How long does a bbl last? Can the fat deposited into the buttocks dissolve into the body like any other fat?

Doctor Answers 5

Dr Kayser

Thank you for your question. A summary of fat transfer may help to answer your question. Fat is basically volume. Unlike a filler that can be injected in the office, however, fat is living tissue and, therefore, needs a blood supply, otherwise it will die. Fat cannot just simply be injected as a large clump into one local area otherwise, there will be problems with it, which could include bumps, lumps, cysts of fluid, irregularities, hardness, and loss of volume. Since fat is living tissue we need to prepare it and inject it in a way that gives it the best chance to survive. An analogy would be a farmer planting a corn field, for example. It would be best to take all the seeds and distribute them evenly throughout the ground so that they have the best chance of growing. If you took all the seeds and put them into one hole, the seeds would not germinate and would die. This would not be the seeds fault as they were not properly planted in the first place. Please see the surgery video on my site on fat grafting concepts.

When we take fat, we want to remove it through a special device called a cannula that has small holes, not unlike liposuction, but holes that are much smaller so that we can maintain the proper size of the seeds or parcels of fat that are harvested. We want to place the fat into the area where it's going to be transferred and distribute it EVENLY throughout the area so that every parcel of fat is  surrounded completely by the tissue it is being injected to and not touching other parcels of fat. In this way, each parcel or seed has the best chance of being surrounded by healthy tissue so that it can now establish a new blood supply and live. Even under these circumstances, there will be some loss of volume, however, but we want this loss to be even so that there are no problems as mentioned above. It is important to understand that fat is unpredictable, so technique can be very important in maximizing the long-term potential of fat survival. However, once the fat is integrated into its surrounding tissues, it does have the potential to last a lifetime. There are many examples of patients who have had excellent long-term and stable results from fat grafting.

Although there are surgeons who are injecting 800, 1000 or 1500 CC so fat into each butt, it is also not uncommon to hear patients to constantly complain about irregularities, hardness, bumps, and other problems as a result of the massive volumes of fat that were OVER injected, and I repeat, over injected into the area in order to have a patient feel satisfied that they received a big enough butt!. Anyone can inject fat, the problem is if this will compromise the end result and in many cases, unfortunately, it does. It would be much better to under inject fat and come back and do it again correctly then to over inject fat and then deal with all the problems that can occur if this does happen.

I realize this can be sound confusing but fat transfer is currently one of the most intensely areas of study in our specialty. In any case, I would recommend that you seek out a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in these matters, not only to the buttocks but also to the entire body as well. I hope this helps and have a wonderful day. Dr Kayser - Detroit

Detroit Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How long does a bbl last?

BBL is permanent, some of the fat is reabsorbed and after the swelling goes down you're able to realize the size your buttocks will be; and they will either go bigger or a little smaller as you gain or lose weight.

Yily De Los Santos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,695 reviews

BBL and fat

Once the fat takes, the fat is permanent, If you lose or gain weight, the fat will fluctuate. Best of luck with your procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How long does a bbl last? Can the fat deposited into the buttocks dissolve into the body like any other fat?

After the initial loss after the first 4 to 6 weeks, the result is stable for the majority of patients.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

BBL lasting effect


Thanks for the question.  On average, about 60-70% of the fat transferred into the buttocks will survive.  After that initial 6 weeks period, whatever fat did survive should live forever just like it would anywhere else on the body.  If you have significant weight loss then you may lose some volume in the buttock as well, but if your weight remains stable then the longevity of the fat is essentially permanent.  

Good Luck

Brian Arslanian, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.