It’s official: we’ve entered the golden era of butts. Celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian may represent the extreme of this beauty ideal, but there’s no denying that the derriere is slowly surpassing the décolletage as the preferred body part to perfect.
While butt implants have gained massive popularity in countries like Brazil, where thong bikinis reign supreme, many people interested in enhancing their posterior aren’t necessarily keen on invasive cosmetic surgery. What can you do when squats, lunges, and abductors are no longer delivering results?
The answer may be a fat transfer procedure. In the past, fat has been taken out of the buttocks to plump other parts of the body. Who can forget the infamous Geraldo Rivera incident in which the talk show host had fat from his butt injected into his frown lines on live TV?
These days the position has reversed. Instead of having butt fat transferred to other parts of the body to fill out sagging or wrinkles, people are taking fat from other parts of the body and using it to create larger, firmer, bubble-shaped booties.
As with any relatively new medical procedure, prospective patients may have any number of questions. Here are just a few of the most common ones answered.
What is the Difference Between BBL and Butt Implants?
Fat transfer to the buttocks is more commonly referred to as a Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL. It involves removing fat from other areas of the body with liposuction and reintroducing the fat to the buttocks through injection in order to shape the body.
Butt implants, on the other hand, require a surgical procedure in which custom fitted, implant grade silicone pads are positioned in the buttocks. Some cosmetic surgeons recommend using both procedures in tandem for overall body sculpting and optimal and lasting results.
Is Fat Transfer Safe?
Although you may see some scarring from a BBL procedure and there are minimal risks involved, it is considered a relatively safe cosmetic procedure. BBLs can be performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation, depending on the preference of your doctor.
Common complications include bruising, swelling, and pain following the procedure, as with any other cosmetic procedure. Rarely, more serious issues like fat embolism can occur, just for example, but so long as post-op instructions are followed, most patients will not face any serious complications.
What Can I Expect During and After the Procedure?
There are three parts to the BBL procedure, which could take about 4-8 hours to complete.
- In this step, fat is removed from prearranged portions of the body. You’ll want to make sure your doctor plans to us a fine thin cannula. It may take longer but you’re likely to see less scarring as a result.
- Fat Processing. Step two involves low-gravity centrifuging of fat to remove any dead or unhealthy cells.
- Fat Reinjection. Once the fat has been properly processed, it will be strategically re-injected into your buttocks to create desired results.
The recovery time for this procedure is generally 2-3 weeks, during which time some pain, swelling, and bruising is normal.
How Long Will Results Last?
Ideally, results will last indefinitely. In some cases, a measure of fat reabsorption could occur, diminishing results over time. If you gain or lose weight, there is more likelihood you’ll need touch-ups down the line.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Before you schedule your BBL procedure, you need to make sure you’re a good candidate and there are a couple factors to consider.
- Your butt. If you have a butt that is small, flat, saggy, or asymmetrical, a Brazilian butt lift could definitely help to correct the situation. You may also want to consider this procedure if you have recently lost a lot of weight and your butt has deflated or changed shape as a result. It could also improve the look of cellulite.
- Your body fat. In order to undergo the BBL procedure, you must have an adequate supply of body fat to work with. In most cases, the body sculpting involved will include a measure of strategic fat removal from areas like the tummy or love handles that you want to slim even as you boost your butt.
However, you must have enough extra fat to remove and inject in order to make this procedure viable. Your doctor may therefor require you to gain some weight (10-20 pounds) prior to your BBL.
- Your health. With any cosmetic procedure, your health status is important. You don’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Those with heart or lung conditions, for example, are not usually considered good candidates for any elective procedures, so you should definitely discuss the situation with your regular doctor if you suspect there may be complications from a health issue.