Brazilian Butt Lift: 20 Essential BBL Questions Answered
Are you a better candidate for a Brazilian butt lift or butt implants? And if the answer is a BBL, how much fat can be injected into your booty? Atlanta plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Jimerson has the answers your biggest questions.
The Brazilian butt lift is a popular surgical procedure where a surgeon takes fat from one part of your body, through liposuction, and injects it into your booty. The surgery's become incredibly popular in recent years, earning a 93% Worth It rating from the RealSelf community. Women across the world are wondering if this curve-enhancing procedure is going to give them the bootylicious body they've always dreamed of, so we sat down with Dr. Andrew Jimerson (who performs nearly 60 BBLs a month!) to get answers to our users' most popular questions.
Remember, if you don't see a question you want to ask below, you can always ask a doctor on RealSelf here.
1. How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a BBL? Who shouldn’t consider getting one?
You have to be in good medical health to be considered a good candidate for any kind of plastic surgery. If you have any heart conditions, lung conditions, or neurological disorders, you may not be a good candidate for a BBL.
2. Why would I get a BBL instead of butt implants?The main deciding factor between getting a BBL, a fat grafting procedure, or implants is how much fat you have to work with. I particularly like to do the BBL over butt implants, because the complication rate is lower and most people need liposuction at the same time in order to shape their butt. Even if you're only getting butt implants, you're probably still going to need liposuction to create the right silhouette. I personally like using fat better. It shapes well, can put specifically in the areas that need it, and also helps create hips. I only consider butt implants for patients who have no fat on their body and cannot gain weight.
3. What’s the deal with gaining weight or losing weight before the procedure?After talking with the patient and determining how big they want their butt to be, we decide how much weight needs to be gained. While it varies from person to person, I typically want people to be about 10 to 15 pounds heavier than their ideal weight. If someone is 20 pounds overweight, I'll generally want them to lose a few pounds. The biggest factor is that once a patient has gained the weight, she needs to maintain that same weight after surgery in order to maintain her final results.
4. Does technique and shape vary from doctor to doctor?Everybody has a different vision of what they think looks good, including plastic surgeons. If you decide you want a Brazilian butt lift, the biggest piece of advice I can give is to look at a lot before-and-after photos from various doctors. Choose the surgeon who frequently delivers the results that you want.
There are a lot of different techniques out there because this is a very new procedure. You can usually see the difference in the results.
RELATED: Your Guide To Brazilian Butt Lift Lingo
5. How safe is a Brazilian butt lift, and what are the risks?I believe the Brazilian butt lift procedure is very safe. I perform several of them a week. The complication rates are relatively low, how major risks include pulmonary or fat embolism (less than 1% of patients) and anemia. If you're anemic already, or if you're starting your menstrual cycle, it's easy for the procedure to cause anemia.
6. Will a BBL give me a big booty like Kim Kardashian?It all depends on how much fat you have and how your butt is shaped. There's some leeway and different techniques we can use to manipulate that to some degree, but we have to play in the confinements of our own bodies and genetics. There are different types of butts, and Kim Kardashian's is very round. I'd have to see yours in person to determine exactly what I can do.
7. How is a Brazilian butt lift performed? And where will my fat be extracted from?For me, the most important place to take the fat from is the lower back because I like to shape the top part of the butt. We also take it from the flanks, the abdomen, and the inner thighs. It just really depends on how much fat your have and what I'm doing.
8. So, how much fat is needed exactly?A lot of people come into my office and ask: " How many cc's do you think you can fit in my butt?" This procedure is unlike any other procedure we do in plastic surgery. You can't decide until you're actually on the operating room table. It's like a sculptor trying to work with clay. You just don't know until you're done. I can take a max of 5,000 cc's off, but that has nothing to do with the BBL procedure. It simply has to do with liposuction and fat harvesting.
In general, I'd say I put an average of 700-1,000 cc's in each cheek, but that varies based on the person's size, how wide they are, how tall they are, etc.
9. Will I get a scar from a BBL?I know people hate scars. I hate scars more than anyone, so I always try to minimize scarring as much as possible. For a BBL, there's little small scars scattered throughout the butt and abdomen area. I try to hide as many of them as I can and do most of my work in the areas that are hidden. I do need to place certain marks throughout the butt in order to do the injection, however.
The places where we put the scars is also going to have a major effect on how your butt looks. I customize my markings based on what kind of butt we're trying to create. The marks are small, and heal based on the way you heal. Sometimes they can be hypertrophic (raised), sometimes they get dark, and sometimes you can't see them at all. It's really based on your own body.
10. Do scar creams work?I think the scar creams work very well, but the ones I promote have silicone in them. I suggest ScarGuard, especially for hypertrophic scarring. There are also different scar lightening creams for scars that become dark in color.
11. Will lipo and a BBL cause cellulite? Or at the very least a lumpy booty?No, I've never seen that. I actually think it can improve the appearance of cellulite. We perform liposuction in a deeper layer, so we're not liposuction-ing right at the surface of the skin. It wouldn't cause more cellulite because we're actually de-bulking that layer. As for the fat grafting, I perform this on a three-dimensional place: below the muscle, in the muscle, and above the muscle. By getting right up next to the skin, I can actually improve the appearance of cellulite. However, I would never promote this procedure as a treatment for cellulite, since that's not what it's designed for.
12. How long will my results last? Do I have to get touch-ups treatments?The fat that I put into your body is a graft, just like a skin graft. We take fat from one area of the body and we put it into another. A skin graft doesn't just dissolve away, and neither will the fat. We expect about 70% of the injected fat to stay in the area. About 30% will be reabsorbed by the body. The fat that takes has a blood supply. Once that blood supply is established, the fat is going to stay there because now it has a new home.
As other parts of the body shrink over time, so will the fat. But this is a very long-lasting procedure. That said, if you lose weight, the fat will shrink — and if you gain weight, the fat will grow — but the fat cells remain.
13. What happens if I gain weight after my BBL?If you gain weight after a BBL, you will gain weight where fat cells are present. I've seen a lot of my patients gain weight in their butt because I've taken fat that was resistant to diet and exercise — like in your flanks or inner thighs — and put that in your butt. While I've removed fat cells from the liposuctioned areas, that doesn't mean you can't still gain weight there. You might also gain weight in other areas of your body that you normally didn't before. There's no way to predicting where exactly you're going to gain weight. The key is to maintain your weight following the procedure.
14. So, what about if you get pregnant after a BBL?Different people handle pregnancy differently. And different people gain weight differently. If you get pregnant after a BBL, you're going to gain weight and your butt might get bigger. That's natural. Your whole body changes after pregnancy, and there's no guarantee on how you're going to look after. You might need a touch-up.
15. Do you think women should wait until after they're done having kids to get a BBL?You know, I don't recommend that they wait [to have kids], but if you're planning to have kids in the next year, then you should wait. But it's not like a tummy tuck, where I say, "If you haven't had kids yet, but are planning on it, I'll wait." With the BBL, I've had a lot of patients that are younger and they have 10 years before they're going to have kids and so, you know, they want their body to look a certain way, so I don't think it's a problem.
16. How long will it take to recover after a BBL? Will I be able to sit? And if not, for how long?I usually don't want people to sit at all for two weeks following the procedure. After that, you can sit on a boppy pillow, which allows you to sit on the back of your thighs and not on your butt. There are also special chairs that are made for you can sit on without sitting on your butt. It sounds difficult, but people get used to it.
17. Can I resume regular exercise after a BBL? And on that note, is there a particular exercise that would help me maintain my results?We absolutely encourage people to exercise after surgery, however, we would like them to alter their exercise. For instance, I would not want someone getting on a treadmill for an hour at a time and doing a bunch of cardio. That's just going to cause you to lose fat loss. There are other ways to get your heart rate up and still maintain your results. You can do squats, lunges, P90X-type exercises, calisthenics — stuff that can actually build the butt muscle up as well and give you even better results. Think upper body, leg, and core exercises.
18. What’s the deal with compression garments? Which one should I use after my surgery?We struggle with compression garments because they're not one size fits all. There are so many different size and shapes of women. We have a standard garment that we use, but sometimes women will go pick up another garment because their legs are bigger or their torso is longer, and the standard garment is uncomfortable. That said, we're able to serve about 80% of people with what we have.
Personally, I like the garments with the butt cut out. Why? Because I think increased pressure on the fat might increase the rate of reabsorption. I don't have any scientific proof of that, but I know from my training that pressure can cause that.
19. Are massages absolutely necessary for a Brazilian butt lift?I think the lymphatic drainage massage is extremely important following liposuction. It helps decrease swelling and bruising, and I think it makes your results better. A patient should get a massage about once a week for six weeks.
20. When do patients usually go back to work after a BBL? What do you do if you have a desk job?People can go back to work two weeks after the procedure. Some of my employees have had the surgery and use the boppy pillow on their chair. They walk around with it and put it in whatever chair they need to sit in. As I said before, there are also specialty chairs you can buy. Keep in mind the your coworkers are very likely to know that you've had something done.
Watch Dr. Jimerson discuss more essential topics, like going for a run after a BBL:
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