss patients, a buttock lift can be combined with a buttock flap – moving the flank tissues into the deflated buttock – for greater volume increases.
Butt Lift Candidates
Candidates for both buttock augmentation and buttock lift should have realistic expectations for the procedure and be in general good health. Only a plastic surgeon, like our experts in Atlanta, can determine individual candidacy.
Buttock augmentation is a very popular procedure with younger patients. Candidates for buttock augmentation are people who would like to improve the size and contour of the buttocks, and who have enough fat to be harvested for use in the augmentation process. Fat transfer, the most common procedure for buttock augmentation is very safe and fairly gentle, but patients should be at a stable weight to undergo the surgery, as weight gain or loss down the line could affect the results of the treatment. Ideally, buttock augmentation candidates should have good skin elasticity, as liposuction is used to harvest the fat for transfer, and skin elasticity can affect those results.
Buttock lift candidates should have lax and sagging skin in the buttocks, which affects the overall contour of the area. Patients need to be aware that this procedure does not improve the volume of the buttocks, and must be performed along with fat transfer or a flap procedure to the buttocks to achieve both augmentation and contouring results.
Butt Lift Procedure
Buttock augmentation is a multi-step fat transfer process that begins with gentle liposuction of the fat donor areas. Fat is removed and the donor areas contoured, which is an additional benefit for buttock augmentation patients. Common areas for donor sites include the “love handles”, stomach, or thighs.
Once the fat has been removed, it is gently prepared for the injection process. The prepared fat is then injected using tiny cannulas (tubes), and the procedure is complete. The process may be repeated in the future for further improvement and volume.
Buttock lift surgery is mostly an excision process, with the surgeon making larger incisions in the area of the “love handles”. The next step is removing the excess skin that makes the buttocks look saggy and dimpled, and pulling the remaining skin up for a lifted and contoured appearance to the buttocks.
Buttock augmentation and buttock lift are two very different procedures, though they are often combined to suit patients’ needs.
Butt Lift Recovery
Buttock augmentation with fat transfer is a minimally invasive treatment with a fairly speedy recovery. The liposuction involved with harvesting the fat for transfer is the most invasive aspect of the procedure, and this will involve some swelling and bruising after the fact, most of which will resolve within one to two weeks. Patients can start resuming normal activities soon after the procedure, and residual swelling will subside gradually over time. Patients will see results immediately, but should expect final results to settle by six months after the procedure, when transferred fat has established blood supply.
Buttock lift surgery involves larger incisions than buttock augmentation, and recovery from the procedure may take a bit longer. Patients should expect some buttock pain, bruising, and swelling in the treated areas, which will subside gradually. It will take a few months for final results to become apparent, but patients will see preliminary results much sooner than this.