Longing for a pert posterior? Dreaming of a bigger booty? The “Brazilian butt lift” looks set to be much in demand this year, if figures recently released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) are anything to go by.
Gluteoplasty – the official name for the procedure – has skyrocketed in popularity in the US, with the number of people having the treatment increasing 36% last year. Nearly 5,000 people in the States had the buttock-enhancing procedure in 2014.
Buttock augmentation is less frequently requested here at Ocean Clinic Marbella, although interest in the procedure is growing and our Head Surgeon Dr. Kaye is experienced in undertaking the surgery – in fact, it’s one of six cosmetic treatments he’s been demonstrating to plastic surgery residents at Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya this month.
Rise of the butt lift
The trend for voluptuous bottoms has been driven by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Heidi Montag, who are said to have undergone buttock augmentation themselves.
The surgery is designed to fill out flat or deflated buttocks by using implants or transplanted fat, or both. It also involves liposuction to shape and sculpt the buttocks and hips.
Implants or fat?
Whether you will require gluteal implants or not will depend on how much fat you have on your body. Fat can be taken from the abdomen, love handles, outer thighs, back and inner thighs, if available. The amount of fat required to reshape the buttocks depends on the patient’s anatomical shape and differs from person to person.
If you do not have enough fat available to achieve the desired results, then implants can be used instead, with smaller amounts of fat used to add shape and smooth over the implant.
Contouring the buttocks
Even if you are only having implants, fat will be removed via liposuction from around the buttocks to create the right silhouette.
Removing fat from the lower back and upper thighs will help achieve more prominence and definition when the fat reinjected into the buttocks.
How safe is the procedure?
Since it involves transplanting your own tissues, fat grafting has low complication rates. Implants are also safe providing the right type are used. They must be semi-solid and made from high resistant silicone that does not rupture. They are specially designed for the purpose and are not the same as breast implants.
Additionally, they must be correctly placed, under the great gluteal muscle, meaning they are not detectable under the skin.
How much scarring will there be?
There will be very small scars across the body in the locations where fat has been removed, as well as marks where the fat is reinjected.
In the case of implants, there will be one single scar, 5-6 cms long, placed in the middle fold of the buttocks, so it is as concealed as possible.
How long will the results last?
There will be a certain amount of fat reabsorption – around 40% in the first few weeks, but what remains takes a blood supply and becomes permanent.
If you lose weight, the fat will shrink in line with the rest of your body, however the fat cells remain. If you then gain weight, the fat will grow again.
You may actually become more inclined to store weight in your buttocks following the procedure, since the transplanted fat taken from the tummy and flanks tends to be that which is resistant to diet and exercise.
How long is recovery?
Patients need to avoid sitting for around two weeks after the procedure – standing or lying down only! After that, you can sit on a specially shaped pillow with a hole cut out that removes pressure from your buttocks.
At this point you may return to work, providing you have a desk job. You can resume more physical activity after four weeks.
Following treatment you should aim to keep your bodyweight stable. Regular exercise is great, but long bouts of fat burning activity should be avoided to maintain the transplanted fat in the buttocks.
Squats and lunges are idea exercises for people who have had buttock augmentation as it can build the gluteal muscle and give an even better result.