Before we can discuss the normal recovery process for a Brazilian Butt Lift, let’s describe what the procedure is. A Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL, is a procedure where we combine liposuction with fat transfer. We remove fat from the areas that you don’t want it, such as your abdomen, flanks, back, thighs, or arms. The fat is removed using a specialized liposuction technique so that the fat cells are not harmed. We then process the fat to remove the blood and dead fat cells. This fat is then injected into the butt and hips to enlarge and reshape the areas, or fill in some contour defects like “hip dips” or other dimples.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in a fully certified and accredited operating facility. Dr. Matthew Schulman believes that general anesthesia is the safest method of anesthesia for this procedure. The procedure takes 2-3 hours depending on the amount of liposuction and fat transfer required. You will then be transferred to a recovery area where you will spend a few hours until you are awake and feel better. You are able to leave the facility and return home or to wherever you plan on recovering after your procedure.
What the Recovery Period From Brazilian Butt Lift Will Be After You Get Home
So now let’s talk about what the recovery will be after you get home. There is certainly pain after the procedure. Liposuction hurts. There is bruising and swelling that cannot be avoided. Even though people have different thresholds for pain, I tell all my patients to expect “the worst pain of your life” for 4 to 5 days. Hopefully your pain will not be this bad, but you should mentally prepare yourself for this possibility. I would rather have you experience less pain than you expected, than experience more pain than expected. You will be bruised and swollen in the areas of fat removal and fat injection. During this time, you should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take your medications as directed. After this initial 4-5 days, you will begin to feel better, but the soreness will last several weeks. If you had a drainage tube placed during your procedure, it is usually removed on the 7th day. Most patients will be able to resume normal activities and return to school or work after 10-14 days. You can begin more strenuous activities, such as exercising, after 3-4 weeks, with your surgeon’s permission of course.
Even after return to daily activities, there will be significant swelling and probably some bruising. There will be days where you feel great, and other days where you feel terrible. The ups and downs are normal after any surgery. You will not be entirely happy with your surgical results right away. The buttock and hips may seem bigger than you wanted, or the shape may not seem as round as you had hoped for. Also, the areas of liposuction may not seem small enough for you. This is completely normal. It usually takes about 4-6 weeks before you begin to see the improvement in your shape, so you must be patient with the healing process.
The keys to Brazilian Butt Lift recovery
The key to the recovery is to not put pressure on the areas of fat grafting for a total of 6 weeks. This means no sitting directly on your butt and no sleeping on your back or sides. This is necessary to protect the newly transferred fat cells and they develop a blood supply and become permanently part of you again. It is no different than putting grass seed down on the dirt. If you walk on the grass seeds or tiny seedlings, they will die. Think of your transplanted fat as tiny seeds. If you put too much pressure on your butt or hips, a lower percentage of fat cells will live, or “take”. Even if you follow every rule and restriction, a loss of about 30% of the fat cells is normal. We just don’t want you to lose more fat than that.
I understand that not sitting is the most difficult part of the recovery process. You should practice learning to sit upright, with good posture, and more forward on the edge of your seat. This will place the pressure on the back of your thighs instead of your butt. The use of a specialized “BBL pillow” can also help. Many of my patients who work in an office have used a “standing desk”. But remember, if you are planning to keep your surgery a secret from your co-workers, you may want to start using your standing desk long before you return from your 2 week “vacation” with a round butt.
You will likely experience “fluffing” that occurs about 6 months after the surgery. You should notice increased roundness to your butt and hips. This occurs as the fat matures and settles, and the skin becomes more relaxed. This is a good thing and people think that the butt gets bigger. It doesn’t actually get larger, but it does get more round and appears bigger.
With any plastic surgery, it can take up to a full year to see your final results. Your Brazilian Butt Lift results are no exception. Patience is most important with this procedure. Of course, if you have questions about your recovery and results, make sure to speak to your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.