Butt implants are used to enhance the shape and size of the gluteal region by providing a more contoured silhouette. The implants are made of a soft and solid silicone which generally does not leak or rupture. They are somewhat round in shape and resemble an oval disc. The outer contour of the implants can be smooth or textured and they are placed in the buttock area.
GOOD CANDIDATES for butt implants include anyone who desires more rounded and fuller buttocks or those who want to improve the balance between the size of the buttock and the rest of their figure. Any patient with a flat or square butt may be a good candidate for butt implants. Anyone who is unhappy with the shape of their buttocks, or has asymmetrical proportions, may benefit from butt implants.
Due to weight loss or aging, patients may develop a loose or saggy butt and they can benefit from implants that will lift the butt and give a more prominent figure and youthful appearance. A patient with extremely saggy buttocks due to significant weight loss may not benefit strictly from implants. This patient may be a better candidate for a butt lift combined with implants to effectively correct the issue. People who are very thin are better candidates for butt implants, rather than fat grafting butt augmentation, since excess fat removal from other regions might not be possible.
In general, prospective patients for butt implants should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations. They should also be prepared for a possible follow-up procedure if the implants shift or flip due to a lack of experience by the surgeon or not properly following the recovery instructions provided by the doctor.
Butt implants can provide a firmer and uplifted appearance as well as better self-esteem and confidence. Since the buttocks will have a fuller shape, clothes and swimwear should fit more appropriately. In addition, implants are generally a better option for a patient that desires a more prominent butt augmentation because implants come in a variety of sizes and can provide immediate enhancement.
Six weeks prior to the procedure, patients need to stop smoking in order to promote better healing. Patients will also be required to stop the use of aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs which may cause increased bleeding.
Implant surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and general anesthesia is typically administered since the surgery can take 2 hours.
Implants for butt augmentation are normally placed using the intramuscular technique. This means the implant is placed within a pocket of the gluteal muscle which gives it a low rate of complications.
Most surgeons make one vertical incision down the center of the sacrum until the buttock muscle is reached. The surgeon then creates a pocket under, or within, each muscle for the implant. The gluteus maximus muscle is a sticky mass of muscle so, when creating the pocket for the implant, the surgeon must be adequately skilled in order to find the proper plane on this non-defined muscle. The implants are placed in each side and the muscle is closed around the implant. The incision is closed with layered sutures and drains may be used to reduce fluid buildup.
Patients who are not able to take adequate time off work for recovery may opt for a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) since it is a less invasive procedure. During a BBL, the surgeon removes excess fat from areas such as the hips and abdomen via liposuction, purifies it and then injects it into the buttocks. The surgeon then sculpts the injected fat to form rounded and curvier buttocks. Since the fat comes from the patient's own body, there is less risk of an allergic reaction and the fat acts like the existing tissue. A thin person may not be able to have a BBL because there may not be enough fat to transfer so butt implants are a better option. Patients who want a really prominent butt augmentation, and have some excess fat, may be able to combine butt implants with a fat transfer. In this case, the surgeon liposuctions the fat from other areas but also uses implants to maximize the results. It should be noted that some doctors are reconsidering the use of Brazilian butt lifts on patients due to an increased number of complications and deaths related to the technique
In the past, implants were also placed submuscular (under the muscle and above the pelvic bone) and subcutaneous (above the muscle). These two techniques are not used as much anymore due to risks of nerve injury and other complications.
The cost of butt augmentation via implants varies according to the surgeon's experience and the area of the country where the procedure is performed. In general, the cost of implants is approximately $8000-$10,000 and includes the fees for the implants, anesthesia, use of the medical facility and other related expenses.
Most patients take two weeks off work for RECOVERY after butt implants because of restrictions in being able to sit for long periods of time. Patients can expect some swelling, bruising and discomfort.
The first 3-6 days are generally the most painful but the surgeon will prescribe pain medication which should be taken as directed. The patient will also be fitted with a compression garment to provide support and to help reduce pain and swelling. Any swelling can last for several weeks or months after butt implants. The compression garment should be worn at all times during the first few weeks and should only be removed when cleaning the area. The patient can shower but will not be permitted to take a bath, soak in a hot tub or swim for the first few weeks. If drainage tubes were inserted at the incision points, the patient can expect fluid drainage to occur for several days. These tubes keep fluid from collecting around the wound and will be removed approximately one week after the procedure.
It is recommended that patients use a walker during the first 3 days since standing upright and walking may be painful. Patients will not be allowed to sit on their buttocks for the first 2 weeks after butt implants except when using the restroom. Once the third week of recovery begins, patients should sit as little as possible and never directly on the buttocks. A pillow can be used under the hamstring muscles since pressure should be kept off the newly augmented buttocks. Patients will be required to sleep on their abdomen during the recovery period. After 3 weeks of recovery time, patients are encouraged to begin stretching exercises. After approximately 4 to 6 weeks, patients can resume normal activities.
The results from butt implants are immediately visible. However, it can take several months for the residual swelling to dissipate and the implants to settle into position before the final results can be seen. Butt implants can last a lifetime providing there are no complications which require removal. It is important to understand that the body will adjust with age and gravity and cause changes in the appearance of the buttocks. In order to maintain the results from butt implants, patients are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep a stable weight. Developing a regular exercise regimen is recommended in order to keep the gluteus muscles in shape and to maintain longer lasting results.
The main LIMITATION for butt implants pertains to how big of an implant a person can get compared to the amount of coverage they have. The limitations are based on:
The bigger the implant is, the thinner the tissue on the lateral buttock becomes at some point. Attempting to place an implant which is too large can result in an unpleasant appearance. The doctor will perform an evaluation prior to surgery and then discuss the most appropriate implant size for the patient.
The RISKS of butt implants include:
Butt implants are an effective way to immediately enhance the shape and size of the buttocks. It is important for patients to understand the risks and benefits of each implant technique and choose the method which is right for them. Prospective patients should select a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in butt implants. The surgeon should be adequately skilled, perform the procedure on a regular basis and be willing to explain the pros and cons of implants.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Paul Chasan, MD in Del Mar, CA