Buttock augmentation reshapes and enhances your gluteal area. Most commonly, treatment is performed using your own tissue, known technically as autologous fat transfer, or more commonly, as a Brazilian Butt Lift. Liposuction is used in conjunction to harvest fat which is then injected into the buttocks, as well as to further contour your buttock to achieve your desired shape.
Buttock augmentation can also be performed by moving a flap of tissue from one area of your buttocks or lower back to a more desirable position. Solid or cohesive silicone gel implants can also be used to create a fuller look.
Am I a good candidate for buttock augmentation?
Buttock augmentation has gained popularity due to cultural trends around the world and in the media. Individuals who are interested in buttock augmentation might have one or more of the following feelings or concerns:
- Your buttocks are too small for your body frame
- Clothes do not fit properly on your figure
- Weight loss has left your buttocks loose, sagging or flat
- The shape or size of your buttocks makes you feel self-conscious
During the consultation, you will be asked about what you would like your buttocks to look like, as well as other body image concerns. This will help your surgeon to understand and address your expectations and whether they can realistically be achieved.
How will my ASAPS plastic surgeon evaluate me?
Your plastic surgeon will examine your buttocks and most likely take photographs for your medical record. He or she will consider such factors as the size and shape of your buttocks, the quality of your skin and what kind of augmentation is appropriate. In addition, if Brazilian Butt Lift is planned, he or she will determine what sites on your body are appropriate fat donor sites.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries, and medications (including over-the-counter meds) that you take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, be sure to tell your plastic surgeon. He or she may recommend that you stabilize your weight prior to undergoing surgery.
Your buttock augmentation options
Plastic surgeons have adapted standard techniques and are developing new ones to address patients’ desire for firmer, higher, rounder buttocks.
Autologous fat transfer
One tried-and-true procedure that now is being used to enhance gluteal contours is autologous fat transfer, grafting fat from one body part to add volume to another. Donor sites may include the abdomen, hips, back or thighs. Fat cells are removed via lipoplasty (liposuction), and then injected in "layers" into the buttocks. Disadvantages of this technique include difficulty in predicting how much fat will be reabsorbed by the body and the possibility that multiple procedures may be necessary. The popular “Brazilian Butt Lift” uses this technique to enhance and reshape the buttock area. Your surgeon may also use liposuction to further contour your buttock.
The implant procedure often is performed by making an incision in the fold between the buttock "cheeks" and inserting a solid silicone implant into the pocket below the gluteus muscle and above the pelvic bone. Alternative locations for incision are the outer corners of the upper buttock and bottom in the gluteal crease. Your plastic surgeon will give further details of these incision locations during the consultation as it pertains to your unique circumstance. The periphery of the cheeks is taped after surgery, so the implants are held in position as the tissues heal. Typically, buttock implants are not effective for treatment of sagging buttocks, which often may occur after significant weight loss. Implants are most appropriate when congenital deformity or heredity is the cause of flat or poorly defined buttocks.
Patient safety warning: silicone injections
Always consult a board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably an ASAPS Member, if you are thinking of having this procedure. Silicone injections are unsafe and performed often by unscrupulous individuals, who are not doctors, not licensed and will disappear after your procedure.
Your buttock augmentation experience
The goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible.
How should I prepare?
If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a week before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.
Buttock augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
Day of surgery
Your buttock augmentation surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Most commonly, general anesthesia is used for patients, although local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be desirable in some instances.
When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area, where you will continue to be closely monitored. Unless arrangements have been made for an overnight stay, you will be permitted to go home when you meet certain safety criteria.
Recovery from buttock augmentation
At the conclusion of your buttock augmentation procedure, you may be placed in a surgical dressing that may include a support or compression garment. You should follow your plastic surgeon’s directions as prescribed. Prior to your discharge, you and your caregiver will be given detailed instructions about your post-surgical care including drains if they have been placed, the normal symptoms you will experience, and any potential signs of complication.
During the first 2 weeks, you are advised to avoid putting direct pressure on your buttock for more than a few minutes at a time. If you have to sit, use a very soft cushion. From week three to week six after surgery, you should also sit on cushions when sitting for prolonged periods.
When can I resume my normal daily activities?
Fat transfer and Brazilian Butt lift
The liposuction incisions are very small, just enough to allow the suction wand, or cannula, to go under the skin and take out the fat that we work with. Your buttocks commonly feel soreness and pain, but this usually resolves after just a few days. After the procedure, you must wear a body garment for 6-8 weeks. You can go back to work after 10-14 days.
Recovery period is slightly longer and more painful than the expected period for a breast augmentation procedure, as the buttocks region of the body is involved in physical activity such as walking, running and even standing. You can also expect to not be able to sit or sleep on your backs during the first few weeks without pain, and may require some help getting dressed. Pain is controlled by medication.
You can expect some bruising and swelling in the buttock area during recovery, which may spread up to the abdominal or thigh area. This is normal and will begin to subside after a few days or weeks.
Understanding the risks of buttock augmentation
All surgery has potential complications. Although complications are not very common in cosmetic surgery, they do occur.
Infection and bleeding are major risks. Also, while the patient will have a rounder, fuller, buttock region instantly, the fat re-injected into the buttocks may shrink as much as 40% in the next year as it is reabsorbed into the body. This fat reabsorption may produce asymmetry if one side of the buttocks absorbs more than the other, making the results of this procedure difficult to predict precisely.
The patient may react adversely to the anesthesia used during surgery. Infection, bleeding and muscle damage are also major risks with buttock implant surgery. It is also possible for the implants to slip post surgery, causing asymmetry, since the buttocks region is constantly shifting with sitting and physical activity involving the legs. Any complications or changes in shape may require additional surgery.
Results of buttock augmentation
Buttock augmentation is a highly satisfying procedure that enhances the profile of the buttocks and surrounding areas for a younger, firmer, curvier look.
What to expect
Following buttock enhancement procedures, many patients experience an immediate improvement in self-esteem and discover a greater self-confidence. In addition, many also find greater access to different clothing styles and fashions and are less self-conscious at the gym, around the pool, or at the beach.
However, the final results may be initially obscured by swelling after surgery. When the swelling subsides, sometimes taking a full three months, the true results will be more evident.
A buttock enhancement procedure should not be viewed as a magical cure however. While the procedure improves your shape and contour, you will have to make lifestyle changes in order to maintain the appearance of your new shape. A good, healthy diet and exercise regimen can be incorporated into one’s daily routine to maintain your look.
How long will the results last?
After a successful fat transfer buttock augmentation or Brazilian Butt lift, the fat that remains will stay there for the rest of your life. Like the rest of the tissue in your body this fat will grow and age with you.
As for buttock augmentation with implants, all implants sold in the US are made of a soft SOLID silicone polymer. As such they do not leak and therefore do not need to be removed unless you develop a late complication.
Follow up with your ASAPS surgeon
It is important to keep in touch with your plastic surgeon and their office. All recommendations for postoperative care and follow up visits should be taken seriously. Any concerns and deviation from what you expect should be addressed as quickly as possible.
What is the cost of buttock augmentation surgery?
Buttock augmentation or a buttock lift and reshaping could require multiple procedures performed together or in a series (injections for fat transfer). ASAPS’ statistics surveys doctors for buttock augmentation, buttock lift, liposuction and autologous fat grafting. The price of your surgery usually involves a combination of these procedures.
These numbers only reflect the physician/surgeon fees only in 2012 and do not include fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, surgical garments or other miscellaneous costs related to surgery.
Autologous fat grafting: $1,909
Buttock augmentation - $4,645
Buttock lift - $4,820
Lipoplasty/Liposuction - $2,830
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