Buttock Augmentation Questions and Answers

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Questions that people are asking.

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Q: Is there a difference between buttock augmentation and buttock lift?

A: There may be some redundancy of the skin, but the buttock augmentation patient is seeking mainly fullness in the region, whereas the buttock lift patient wants to get rid of the redundancy that has occurred due to aging or weight loss. A small amount of redundancy can be corrected by increasing fullness with an implant, but a more significant redundancy requires a longer incision.

Q: How can buttock augmentation be performed?
A: There are three ways to perform buttock augmentation.
•With an implant.
•With free fat transfer (meaning liposuction of an area and injecting the harvested fat in the buttocks).
• Imbricating, (meaning folding) the extra skin and fat in the buttock area. This is obviously a limited procedure reserved for massive weight loss patients.

* There can be a combination of any of these.

Q: What are the long-term effects of buttocks augmentation with an implant?

A: The implants are made of a very soft solid silicone material and cannot leak or break down. There would be no reason to have the implant changed after a certain period of time.

Q: What are the long-term effects of buttock augmentation with fat transfer?

A: Buttock augmentation with fat should be stable over many years and we feel that after the one year mark has passed, the amount of fat that is remaining should be stable; however, it is subject to weight loss and gain. Please review the section of pros and cons of every procedure.

Q: What are the pros and cons of an implant?
A: The pros of an implant are:
•Similar controllable amount outplays on both sides.
•It can be used in skinny people.
• Short operating time (two hours).
• Reduces cost.
• Will not fluctuate with weight loss or gain.
• The implants are “permanent” and do not need to be replaced, as they are soft and solid.
*  The cons of an implant are:
•There may be a little more firmness than a normal buttock.
•Limitations as to the size that can be put safely.
• An approximate 7 cm incision in the buttock crease.

Q: What are the pros and cons of fat transfer?
A: The pros:
•You get liposuction of unwanted fat if present and correction of more than one area.
•The patient’s own tissues (fat) are used.
• It feels like fat.
• Tiny invisible incisions.
*  The cons:
•A longer operating time.
•Cannot predict how much fat will survive.
• May develop some hard lump.
•Not enough fat may be available for the procedure.
•Increased cost primarily related to surgical time.
• Generally with fat transfer more than one session needs to be planned.

Q: What are the pros and cons of fat imbrication?
A: The pros:
•Two problems can be corrected at the same time: the redundancy and the lack of projection.
•Survival of the fat is less of an issue than with fat transfer.
• Shorter operating time than fat grafting.
*  The cons:
•Longer scar.
•Limited augmentation. We just double the skin thickness at best.
• Sagging might recur.
•No long-term studies.