The New Trend: Brazilian Butt Augmentation with Your Own Fat!
Article by Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
It is said that Jennifer Lopez has done for the rear end what Pamela Anderson has done for the front end and over the last few years the buttocks have received more press coverage than ever before…
What is a Brazilian Buttock Lift?
Buttock augmentation or reshaping can improve the appearance of the entire lower back and buttock region. This is accomplished by performing liposuction of the body and then transferring the fatty tissue into the buttock area to create a rounder, perkier appearing buttock. This procedure is often referred to as a “Brazilian Butt Lift“ and it will not only reshape the buttock region, it can also reshape the entire lower back and hips in order to creating an overall more aesthetically pleasing silhouette and body contour. Fat transfer is favored over gluteal implants because it gives a much softer, natural result. This type of surgery is a great way to improve both size and shape of the buttocks as well as achieve more proportion of the overall body.
How is the procedure performed?
The areas surrounding the buttocks are first contoured by liposuction in order to make the buttocks stand out more and the fat grafting material must be harvested in a manner which preserves the integrity of the fat cells. Common areas liposuctioned include the lower back (directly above the buttock), the stomach, the waist and the thighs. In order to get enough quality fat, Dr. Motykie typically has to perform liposuction on at least 2 areas of your body. The fat suctioned from these areas is then carefully processed and purified for re-injection into the buttocks. Dr. Motykie uses a special fat injection technique to ensure only the best donor fat cells are re-injected back into your buttocks for use in augmentation. Dr. Motykie injects the purified fat into different areas and layers of your buttocks in order to get a uniform, smooth, natural appearance of the buttocks as well as improved long-term survival of the grafted fat.
Where is the procedure performed and how long does it take?
Buttock augmentation by way of fat transfer (Brazilian buttock lift) is usually performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure with patients going home the same day. The procedure takes about 90 minutes to complete. The success of the surgical outcome has a lot to do with the technique used by Dr. Motykie.
Who is an ideal candidate for this procedure?
The best candidate for a Brazilian buttock lift is someone who is in good overall health but has adequate donor areas of fat on their body. This excess fat is needed in order to ensure there is enough fat available to create a nice, round buttock during surgery. Patients who are very thin are not good candidates for fat transfer to the buttock and they may be advised to gain some weight before having the procedure performed in order to help ensure a successful outcome.
What about buttock implants vs. fat transfer to the buttock?
Buttock implants are limited in that they can only deliver volume to one specific area and therefore a lot of sculpting and contouring cannot be performed to custom shape the buttocks. Furthermore, buttock implants tend to feel less natural than when a body’s own fat is utilized. Buttock implants also have more potential complications such as infection, implant displacement, sagging, capsular contracture (scar tissue formation), and wound healing problems at the incision site. For these reasons, they are generally not preferred by most board certified plastic surgeons for use in buttock augmentation.
Which areas of my body will be used for the fat transfer?
The abdomen, waist (love handles), thighs and lower back are the primary areas used to donate fat which is obtained through liposuction.
How much fat can be injected into each side?
There is no defined minimum or maximum amount of fat that can be transferred per side during a Brazilian buttock lift. The final amount depends on the volume of good quality fat that can be obtained via liposuction.
Patients who have more fat on their bodies can generally have a higher volume injected, this can range anywhere from 200 cc to 1000 cc per side. More important than the actual amount of fat injected is the technique used to properly prepare and inject the fat so that its long term survival is improved.
How much of the fat can I expect to keep permanently?
This varies from person to person and technique used, but most patients can expect to keep about 70% of the total transferred fat (volume). After about six months, the amount of fat that remains is assumed to be permanent. If the fat is harvested, processed, and injected correctly, the result should be long lasting.
If I lose weight after surgery, will my buttock size decrease?
The buttock size can increase or decrease depending on your overall body weight fluctuations since the grafted fat will behave like fat elsewhere in your body. If you gain weight, you may see an increase in the size of your buttock as well as your entire body. If you lose weight after the surgery, your buttock may get smaller but so may your entire body.
How long is the recovery from a Brazilian buttock lift?
Most patients will take 5-7 days off from work to recover from a buttock augmentation (Brazilian buttock lift). Some patients find it beneficial to modify their sitting with the use of pillows and cushions for the first week or two after surgery.
When can I begin exercising after a Brazilian buttock lift?
I recommend that patients avoid strenuous, fat burning exercise for about 4-6 weeks after surgery. This will allow the newly transferred fat cells an opportunity to survive long-term. You can do some light aerobic activity and weight training a few weeks after surgery and walking right after surgery is highly recommended.
When is it ok to sit after a fat transfer?
Patients wear a compressive garment from their waist to their knees for the first week after surgery. Positioning after a Brazilian buttock lift therefore becomes very important and some patients feel more comfortable sleeping on their sides or their stomach during this period. Patients can sit on their buttocks after surgery but most feel more comfortable with the assistance of a special pillow or cushion placed under the back of their thighs. Most of the obvious swelling resolves in about two to four weeks after surgery. As with any type of fat transfer, some of the fat may shrink or atrophy with time, and by six months you will have a good idea of how much fat (volume) will remain long-term. The Brazilian buttock lift allows Dr. Motykie to re-sculpt and increase the size of the entire buttocks, waist, abdomen, hips and lower back.
Can I have other procedures done at the same time as a Brazilian buttock lift?
It is possible to perform other procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast augmentation at the same time as a buttock augmentation in order to further enhance overall body shape and proportion.
What is the cost of the Brazilian butt lift?
The average total cost of a Brazilian Butt Augmentation averages $8,000-$10,000. Keep in mind that you also get body liposculpting (abdomen, waist, hips and thighs) included with this procedure. Thus, this fee includes multiple areas of liposuction plus the fat injections to the buttocks. Also included in the quote is the physician's fee, anesthesia, operating room costs and all post-operative office visits. The fee varies slightly depending on the amount of fat which needs to be extracted in order to achieve the desired result. Dr. Motykie determines the actual number of areas which need to be liposuctioned in order to achieve your goal during your surgical consultation.