Butt Augmentation

Butt augmentation procedures are becoming increasingly popular in plastic surgery. The butt can lose shape and volume due to fluctuations in weight, changes due to pregnancy, or due to the natural aging process. Implants, fat transfers, and lifting surgeries can provide patients with a more defined, voluminous buttocks.

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Overview

There are several reasons why a person might want to change the shape of their backside. Sometimes age causes the butt to fall and lose its youthful shape. It can also cause sagging and skin laxity where there used to be tight, firm, youthful skin. Sometimes weight gain or weight loss, such as occurs during and after pregnancy, can contribute to this sagging, slack appearance as well. Other times, a person may simply be unhappy with the look of their backside and wish to change its appearance. Maybe you are someone who has always had a flat butt or maybe you would just like to fill out the backs of your jeans with a perkier, rounder shape. Whatever the reason for wanting to change your shape, a butt augmentation might be able to provide a cosmetic solution.

Butt augmentation, or gluteal augmentation, can give you the boost of self-confidence you need to start feeling better about your backside. It is a permanent way of adding volume and definition to an otherwise small or flat butt. Buttock augmentations can be done through implants, fat transfer, dermal filler injections, or a combination of methods.

Would I be an Ideal Candidate for a Butt Augmentation?

Butt augmentation is a procedure that can be helpful for those who feel that their butt is too small or disproportionate with the rest of their body. It may be for size reasons, shape reasons or for reasons related to sagging, but if you are unhappy with the look of your backside, butt augmentation may be a great option for you. To have this surgery, however, you will need to be healthy. The stronger and healthier you are, the more successful your surgery will be overall. Muscular body types are usually better suited to augmentation with silicone implants while those with extra fatty tissues might prefer a butt lift. Even though a patient may be an ideal candidate, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons warns that there are significant risks associated with a butt lift procedure.

Not Recommended For & Contraindications

Butt augmentation is not recommended for those individuals who are in poor health or have chronic health issues. Butt augmentation is also not recommended for patients experiencing severe skin laxity or excessive gluteal sagging. Those patients who fit into one of these contraindicated categories may need to address existing issues with methods such as liposuction, fat transfer, skin excision, or a lower body lift before, or in addition to, buttock augmentation with implants. A butt lift, on the other hand, is not recommended for those wishing to address issues with volume. A butt lift procedure by itself will reduce the overall volume of the gluteal region and it may be recommended to have an additional augmentation procedure to ensure the best results.

What Can I Expect from a Butt Augmentation Procedure?

Your plastic surgeon will meet with you to determine your specific needs and overall goals. This will ensure that you receive the most appropriate method of augmentation, which will be one of (or a combination of) the following procedures:

Butt Augmentation via Implants

This method of augmentation is ideal for those with a more muscular form who do not have enough fat to consider a butt lift. It allows you to both visualize and customize the desired outcome of your backside. This is an invasive procedure, but it offers the advantage of permanent results. Butt implants can provide the kind of body contouring to the lower body that breast implants can give to the upper body.

Buttock implants may be inserted into one of several location points depending on what location will best fit your needs. These incision points include at the top of each buttock, underneath the gluteal crease where the cheek meets the thigh, multiple incisions made between both cheeks, or one incision placed down the center of the butt, hidden in the butt crease. Implants are either silicone or water-based and are specifically designed to be inserted into the buttocks to improve the contours of the backside. Placement is varied according to the type of implant your surgeon uses, as well as the desired degree of enlargement, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations. Your incisions will be closed with the use of suturing, skin adhesive and surgical tape.

The recovery time for butt augmentation via implants is approximately 5-8 months. It can be a painful, costly procedure with a price tag of approximately $4,500 - $9,000, but fortunately, this option allows for customizable results that are both immediately noticeable and permanent, pending any drastic changes in weight gain or weight loss.

Butt Augmentation Via a Butt Lift

A traditional butt lift, or gluteal lift, is used to correct a flat or sagging backside and/or to restore symmetry to the buttocks. It removes excess drooping skin caused by aging or by considerable weight loss by removing and lifting the skin of the buttocks to improve lower body contours. Depending on your needs, a butt lift can be performed using general anesthesia or local anesthesia combined with an IV sedation. A butt lift can be done using the following incision methods:

  • Horizontally below the waistline and above the buttocks
  • In a curved V-pattern over each cheek with the V-point within the butt crease
  • Below each butt cheek placing the scar between the lower buttocks and upper thighs

It is common to combine your butt lift with additional procedures such as liposuction for removing fatty deposits, a fat transfer to the buttocks to improve volume (BBL), or a thigh lift and tummy tuck to create a lower body lift. These combinations are often referred to as a lower body lift because of the way they visibly elevate and revitalize a sagging or drooping lower body.

Full recovery from butt augmentation via a butt lift will last approximately 2-3 months, although it may take several months to a year to heal completely. Keep in mind that results can be altered by significant weight gain or weight loss. Otherwise, the results are permanent.

Butt Augmentation Via Fat Transfer

This method of augmentation uses your fat that has been liposuctioned from elsewhere on your body before being injected into your buttocks. Butt augmentation via fat transfer is most commonly known as a Brazilian butt lift. Although it can provide you with a firmer, tighter and more pleasing, contoured appearance, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued an urgent warning about the risks associated with a butt augmentation via fat transfer procedure. These risks stem from the method of fat transfer. Certain safety steps should be implemented to help avoid these risks such as transferring fat into the buttocks as opposed to the muscles, as well as the patient’s responsibility in selecting an experienced surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon is recommended to ensure proper procedure methods are taken.

The recovery for butt augmentation via a fat transfer is largely dependent on the liposuction method, the fat injections themselves, and whether the procedure was performed under local or general anesthesia. Due to these variables, side effects such as pain, swelling, and bruising can range anywhere from minimal to significant. It is best to wear compression garments for 2-8 weeks after the procedure to help with healing. You will also want to stay off the buttocks, including sleeping on your stomach rather than your back or side, for the same amount of time.

Butt Augmentation Via Dermal Filler Injections

A newer form of buttocks augmentation is augmentation by dermal fillers. Traditionally reserved for work in facial rejuvenation, these injections are gaining popularity as a way of offering patients a non-surgical, non-invasive alternative to surgical or fat transfer methods. The ideal candidate for butt augmentation via dermal filler injections is usually someone who is very, very thin and who doesn’t have enough fat available to transfer to the buttocks. He typically uses Renuva® or Sculptra® for this type of augmentation and says that these are good choices for long-term, although temporary, butt enhancement. If you choose this method of augmentation, keep in mind that you will need to have repeat treatments performed every few years.

According to Galderma Laboratories, L.P. and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Sculptra® injections work by stimulating collagen production through the use of poly-L-lactic acid. Sculptra® injections are the most common dermal filler used in butt augmentation, but they should only be used for healthy individuals who do not have a history of forming keloid scars. Sculptra® is not meant to be used by those who are under 18, who are pregnant, or who are lactating or breastfeeding. If these contraindications do not apply to you, you may want to discuss this minimal recovery option with your provider who can assess your needs and direct you further.

Before and Aftercare

Before any butt augmentation procedure, you will want to avoid taking any blood thinning medications. These include Aspirin®, Heparin, Warfarin, and Enoxaparin Sodium. You should also refrain from taking any herbal supplements or diet pills during this time as well. If you are diabetic, do not take your medication the morning of surgery. Consult your surgeon for specific guidelines regarding any concerns with discontinuing your blood thinners, supplements, or diet pills. Butt lift patients are also advised to begin taking stool softeners 2 days before surgery.

Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after your procedure. You will probably be directed to refrain from eating or drinking for at least 8 hours before surgery as well. It is also a good idea to purchase recovery items, such as stool softeners and compression garments, before surgery.

It will be a minimum of approximately 2 weeks before you can return to work after a butt augmentation. Implant surgery patients will want to refrain from sitting or sleeping on implants for 2-8 weeks, depending on the extent of your surgery and the advice of your surgeon. Do not submerge your incisions for at least 3 weeks and refrain from doing lower body activities for 2 months. It may take closer to a year for a full recovery to take place.

Butt lift patients generally see wound healing completion at about 6 weeks, however, swelling and scarring may remain present up to 1-year post-surgery. Wear your compression garments constantly for as long as directed and expect to resume normal activities after about 2-3 weeks.

Pros and Cons of Butt Augmentation

The advantage of receiving implants for your butt augmentation is their ability to be customizable. They can work for any patient and can come in any size. However, they often come with a costly price tag, significant pain, and a long recovery.

Butt lifts remove sagging skin and excess skin and improve your overall body contours, but they require a long recovery and contribute to overall volume loss.

Butt augmentation by fat transfer offers the chance to receive customizable augmentation, but use caution in selecting a surgeon as this method can be deadly and cause significant health concerns if not done properly.

Side Effects of Butt Augmentation

Side effects include swelling, bruising, numbness, pain, and asymmetry. Less common but more serious side effects include excessive blood loss, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and cardiac and pulmonary complications. You may also require additional procedures or revision surgery to correct unsatisfactory results. Sometimes implants will shift or become encapsulated as well.

How to Select a Plastic Surgeon

One of the best things you can do for your procedure results and your safety is to select a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in butt augmentation procedures. Look through their before and after photo gallery, read reviews, and confirm their board certifications.

Conclusion

Once you decide to undergo a butt augmentation, take your time selecting your surgeon and understanding the process. While butt augmentation can be a rewarding procedure, it can also be risky without the right safety precautions. Know what you are getting into and speak openly with your surgeon regarding your concerns. Also, keep in mind that individual results will vary as each patient's body is unique and a "natural look" is not streamlined. Use your initial consultation to be specific about your goals for your buttock area and to share with your surgeon how you hope your surgical results will change your overall shape. The more you know and discuss beforehand, the more comfortable you will be approaching your surgery, and the better equipped you will be as you heal.

List of Sources

Different Types of Butt Augmentation

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