Brazilian Butt Lift: Your Questions Answered

Nicole Karlis on 9 Jan 2014 at 5:00pm

before and after brazilian butt lift
Are you craving a curvier backside? We figured you were. The Brazilian Butt Lift, which involves injecting fat from your love handles and abdomen into your backside, is an incredibly popular search here at RealSelf. 

Read on for a quickie Q & A with plastic surgeon and BBL expert, Dr. Andrew Jimerson.

1. Why would I get a BBL instead of butt implants?

The main deciding factor between getting a BBL (which is a fat grafting procedure) or butt implants - is how much fat you have before the procedure. I only consider butt implants for patients that cannot gain weight, and there's no fat on their body.  

2. Where will the fat be taken from on my body?

That varies. For me, the most important place to take [or liposuction] 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 really depends on how much fat you have. 

3. How much fat is needed for a good result?

before and after brazilian butt lift dr jimerson
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, not unlike any other procedure we do in plastic surgery, is an art.  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.
In general, I'd say, I put an average of 700 to 1,000 cc's in each cheek. And that can vary based on the person's size, how wide they are, how tall they are, etc.

4. What’s the deal with gaining weight before the procedure?

After talking with the patient, I decide on how big they want their butt - and that determines how much weight you need to gain. For instance, if you're about 130 lbs and 5'5" — and you want a nice butt — you're probably going to have to gain 10 lbs. 
And, of course, if someone is 20 lbs over their ideal weight, then you'll have to lose weight -- because I only want people to be 10 to 15 lbs heavier than their goal weight. 

5. What if I want a big booty like Kim Kardashian?

brazillian butt lift BBL before after dr jimerson dr j curves
There are different types of butts. Kim Kardashian has a very round butt. People might want one shape - but their body [shape] and genetics won't allow that.
I have to see 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 within the confinements of your own body.

6. How safe is a Brazilian butt lift?

The Brazilian butt lift procedure is very safe and I do several of them a week. The complication rates are relatively low.
The major risks include pulmonary embolism or fat embolism, and those are less than one percent. There's also risk of anemia, [as often], we're moving a lot of fat.  If you're already anemic, or starting your menstrual cycle, [this may be an issue].

7. Will I get a scar?

before and after brazilian butt lift dr jimerson dr j curves
I know people hate scars. I hate scars more than anyone, so I try to minimize scarring. For the BBL, there will be small scars scattered [around] the butt and abdomen area.
I hide as many of them as I can, and I do most of my work in the areas that are hidden. But, I do need to place certain marks. The [areas where the scars are placed] are going to have a major affect on how your butt looks. I change my markings based on the kind of butt I'm trying to create. We customize that [to each] individual patient.

8.  How long will my results last?

When we inject fat, I expect about 70 percent of it "to take", or stay. 30 percent of it will reabsorb. The fat that "takes" has established a blood supply, and it's not going anywhere. It will, however, shrink over time -- because other parts of the body shrink as well.  And if you lose weight, the fat will shrink. 
I think this is a very long-lasting procedure. I've had patients out for several years and they still maintain their results. 

9. What happens if I gain weight after my Brazilian Butt Lift?

before and after brazilian butt lift dr j curves
If you gain weight after BBL, you'll also gain weight in the fat cells -- and there's no predicting exactly where [that weight will end up]. I've seen a lot of my patients gain weight in their butt. That's because I've taken fat (from the flanks and inner thighs) that was resistant to diet and exercise -- and I've put that in your butt.
Also, just because I've liposuctioned [certain] areas and removed fat, doesn't mean that you can't [gain weight there again]. [You may also] gain weight in other areas of your body -- like your face, arms and places where you didn't [carry] fat before. What I tell people is, "Maintain your weight, that's the goal."

10. What if I get pregnant after BBL?

Different people handle pregnancy differently - and gain weight differently. So, if you get pregnant after a BBL - you're expected to gain weight, that's natural. But, you can moderate how much weight you gain.
Your body changes [again] after pregnancy, so there's no guarantee on how you're going to look. Your butt might get bigger or you may need a touch-up.

11. Will I be able to sit after surgery?

before and after brazilan butt lift dr jimerson dr j curves
I usually don't want people to sit at all for two weeks. After that, you can sit on a boppy pillow (which has a hollowed out area - so when you sit, you're actually sitting on the back of your thighs and not on your butt). There are also special chairs available - so you can sit without sitting on your butt. 
People can go back to work after a BBL in two weeks. Some of my employees who have had BBL [carry around] their boppy pillow for whatever chair they're sitting on. People [at work] will know that you had something done. 

Have more questions about Brazilian Butt Lift?  Ask them in our BBL community here.