What is a Butt Augmentation?
After liposuction, instead of letting the doctor throw away your fat tissue, you could recycle it by having your rear end augmented, or in other words, a butt lift.
A butt lift is also referred to as a gluteal or buttock augmentation or a gluteoplasty. It is a surgical procedure that is used to reshape the rear end by lifting it and increasing the size and protrusion, thereby making the derriere fuller and rounder. The reshaping can be done in three different ways: through the addition of fat, the addition of gluteal implants, or with a combination of both fat grafting and implants. The type of procedure that is used will be determined by your plastic surgeon during your initial consultation and before the actual surgery.
Types of Butt Lifts
As stated above, there are three types of butt lift procedures. Below, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences with each.
Butt Lift with Implants Surgical Procedure
In this procedure, only butt implants are used for contouring the rear end. Butt implants can be round or oval, similar to a breast implant; they come in many shapes and sizes. The implants themselves are commonly filled with solid silicone, which is a strong and sturdy material that can withstand the effects of pressure. This means that they are resistant to breaking and deflation. It’s very important for butt prosthesis to be very sturdy because the rear end is exposed to a lot of pressure whenever a person lies down or sits down.
Incisions for butt implants are made in the crease between the rear end and the back of the side or at the beginning of the crease between the two buttocks. Pockets are formed by the doctor, one on each side, for the implants to fit into. Placement for the prosthesis can either be above or below the gluteal muscle. After implant placement, the incisions are then closed with sutures. Drains are usually attached to the rear end incisions to collect blood and other fluids for approximately a week after the surgery.
Butt Implants with Fat Grafting Surgical Procedure
In some cases, a combination of both fat grafting and implants are used to contour the rear end. With butt implants and fat transfer, fat is sucked out via liposuction from the flanks to create or enhance an hour-glass figure. The purpose of the fat transfer is to round out the buttocks and to fill in any areas that weren’t taken care of with the butt implants.
If your surgeon chooses to use both implants and fat transfer, some surgeons choose to perform each procedure separately. This is because once the fat cells are transferred, they depend on blood flow for survival. If the butt implants are placed simultaneously with the fat cells, there’s a higher chance that the fat cells won’t survive. This is because the number of blood vessels which send blood to the fat cells are diminished in number because many of them are cut to place the implants.
Here is an example of fat grafting with butt implants in a butt augmentation surgery on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUV3u6eh0Vs
Risks with Butt Implants
Like all surgeries, there are of course risks involved with butt implants. Listed below are a number of risks with butt implant augmentation mommy makeover surgery:
- implant displacement or movement
- fluid collection
- nerve damage
- sciatic nerve pressure
- sutures breaking and exposing implants which requires removal
- implant rupturing
- risks with anesthesia
- capsular contracture (see below)
What is Capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is when the internal scar tissue tightens around the butt implants constricting them until they become misshapen and hard. This can happen to either one or both implants, but it is impossible to know beforehand if a particular patient is susceptible to it. Capsular contracture can also occur with breast implants. http://www.mommymakeoverinmiami.com/what-is-a-breast-lift
Other Cons with Butt Implants
There are two other cons concerning butt implants that should be noted. Compared with the Brazilian butt lift, butt implant prosthesis tends to have an unnatural look and feel. The second thing to note is that butt implants are not permanent. They must be replaced every 8 to 12 years after the initial surgery. All of the above-mentioned risks come with each additional surgery.
Butt Lifts with Fat Grafting
When fat grafting is the sole method for augmenting the butt without fat transfer, this butt augmentation procedure is commonly referred to as the Brazilian Butt Lift or the BBL. This method is the most popular among plastic surgeons, as long as there is enough excess fat on other areas of the body to be used for this method. The Brazilian butt lift is a procedure that was started in Brazil, thus the name the Brazilian. Because the patient’s own body fat is used in the procedure, the results are thought to last longer than using implants.
The Brazilian Butt Lift or Fat Grafting Procedure
Fat grafting, otherwise known as fat transfer, is the procedure used to add fat cells to the rear end in a butt lift operation. The fat transfer procedure is done with the help of liposuction. Liposuction is the process of sucking excess fat cells from other places in the body such as, the torso, back, flanks, arms, and the thighs. To do this, a vacuum or syringe which is attached to a special thin tube called a cannula or a microcannula is used. The use of a thin cannula will provide better results, i.e. a smoother looking liposuction. The harvesting of the excess fat cells should be done at low vacuum pressure to prevent damage to the cells. For liposuction, local anesthesia is given to the patient. Then the surgeon creates incisions in several areas of the body and then sucks out the fat. Your surgeon may suck out up to three times the amount of fat cells than they actually use.
After local anesthesia is administered to the patient, and liposuction is done, the fat that is retrieved from the aforementioned areas on the body is then sterilized and injected into the buttocks with special equipment. A small cannula is recommended for reinjection as well. The fat cells should be reinjected in minute quantities. This technique is called the micro droplet technique. Injecting the fat cells in larger quantities will result in them not surviving. This helps to achieve the desired effect of a more symmetrical rear end. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 60 to 80% of the injected fat is retained after this mommy makeover surgery. In some cases the percentage may be more or less.
Different plastic surgeons use different techniques when it comes to the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. The techniques used contribute to the successful results of the surgery and the longevity of those results. It is of the utmost importance to find a surgeon who has a lot of experience in this procedure. Your results will depend greatly upon your surgeon’s technique and your surgeon’s experience.
Fat Sterilization Process
There are many types of fat sterilization processes. An example of one process in particular is when the liposuctioned fat is cleansed with sterile saline and placed in a centrifuge to purify it. Some use the process of decanting along with the centrifuge. The centrifugation should occur at low-grade forces for short periods of time. This will prevent debris, and dead, or unhealthy cells from being used in the re-injection into the buttocks, and allow for a higher percentage of fat cells to “take.”
Brazilian Butt Lift Risks
Just as with butt implants, the Brazilian Butt Lift comes with its own set of risks as well. Here are some examples:
- swelling and bruising
- stretch marks
- fat embolism
- hematoma (bruising)
- numbness and pain
- partial loss of fat transfer for not obeying post op instructions
Brazilian Butt Lift vs. Butt Implants
Many surgeons prefer the Brazilian butt lift over butt implants for many reasons.
Pros for the Brazilian butt lift
- has a better look and feel and is more natural than implants
- fat transfer can provide better results than solid silicone implants
- no additional surgeries are needed (this depends solely upon the skill and experience of your surgeon)
- no issues with capsular conjecture (implant hardening)
- no implant displacement
- no sutures breaking and implants coming out
Cons for BBL
- the transferred fat cells may not survive
- fat cell reabsorption
- more than one surgery may be required to get the results desired
- the final results don’t occur until after one year
- the size of the buttocks may decrease over time
Good Candidates for a Butt Lift
Per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, good but lift candidates: are healthy and aren’t content with the size, shape, and or roundness of their buttocks. They also have realistic expectations when it comes to plastic surgery.
The Costs of a Butt Lift
The average cost of a mommy makeover butt lift, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is between $4,103 and $5,400. For a Brazilian Butt Lift, the cost is dependent upon the number of areas liposuctioned. An average of 2 to 3 areas is usually sufficient. The Real Self website shows an average cost of $8,650, with a low of $4,300 and the high of $13,300.
Rear end augmentations have become very popular in the last few years and the number of lifts surgically performed have increased exponentially. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, they are up 86% from 2013 to 2014; and up 26% from 2015 to 2016 per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Other expenses you should take into consideration in regards to the cost of a butt lift are:
- surgical facility fees
- medical testing fees
- the cost of anesthesia because normally, the average cost of the surgery doesn’t include it
- any special equipment needed that is specific to your type of surgical recovery, i.e. pillows, and support garments
- prescription medication costs
Other important considerations that I would consider the most important are your comfort level with the surgeon, their board certifications, and the surgeon’s experience.
Other Potential Risks with Butt Lifts:
- blood clots
- fat embolisms
- anesthesia complications
- liposuction complications
- excessive blood loss
- oil cysts
Your recovery instructions are going to be pretty much the same no matter which type of butt augmentation surgery you receive. There is to be no prolonged sitting on your derrière for approximately two weeks. When sleeping, you must sleep on your sides or stomach. When you do sit, a pillow or cushion must be used under your hamstrings to prevent pressure from being placed on the fat grafts. A support garment will be worn on the liposuction areas. Small drains will be placed in incisions to drain off blood and fluids.
Lymphatic massage may be suggested by your doctor. Exercise can begin after 6 to 8 weeks. It’s of the utmost importance to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. With fat grafting per the American Society of plastic surgeons, some of the fat in your buttocks will be re-absorbed by your body. Following a healthy lifestyle and maintaining your weight will deliver the most benefits after your butt lift or any plastic surgery for that matter. If you have a mommy makeover butt augmentation surgery using fat grafting only, you’ll lose and gain weight in the area just as you will on other areas of your body.
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