Gluteal implants are safe
The most concerning complications with buttocks implants include a)infection and extrusion; b)malpositioning
Proper surgical planning and technique will avoid infection and extrusion; to date, we have been performing buttocks implants for 10 years and have not required removal of an implant; b)malpositiioning and implant rotation can be avoided by use of round implants (if they rotate they will look the same) as well as meticulous closure of 4 layers of the incision line which will protect your implant.
Of course you should do your research on a surgeon. Be sure to go to a surgeon who specializes in buttock implants and has extensive experience in doing this procedure. Pictures are important as well. If the surgeon does this procedure regularly, everything will be ok. Enjoy!
In short, a combination of sculpting your waistline with liposuction and augmenting your buttock with implants provides the best chance for a long lasting "hour-glass" figure. Please read on for more surgical details:
Regarding buttock/hip augmentation surgery, let me start off by saying that I currently see at least 2 - 3 patients, domestic and international, per week that failed "brazilian buttock lift" (i.e. the fat melted away after 10 - 12+ months) and are now seeking a more reliable and permanent option (i.e. buttock and/or hip implants).
Allow me to share with you some information that you may not hear elsewhere. There are only two proven safe and relatively effective methods for Buttock Augmentation and Hip Augmentation: 1) Autologous Fat Transfer (using your own fat, transferring from one area of the body to the other) and 2) Buttock/Hip Implants (semi-solid silicone rubber implants that cannot rupture &/or leak). Both are options but what it comes down to, like any surgery, is proper patient selection and long-term results.
Indeed because at least 80+ % of the fat transferred will melt away within a year, most patients are not good candidates because they lack an adequate amount of fat to harvest. Another tip is that if you purposely gain weight (i.e. fat) for the procedure, the fat you lose first as you get back to your baseline weight is that very same fat that was transferred into your buttock...so don't fall victim to this recommendation. Even those patients that had adequate amounts of fat pre-operatively, still end up seeking buttock implants after a year or so because most of the fat transferred melted away leaving them with minimal result.
Although overall using your own fat is relatively safe, it not infrequently melts away unevenly leaving one butt cheek bigger than the other or with dimpling or hard fat cysts. The one serious complication that can rarely (< 1%) happen is "fat embolism" in which some of the fat gets into the blood stream and travels up into the lungs, heart, and/or brain causing serious problems. This complication is more likely to happen with the larger amount of fat being transferred. This is even more likely to happen when using fillers like liquid silicone, PMMA, Sculptra, and hyaluronic acids. Also fillers, when injected in large quantities, have a relatively high infection rate, guaranteed tendency to migrate away from the original area they were injected, and almost always stimulate a lot of inflammation with a subsequent and disastrous amount of scar tissue/hardening.
Thus buttock/hip implants become a very good, safe, and long term reliable option for most patients seeking buttock/hip augmentation (at least in my practice). I prefer to insert the buttock implants through a 1 1/2 inch long incision along the inner curve of each upper buttock cheek at the level of the tailbone, similar to two opposing parentheses ")(" (concealed within the crevice between the buttock cheeks) and the hip implants through a ~ 1 inch incision just below the beltline above the hip region. The buttock implant should always be placed under or within (muscle thickness permitting) the gluteus maximus muscle. In this position, the implant is much less palpable & visible (ie feeling and looking like an Olympic sprinter's butt), and does not sag or shift/migrate over time unlike implants placed on top of the muscle or "subfascial". On the other hand, hip implants are placed under just the fascia because no significant muscle exists in this region. However, because they are much smaller and lighter, their likelihood of migration is relatively low. Because all of this, it is extremely important to seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure so that the implant placement is precise for both locations. And in this case too, at least in my surgical practice, the infection rate is minimized to
How Safe are Gluteal Implants?
Good Question! As a plastic surgeon, even I had questions about the safety and predictability of placing buttock implants. This was about 12 years ago, before I started performing the procedure. What would the implants feel like? Would they look and feel natural? Would there be a high rate of infection and implant removal because of where the incisions are? How hard would the recovery be for placing a solid implant in the buttock muscle? How would the implants look over time? Could they move or become displaced?
Since then (and hundreds of buttock implants later), I can tell you that, overall, it is a reliable, safe, and predictable procedure. It must be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with the procedure. The placement must be intramuscular (within the gluteus maximus muscle, or between it and the gluteus minimus). This is key, because it surrounds the entire implant with thick, well vascularized muscle. This creates a more natural look and feel, but also stabilizes the implant. It will not break through this muscular covering and change position. It also decreases the possibility of an infection because, with the implant surrounded completely by muscle, there is less chance fluid or blood can accumulate around the implant creating conditions that favor the growth of bacteria.
Another key point is the size of the implant. It must be appropriate for your frame and the existing soft tissue of your buttock. The sky is not the limit here. Implants larger than your frame or tissues can handle may succeed in giving you a dramatic "bubble butt" , but this may result in incomplete muscle coverage of the implant and a hard, less natural feel. These are solid silicone elastomer implants (not filled with soft silicone gel like a breast implant), so the larger the implant, the firmer the butt. It may look good, but it will feel hard and your butt will lose it's jiggle.
Overall, if the operation is planned well and done with careful sterile/surgical technique, there is a very low rate of infection, implant removal, or implant malposition. Results over the years have been very good, and the implants look great over the years on long term follow up.