A Brazilian Butt Lift Explained

The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure is among the fastest growing procedures in plastic surgery. It is unclear exactly why the popularity has grown, but many will point to the curves of well-known celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj as helping to drive the demand.  Social media images have also helped spur the growth of this procedure, commonly referred to as “BBL”.

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?

A Brazilian Butt Lift is a surgical procedure that removes unwanted fat and then moves that fat to areas you want it. So, fat would be removed from areas like the abdomen, flanks, back, thighs and placed into the butt and the hips.  This is done with a modified liposuction technique in which the fat is collected into sterile containers, specially processed, and injected into the areas that you want larger or rounder.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

Many people are candidates for the Brazilian butt lift procedure. If you have unwanted fat in areas that you want smaller, and you have areas of your body that you want larger or reshaped, a Brazilian butt lift would be the right procedure for you.

There are a few requirements for the procedure, which includes:

  • Adequate donor fat
  • Healthy individual with no medical contraindications for a surgical procedure
  • Non-smokers
  • No excess skin laxity
  • Not obese
  • The ability to minimize pressure on the butt and hips for an extended period of time after surgery

How is the procedure performed?

While there are some surgeons who would perform this procedure under local anesthesia, I find that general anesthesia provides a higher level of safety and comfort for the patient and allows the surgeon to perform the procedure with better and more predictable results. Therefore, I perform the procedure in my fully accredited operating room and every patient is under general anesthesia and directly monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist.

The first part of the procedure is liposuction which is done to harvest the fat that will be used to re-inject later. I use a tumescent liposuction technique in which tumescent fluid, consisting of a combination of salt water, lidocaine, and epinephrine, is injected into the areas where liposuction is to be performed. A modified liposuction technique is used so that the harvested fat cells are subjected to less trauma. The modifications that I use includes using a lower level of suction during the liposuction as well as collecting the harvested fat into specialized sterile collection canisters. This helps ensure a higher level of fat cells survival which will result in a better result that is longer lasting. I take great care in this harvesting part of the procedure because the liposuction should be much more than just simply obtaining fat to re-inject somewhere else. It is a critical shaping procedure to the operation. Good shaping with the liposuction will allow for improved cosmetic results.

Next , we treat the harvested fat. This means that we allow the excess fluid and blood to be removed from the collected fat, leaving isolated pure fat cells. Antibiotics are added to the fat cells to decrease the risk of infection. The fat cells are then injected into the areas that we want to make larger or rounder. For most people this is the butt and the hips.

How are the fat cells injected?

The manner in which the fat cells are re-injected has changed significantly over time. Initially the fat cells were injected using syringes and long needles. This then evolved into larger cannulas and specialized injection guns. Most recently, auto infusing devices have been created. These devices function like “liposuction in reverse”. This allows us to inject the fat using less pressure which reduces injury to the fat cells and also reduces surgeon fatigue. I have personally used the auto infusing devices for the past 2000 Brazilian butt lift that I have performed. I have noticed less trauma to the fat cells which leads to an increase fat survival rate and a less time in the operating room ,which enables me to reduce the amount of anesthesia my patients require. I think the development of these auto infusing devices has been one of the most significant technological advances in Brazilian butt lift surgery.

How long does the procedure take to perform?

The amount of time required for the Brazilian butt lift procedure will depend on the specific areas of liposuction required ,as well as the amount of fat being removed and being re-injected. In an experienced surgeon’s hands, this procedure can be done in approximately three hours. Of course, less experienced surgery surgeons may require more time than this.  It should be the goal of every Brazilian butt lift surgeon to perform the surgery efficiently, which will reduce the amount of anesthesia required by the patient. Reduced operating time also reduces the amount of fat loss since the fat will remain outside of the body and without oxygen for less time.

What kind of results can you get with a Brazilian butt lift?

The results will vary depending on patient’s body type, amount of available donor fat, and patient desire. Some people prefer only subtle reshaping of the torso butt and hips, while others desire more dramatic results. Also, the result will depend on where exactly the fat is placed. For example, if someone desires a more athletic appearance with a rounder “bubble butt”, then the fat will be placed in the buttocks only. However, if someone desires a more curvy, “vixen “appearance, the fat can also be placed in the hips. The results you desire is something that you should discuss with your surgeon prior to the procedure so that he or she can let you know if what you want is something that can be achieved. Sometimes people desire a dramatic appearance, but they only have very limited donor fat and that makes their desired appearance impossible to achieve.

How long is the recovery after the Brazilian butt lift procedure?

The recovery period will vary from person to person and it will depend on the amount of liposuction performed and the amount of fat transferred. In general, the recovery is similar to that for liposuction. People experience swelling, bruising and soreness for several weeks. The main difference between the recovery from a liposuction-only procedure and a Brazilian butt lift procedure is that during the recovery you need to protect the areas of fat injections. This means that you should avoid direct pressure to the areas where the fat was placed. For example, if the fat was placed in the butt and hips, you should avoid sitting on your butt or putting pressure on your hips for 4 to 6 weeks total. If you do not limit the pressure to the areas, you will likely experience a higher percentage of fat graft loss. This can affect your ultimate results so compliance with post-operative restrictions is key to getting a good result that is long lasting.

How to select your Brazilian butt lift surgeon

Even though this procedure is growing in popularity and many plastic surgeons are offering this procedure as part of their practice, it is still a very specialized operation ,with only a limited number of plastic surgeons having vast experience. You should find a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure. That may mean that they are performed over 100 Brazilian butt lift operations and can show you long-term results so you can see how their results hold up over the first several years.

If you would like to learn more about a Brazilian butt lift procedure with board-certified plastic surgeon Matthew Schulman, you can get information directly from this website or by phone. Dr. Schulman is a world expert in the Brazilian butt lift procedure having performed over 5000 Brazilian butt lift procedures dating back to 2007. During your consultation he will review whether you are a good candidate for the operation and whether you can realistically achieve the results that you desire.

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