Buttock augmentation, or gluteal augmentation surgery, is sometimes commonly referred to as a Brazilian butt lift (when performed with fat transfer) and involves using implants or fat grafting, or sometimes a combination of both, to increase the size of your buttocks.
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What is buttock augmentation?
Buttock augmentation surgery, sometimes referred to as a Brazilian butt lift or simply butt lift when fat transfer is involved, uses implants, fat grafting or sometimes a combination of both to increase the size of your buttocks. This procedure can:
- Increase fullness, roundness and projection of your buttock
- Improve the balance of your figure
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
Buttock augmentation surgery is right for someone who does not like the shape of their buttock or is looking to balance their body. It is commonly performed in one of two ways, with implants or fat transfer. The fat transfer procedure is commonly known as a “Brazilian butt lift.”
Buttock augmentation cost
The average cost of buttock augmentation with fat grafting is $4,077; buttock implants is $4,580 and buttock lift is $4,509, according to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Buttock augmentation cost can vary widely. The average fees referenced above do not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
Your cost will be based on your individual plan and procedure.
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A surgeon’s cost for buttock augmentation may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well geographic office location.
Most health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Buttock augmentation costs may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Any special pillows that may be required for your recovery
- Medical tests
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for buttock augmentation surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Buttock augmentation candidates
Buttock augmentation is a very personal procedure and you should do it for yourself, not for someone else.
You may be a good candidate for buttock augmentation if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You are bothered by the feeling that your buttock is too small
- You are unhappy with the roundness or general shape of your buttock
- Your buttock is asymmetrical
Buttock augmentation recovery
After buttock augmentation surgery you will be taken into a recovery area to be closely monitored.
You may be permitted to go home after a few hours. Before leaving, you will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your buttocks and any areas that may have been liposuctioned following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
You will be instructed to wear a support garment “around the clock” following your surgery. Your surgeon will tell you how long you need to wear the garment and if there are any other garments that you may have to wear during your recovery.
Each buttock augmentation procedure has specific steps that you need to take to ensure a healthy recovery and good results:
Buttock Augmentation With Implants
You will need to wear a support garment for approximately two to three weeks after your procedure. This will help the skin redrape properly and provide support to the augmented buttocks. Final results are noticeable three months after surgery. At this point, most of the swelling will be gone and the implants will be settled in their normal position.
Buttock Augmentation With Fat Grafting Recovery
You will be asked to avoid prolonged sitting for about two weeks (some surgeons prefer longer). This is very important because prolonged sitting will damage the fat.
You will also be encouraged to sleep face down or on your side. When you do have to sit, you will have to use a pillow or cushion placed behind the legs (hamstring muscles) to help raise the buttock avoiding pressure onto the fat grafts.
You will also be provided with a support garment that will apply even compression to the areas that were treated with liposuction. In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Your surgeon may encourage you to seek a lymphatic massage from a licensed massage therapist. You can generally resume exercise after six to eight weeks.
With either procedure, it is important to be informed about the steps you can take to aid your recovery.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- How long will I wear the compression garment?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
It may take several months for the swelling to fully dissipate. As it does, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Buttock augmentation results
Your buttock augmentation results are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.
Buttock augmentation incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time. The final results of your buttock augmentation with implants will appear over the next few months as your implant, buttock shape and position continue to settle.
If your procedure was performed with fat transfer, it can take up to a year to see your final results. Some of the fat that leads to the initial shape after surgery will be reabsorbed by your body.
The results of your buttock augmentation surgery will be long lasting. Over time, your buttock size and shape can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
- Maintain your weight
- Keep a healthy lifestyle
If your surgery was performed with fat transfer, it is important to keep in mind that this fat can behave like any other fat in your body. If you gain weight, the fat in your buttocks may grow. If you lose weight, you may lose some of the volume in the buttocks as the fat shrinks.
What happens during buttock augmentation surgery?
Your buttock augmentation surgery can be achieved through either the use of implants or through transferring your existing fat or sometimes and combination of both. Your surgeon may choose between a variety of incision patterns and techniques.
The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
- Buttock size and shape
- The amount of fat you have on your body that is available for use through liposuction
- Your goals and activity level
- Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you. No matter which type of buttock augmentation procedure you have, anesthesia will be used to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Buttock Implant Procedure
Step 1 – Buttock implant procedure
An incision will be made. The incision can be made toward the top on both sides of the upper buttock, toward the bottom in both of the gluteal creases (the areas where your “cheeks” meets the top of the thighs), incisions between both cheeks (hidden in the crease) or with one incision placed down the center of the sacrum, or the crease between the buttocks. The length of the incision and scar is directly related to the affected areas.
Step 2 – Implant placement
A silicone implant specially made for the buttocks is inserted either in the muscle or above the gluteal muscle on each side. The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the buttocks tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin.
Step 4 – See the results
The results of buttock augmentation are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller buttock. Results of this surgery are permanent.
Fat Grafting/Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure
Step 1 – Liposuction
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions. First, diluted local anesthesia is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula. In general, your surgeon may liposuction up to three times the amount of fat than what will actually be injected into the buttocks.
Step 2 – Fat injection
The fat, tissue and blood that were removed through liposuction are then processed. The syringes are then connected to a special cannula. Your surgeon will use this cannula to add the fat to the buttocks through small injections all over your buttocks.
Step 3 – See the results
The results of buttock augmentation are immediately visible; however you will not see your final results until a year after the surgery, as it takes a while for the fat to “take.” This procedure offers natural looking and feeling results, but the projection of the buttocks may decrease over time. Some of the initial volume you experience after your fat grafting procedure will fade as the fat is absorbed by your body ( on the average patients will retain 60-80% of the transferred fat, in some cases more in others less). Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for a fuller buttock. As you gain or lose weight, your results may change as the transferred fat can grow or shrink just as any other fat in your body.
Buttock augmentation risks and safety information
The decision to have buttock augmentation surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any buttock augmentation risks and potential complications.
Buttock augmentation with implants risks include:
- Opening of the incisions with implant exposed requiring removal
- Nerve damage
- Implant rupture
- Implant migration
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Pressure on your sciatic nerve
- Anesthesia risks
Buttock augmentation by fat transfer risks include:
- Excessive loss of blood
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
- Numbness and pain
- Fat embolism, injection of fat into the bloodstream that causes inflammation in the lungs
- Fluid shifts and lidocaine toxicity
- Complications of liposuction
- Complications of anesthesia
- Swelling and bruising
- Possible need for a revision surgery at a later date
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Anesthesia risks
- Oil cyst
- Stretch marks
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Your buttock augmentation surgery consultation
During your consultation for buttock augmentation surgery be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and the desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and previous medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
Your plastic surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of buttock augmentation and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for buttock augmentation surgery
Prior to buttock augmentation surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a blood test
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs as they can increase bleeding
Buttock augmentation surgery may be performed in an accredited outpatient or ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon questions. It’s very important to understand all aspects of your buttock augmentation surgery. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Questions to ask my plastic surgeon
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
- Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect my arms to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my arm lift?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
Choose a surgeon you can trust
Buttock augmentation surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) surgeon you can trust.
- ASPS member surgeons meet rigorous standards:
- Board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery® (ABPS) or in Canada by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®
- Complete at least six years of surgical training following medical school with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training
- Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety, each year
- Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities
Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications.
The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There is no ABMS recognized certifying board with “cosmetic surgery” in its name.
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can be assured that you are choosing a qualified, highly trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
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