Brazilian Butt Lift 1

Brazilian Butt Lift Plastic Surgery Procedure After Bariatric Surgery

September 15, 2020

After achieving massive weight loss, each patient is often left with a unique and often challenging set of body contouring wishes. In this article, I will focus on the augmentation of the buttocks with fat transfer, often referred to as a “Brazilian Butt Lift” (BBL). This procedure was introduced in the 1960’s by a pioneer in plastic surgery, Dr. Ivo Pitanguy from Brazil, and has only increased in popularity over the last several years.

Brazilian Butt Lift: The Process 

The procedure entails harvesting fat from areas of the body that are good donor sites. The abdomen, posterior hips, flanks, arms, and thighs are often used. 

After massive weight loss, finding adequate donor sites can be a challenge.  If none are available, other options for augmentation can be entertained.  Often, the tissue from a posterior body lift can be used to provide more buttock projection instead of discarding it. 

For good candidates, the fat is removed in a similar fashion to liposuction.  The area is injected with a tumescent fluid that consists of saline mixed with lidocaine (anesthetic) and epinephrine (blood vessel constrictor).  The tumescent fluid allows the fat to be removed by significantly decreasing bleeding and discomfort.  The fat is then prepared for transfer to the buttocks.  The surgeon will mark the target areas for injection with the patient before the surgery.

An important factor in this surgery pertains to safety. 

Historically, fat has been injected into the buttocks both under the skin and into the muscles. This was done with the goal of getting the most fat cells to survive and provide permanent improvements. 

Unfortunately, this approach led to an unacceptably high death rate. In these cases, fat entered the blood vessels and blocked blood flow through the heart causing death on the operating table. It is critical that your surgeon only injects the fat just under the skin and that they have a strong understanding of anatomy.  If done properly, this procedure is safe, successful, and life-changing!

Are You a Candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift?

A Brazilian butt lift isn’t for everyone. There are myriad factors that can help determine if the procedure is a good fit for you. You’re a good fit if:

  • You have a flat buttock and want more fullness or roundness.
  • Your buttock “cheeks” are asymmetrical.
  • You have realistic expectations about your results.
  • You are in good physical health and you want more definition.
  • You are close to your ideal weight and you are not expecting significant changes.
  • You have a donor site for the transferred fat.

Brazilian Butt Lift: The Benefits

A Brazilian butt lift can significantly enhance the look of your butt, making it look rounder, curvier, and more appealing. It adds volume to a flat or sagging buttocks while retaining a natural-looking shape.

If you’re currently spending time in the gym performing leg lifts and squats for hours on end without seeing any results, then you may find that a Brazilian butt lift can help you achieve your goals.

How Long Do the Fat Injections Last?

When the fat is harvested, processed, and injected appropriately, the result is often long lasting. However, it is possible to lose some of the grafted fat over time. Whatever amount remains after a one-year period is thought to be permanent.

What Happens to My New Buttock if I Lose Weight?

Changes in weight can cause changes in the fat that has been transferred. Donor sites can also be affected. Therefore, it is best to be close to your desired weight at time of procedure. 

Posterior Body Lift in Combination With Autologous Tissue Transfer

The posterior body lift surgery is designed to eliminate excess, inelastic skin that is often left over after losing large amounts of fat. After working tirelessly to lose large amounts of weight, removing excess and unwanted loose skin in the lower back and flank area is one of the final steps a patient takes on their new body journey.

What many patients do not realize is the tissue from the posterior body lift can be used to enhance the buttocks. Instead of discarding the tissue, the skin is removed, and the remaining tissue is turned down into a pocket created under the buttock skin. This tissue survives from blood vessels that directly supply it with nutrients.   

With your posterior body lift and tissue transfer, we are able to contour the body, especially the waist-hip-buttock unit in an attractive way. The result is a rounder, smoother buttock with improved projection and improved waist contour.

Brazilian Butt Lift

Brazilian Butt Lift
Brazilian Butt Lift

Brazilian Butt Lift: Recovery

Recovery after this procedure will take time. Initially, swelling will be present both in the buttocks and the donor areas. A compression garment will be worn to help provide a uniform result. 

Every surgeon has their own protocols (and make sure to ask them about their protocols and important questions), but they will likely include avoiding placing too much pressure on the buttocks. As the swelling dissipates, expect to see the liposuction results after around 60 days. 

The amount of buttock improvement will vary from patient to patient. There will be some decrease in buttock projection with time over the first year. Some patients may benefit from another round of fat transfer once healed.

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Dr. Jeffrey Umansky works with his brother at Umansky Medical Center. Dr. Umansky did his General Surgery training at the UC Irvine Medical Center. He then trained in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Florida. He has extensive training in all aspects of Plastic Surgery and performs cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face, breast, abdomen, as well as full body post weight loss body contouring procedures. As a fully trained Plastic Surgeon, he has an appreciation for the intricate anatomy of the human body and the effects of procedures that alter one’s image.