How can a butt lift be done if an individual does not have excess fat for grafting?

I am a petite woman who lost some weight which caused my buttocks to drop and no longer have that full bubble look it once did. However, I have no excess fat to use for grafting and do not want to use implants just to get the fullness again. So how can this be done?

Doctor Answers 7

Excess fat

The best way would be if you could gain 10-15 pounds.  This can usually be achieved by eating as many calories as possible over a one month period.  Surgeons are harvesting small amounts of fat over larger areas to get as much fat as possible so that results can be good in smaller patients.

Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

How can a butt lift be done if an individual does not have excess fat for grafting?

Congratulations on your butt lift.  A butt lift can still be performed with excision of a small area of skin on the belt line of the upper buttocks.  This can be combined with butt augmentation with whatever fat you have available for safe harvest with liposuction.  Best of luck.  

Jason Mussman, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fat needed for a buttlift

Unfortunately, if you don't have sufficient fat stores, you would not be a candidate for a buttlift. The reason is because this procedure required you to have enough fat in an area to transfer. Some practitioners recommended gaining weight , but you don't know where the weight will go if you gain. 

In summary, not enough fat makes you not a good canidate for a fat transfer.

James R. Benjamin, MD
Bowie Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Buttock lift options for individual without excess fat for grafting

Most of the patients I see who are looking for better buttock shape and size but who do not have a lot of fat are good candidates for buttock implant.  The buttock implant is a semi-solid silicone rubber implant, which I place into the interior of the gluteus maximus muscle (it doesn't really go under the muscle, like a breast implant would, because of the shape of the underlying pelvic bone) through an incision in the midline, hidden between the buttock mounds.

Another option might be temporary weight gain.  Obviously, if you gain wait, have a fat transfer, and then lose the weight, you will lose fat from the transferred graft at the same rate, eliminating the benefit.  However, if you gain the weight, have a fat harvest, and then bank the fat in a tissue bank (should be FDA licensed), you could lose the additional weight before having the transfer.  Then, use the banked fat for a transfer, and since you won't be losing any more weight, you won't lose any of the graft due to weight loss.

That's sort of a lot of trouble, but is at least another option.  But my recommendation for most thinner patients who want better buttock roundness, shape, and size, is a buttock implant.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Buttock lift without fat

Depending upon the amount of "lift" your buttock needs, you may be well suited with a buttock implant to restore the volume loss. 90+% of my patients like you are adequately treated with an implant only, the rest have significant skin laxity that requires a lift similar to a tummy tuck for the buttock. 
Additionally let me kshare 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 very good options so what it comes down to, like any surgery, is proper patient selection.
Indeed because at least 50+ % 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 don't fall victim to this recommendation. Although using your own fat is relatively safe, 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 PMMA and hyaluronic acids. Also fillers, when injected in large quantities, have a relatively high tendency to migrate away from the original area they were placed and tend to stimulate a lot of inflammation and a subsequent 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 augmentation (at least in my practice). I prefer to insert the buttock implants through a 2 inch long incision over the tailbone (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 the gluteus maximus muscle. In this position, the implant is less palpable, less visible, and does not sag or shift/migrate over time unlike implants placed on top of the muscle. Therefore it is extremely important to seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure (in fact both implants and fat transfer so that s/he is not bias). And in this case too, at least in my surgical practice, the infection rate is minimized to ~5%. Glad to help.
Depending upon the amount of your current fat reserves and their distribution, you may or may not be a reasonable candidate for fat transfer. If you are wanting to utilize the fat to further augment your buttock in addition to implants, then I caution you against this. The reason being that the fat needs to be placed into the buttock muscles for optimal survival, however, this is exactly where the implant needs to reside and thus risks infection and/or death of the fat. Because of this risk, I frequently avoid fat grafting into a buttock that has an implant. Bottom line, I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon specialist in buttock augmentation (BOTH implants and fat transfer) to determine what option is best for you. Glad to help.

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Butt lift

Hello and thank you for your question. Without photos it is difficult to tell, however a lower body lift or just a buttock lift retaining all your tissue for an auto augmentation can be done. If your tummy does not need any work the butt lift can be combined with a spiral thigh lift. This will also often help with the shaping if your buttocks. 

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

How can a butt lift be done if an individual does not have excess fat for grafting?

If you do not want buttock implants and do not have fat for grafting, a buttock lift can be done to remove excess skin and lift the buttock in that manner.   Pictures or an exam would be necessary to make a determination.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 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.