The ideal butt has changed every decade throughout the last century. Online women’s magazine Bustle analyzed optimal buttock shapes and sizes for each, from slightly curvy in the 1930s to fit and wavy in the 1970s to big and round in the present day.
When the curvaceous backsides of the popular Kardashian-Jenner reality-TV clan went viral in the 2010s, many other celebrities followed suit. Soon, plump booties were all the rage.
Many women have undergone implants, fillers, and Brazilian butt lifts to shape and lift their bottoms. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports more than 24,000 Brazilian butt lifts performed in 2018—up a whopping 19 percent from 2017—making it the fastest growing procedure of that year.
So how can a Brazilian butt lift give you the perfect tush? This useful explainer breaks down the procedure, recovery, and more, to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
What is a Brazilian butt lift?
A Brazilian butt lift, now more recently referred to as SSBA (Safe Subcutaneous Buttock Augmentation), involves two procedures: liposuction and augmentation.
First, excess fat is removed via liposuction from areas such as the abdomen, hips, lower back, or thighs. A surgeon inserts a thin tube called a cannula, which is connected to a vacuum, for the extrication.
Next, the extracted fat is prepared for transfer, and injected into areas of the buttocks to enhance its shape and size. In some cases, a portion of the transferred fat may not take to the relocation, so surgeons may inject more than necessary to ensure results meet your expectations and goals. If a majority of the cells do not endure, regrafting may be necessary in the future.
Although described as a so-called “lift,” the procedure doesn’t involve such a technique, such as that utilized in arm or thigh lifts. The surgery doesn’t address excess sagging or loose skin around the area, either.
The entire process can be completed under general anesthesia, IV sedation, or a combination of local and light PO (by mouth) sedation, also known as awake liposuction. The choice of anesthesia depends on what you’re most comfortable with and ultimately what the surgeon determines is safest and realistic for each individual patient.
A Brazilian butt lift, also known as buttock augmentation with fat grafting, involves two procedures: liposuction and augmentation.
What does a Brazilian butt lift do?
The lower body procedure:
- Increases Buttock Volume & Improves Shape
- Reduces Fat in Your Abdomen, Hips, Lower Back & Thighs
- Adds Fullness & Perkiness to Flat Buttocks
- Enhances Your Body’s Curves
- Improves Overall Body Proportions
Who should get one?
Good candidates for Brazilian butt lifts are patients who have lost their natural curves due to age or change in weight and want a more youthful shape. They should also have enough pockets of fat for grafting.
Conditions for the surgery may include a healthy weight, lifestyle with regular exercise and diet, as well as being a nonsmoker free from recent infections or other surgical procedures.
Before making a final decision, it’s important you discuss your options with a board certified plastic surgeon.
What’s the difference between a Brazilian butt lift & butt implants?
A Brazilian butt lift uses your excess fat to create a natural-looking bottom, while buttock implants involve the placement of silicone implants into your tush. The latter has been touted as the less natural-appearing option, and is more invasive. It also carries a higher risk of infection and capsular contracture, which occurs when the internal tissue and scarring squeezes and hardens the implant. The surgery may need to be completed more than once, since the implant can also become displaced.
Those with very low percent body fat do not have enough fat to use for the transfer, however, and butt implants may be the only way to achieve desired results.
What is recovery like?
After surgery, follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon.
Typically, you won’t be permitted to sit or lie on your buttocks for two weeks—meaning you’ll need to sleep on your stomach or side, or stand. Pain will be minimal, though your surgeon will discuss and possibly prescribe pain medication. You can resume light daily activities after one week, but shouldn’t exercise or lift heavy objects.
After this period, your surgeon will evaluate whether you’ve healed enough to sit on your buttocks using a donut seat or pillows under your thighs. You cannot resume normal sitting for approximately eight weeks, and you can return to work in 10 to 14 days.
It will take up to six months to fully heal and see the final results. At the 3 month mark, one can be fairly certain regarding the capacity of fat retention.
How long does it last?
A Brazilian butt lift should last forever, but if the transfer doesn’t take hold, your surgeon may need to repeat the procedure after you’ve healed to achieve your desired results. Since fat does not have its own inherent blood supply, placement location is very important to provide The best chance of survival.
Weight fluctuation can also change the outcome of this surgery. If you gain weight, your buttocks can become enlarged, and smaller if you lose weight. The fat cells added to your buttock can grow and shrink, so it’s best to maintain a stable weight to preserve results.