What is a butt lift?
A butt lift refers to all of the cosmetic surgery procedures that improve the appearance of the butt, or buttocks. It can involve a superior gluteal lift, an inferior gluteal lift, butt silicon implants, fat injection and grafting, and even injection of other filler materials.
In recent times, a specific variation of a butt lift, the Brazilian Butt Lift, has become popular, especially in the USA and Latin America where predominantly Latin and African American culture values fuller, larger butts.
Who is it for?
Those who choose to undergo a butt lift can have a variety of butt shape problems. A butt can be saggy, become deflated with weight loss or it can be too full or large if the person has a 'pear shape' body type. After pregnancies, often the flanks or 'love handles' become full, thickening the waist and causing a 'muffin top'. Some people have these shape problems just through inheritance. In many cases, it is due to ageing or major weight loss.
How is it done?
A butt lift involves a general anaesthetic and a hospital stay.
If the butt is saggy, a superior gluteal lift may help. This places a scar at the top of the buttocks. Fat grafting or flap surgery may be used to add volume to the butt. Butt implants may be used.
If the lower butt junction with the back of the thigh is saggy, a lower (infragluteal) butt lift might be needed. This places a scar horizontally at the bottom of the butt where it joins the leg.
If the butt is deflated after weight loss, or well-shaped, but simply too small for the desired size, fat grafting or butt implants can be used, or a BBL might be the best option.
A word on butt implants and materials used for filling out the volume of the butt...
Butt implant surgery, where a silicon implant is used to add volume to the butt, carries a high risk of complications. These include infection, pain, and deformity, along with possible implant rupture.
Fat grafting (used in BBLs), where fat liposuctioned from another part of the body and placed in the butt, is likely the safest and healthiest option. The results, however, as seen on the internet, can be misleading as most showcase patients butts within a month after the procedure. While some fat survives the transfer, a lot does not, so over time many of these people will lose volume from their butt and need either to accept some recurrent sag, or have further procedures. We recommend viewing images showing results at least 12 months after the procedure, to get a realistic perspective.
Foreign material butt injectables: Unscrupulous people will inject nearly anything into the butt to increase its volume. Never consider this! There have been deaths and severe deformity with infection from butt injections with illegal or infected materials, from silicon oil to even in one USA case, concrete! Don't have any injectable to the butt except your own fat.
What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)?
A Brazilian butt lift is a specific type of butt lift without implants and without visible scars.
After pregnancies, or sometimes due to one's body shape, a person's waist and flanks (muffin tops) are thick and contain fat, while the butt might be too small or deflated. In a BBL, the waist, flanks and thighs are liposuctioned to make them thinner and smaller. The fat is then injected into the butt, to make it bigger. When the surgery is successful, it results in a smaller waist and bigger butt.
It's important to understand that there are few long-term studies that have shown successful results from the operation, but it is also common for it to cause deformity, lumps, pain and infection.
Can the butt be liposuctioned to make it smaller?
The answer is no. The butt, for a good shape, needs to have volume and look 'inflated' or round. The soft tissue of the butt has a complex support structure, and it needs the fat cells to fill its framework up in order to look pert. Liposuction of the butt itself produces a deflated, saggy butt, often with cellulite, and is not recommended by surgeons.
Instead, surgeons can liposuction around the butt, reducing the waist, flanks and thighs. This can help make the butt look smaller and rounder if it's too big but well supported, in women with a natural pear shape.
Post-surgery, the treated area becomes swollen and bruised. While bruising gradually dissipates and the patient will see changes to the area as soon as the garment is removed, it will take weeks, and possibly months, for all of the swelling to resolve and to reveal one's new body.
Following surgery, it is best to take some time off work, depending on the size of the procedure. Patients can resume driving when they are comfortable and no longer taking strong pain medication; normally some days after surgery.
These procedures cause bruising discomfort, which normally makes the patient stiff and sore. The discomfort can be controlled with oral pain medication. It is crucial that the patient drinks plenty of fluid and waits at least three weeks before participating in heavy exercise.
Butt lifts of all types have a high complication rate, and a high rate of poor outcomes.
Important to know
So you can make an informed decision, your elected surgeon will discuss the possible risks associated with butt lifts. Due to the complicated nature of these surgeries, it's important to understand how problems can be managed in the event that they occur.