Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery

From the moment the surgeon closes the last incision to the day you’re finally healed, we’ve got all the details on what it’s really like to recover from a Brazilian butt lift.

The Skinny

Butt lifts. The results can be quite considerable, but what does this ever-popular plastic surgery procedure actually entail? Let’s review the basics. A butt lift is a procedure to alter the fat distribution and overall appearance of the buttocks. A Brazilian butt lift surgery specifically refers to a butt lift procedure that uses liposuction and subsequent fat transfer to harvest fat cells from one area of the body for replacement in the butt area. A Brazilian butt lift increases volume, shape, and size, and overall body contours. A Brazilian butt lift does not address skin sagging concerns so some candidates may choose to pursue a traditional butt lift at the same time to tone and tighten skin and remove excess skin.

The Specifics

What to Expect During Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery

So, what’s it actually like to create your ideal buttocks? All candidates can expect pain, swelling, and bruising in the recovery period following this plastic surgery. While specific recovery time will vary depending on how invasive your procedure is and how you naturally heal, one to two weeks is a safe amount of time to assume you’re going to feel significantly uncomfortable and be pretty limited in your activities.

Another factor you may need to consider is how you recover from general anesthesia, if that is a component of your procedure. A BBL can be performed with traditional general anesthesia or ‘awake’ with IV sedation. Many people feel nausea, drowsiness, and slightly disoriented in the hours following general anesthesia. These side effects tend to resolve rather quickly, as the sedating medications wear off. Regardless, it is a part of the immediate post-surgical recovery.

The Ultimate Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery Timeline

Ok, let’s get into the nitty gritty of Brazilian butt lift recovery. We’ll start with how to utilize your pre-op time to minimize the intensity of your post-op time and then we’ll look at what you can expect from the first few days, weeks, and months.

It should also be noted that your surgeon should provide comprehensive pre- and post-op instructions, and you should always defer to the advice of your medical team. This is simply meant to serve as a guide.

Tips to Improve Your Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery

Now that you know more about the recovery timeline associated with a Brazilian butt lift, we’ve got some tips to help you progress along your healing journey as efficiently and effortlessly as possible. Like we mentioned, every individual body heals at its own pace, but there are definitely some universal truths that augment healing.

1. Be Mindful & Be Patient

We’re not being deliberately vague here. Your body will let you know what it needs. If you feel like taking it slow one day, do it! If you suddenly have the desire to get some fresh air, go for it (albeit you are medically cleared for it)! The mind-body connection exists and the more you respect it the easier your recovery will be. Patience rules the day, so be kind to your body and slowly ease yourself back into your routine without forcing things like your return to work or working out.

2. Eat well, sleep well, & stay hydrated

This is just good life advice, but, especially during times of increased stress on the body (think: following a major plastic surgery), the more you nourish yourself and properly rest the better. Some of the best repair hormones only get cycled through your blood while you sleep, so be like a pro athlete during the months following your surgery and get those eight hours. Your butt (and your entire being) will thank you for it.

Additionally, eating a balanced diet free from processed foods in combination with plenty of water and taking it easy on caffeine and alcohol will naturally reduce inflammation and help lessen swelling more quickly (check out our guide to what to eat before and after cosmetic procedures). Oh, and don’t smoke. Our advice is to never smoke, but it’s particularly vital to lay off after a major surgery.

3. Elevate & Ice

Cold compresses and keeping off your butt will help regulate blood circulation to the area and reduce the amount of fluid accumulation in and around your surgical sites. While blood does bring all the good nutrients and healing cells, it can also leave large deposits of infection-fighting cells and other materials you don’t really need hanging around. This is why icing for periods of time (i.e. not continuously) creates the best balance of blood flow. In the case of a BBL, keeping pressure off your butt also reduces fat reabsorption meaning more voluminous results.

4. Moderate Your Activities

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but, just in case, three weeks after your Brazilian butt lift is not the time to begin your CrossFit training regimen. Vigorous exercise makes blood pressure increase. Increased blood pressure means increased swelling. Intense exercise also naturally increases the stress hormone cortisol. While it’s great in moderation when you're healthy, it’s not ideal in the months following a major surgery.

Other activities to avoid or limit: sitting on your butt, sun bathing, and squatting or stretching your legs unnecessarily.

Brazilian Butt Lift Side Effects & Complications

So now that we’ve thoroughly covered the days and weeks following a Brazilian butt lift procedure, let’s review what you can definitely expect versus what may or may not occur. Every Brazilian butt lift patient should expect at least one to two weeks of bruising and at least four to six weeks of noticeable swelling. Soreness, moderate pain, tightness, and some drainage from surgical wounds are all common side effects that will resolve within a week or two and can be mitigated with medications.

While rare, more serious complications are possible. Infections of the body tissues are a possible complication of Brazilian butt lift and can be treated with antibiotics. Permanent numbness from nerve damage, intractable pain, asymmetry, and scarring are more significant complications that may require further surgical revision or be unable to be fixed.

The Takeaway

The healing process following a plastic surgery like a Brazilian butt lift can seem intimidating. And while we are not minimizing the fact that a butt lift is a major surgery with considerable risks and side effects, thousands of Brazilian butt lifts are safely performed successfully in the United States each year with patients enjoying significant results. Never underestimate the value of a consultation with a Brazilian butt lift surgeon to more specifically determine what your unique cosmetic surgery experience will entail.
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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report; 2019-01-01


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