Butt augmentation is a procedure designed to enhance the size as well as the definition of the buttock. There are a number of ways to perform the procedure.
1. One method is to use butt implants, where a silicone implant is placed in the muscular part of the buttock to add volume and fullness to the area.
2. The second, more popular method is a liposuction of the abdomen or other part of the body with transfer of the fat from that area and injection into the buttock. This procedure is known as a Brazilian butt lift.
Butt implants are an ideal method if the patient is slender and does not have a lot of fat to offer, but there are many risks involved. The silicone implants can get infected and then need to be removed. They can also shift out of place and need to be adjusted back into place. The implant method is more prone to complications.
In addition to fat transfer putting more fat in the buttock, it also improves the contours and makes the patient slimmer in the torso. Also, the rate of infection with fat transfer is substantially less.
The main limitation of fat transfer is if the person does not have enough fat to transfer.
Another big limitation is the experience of the surgeon. The procedure requires someone who has experience with the procedure and can manage patient expectations. The patient has to understand that they are going to get a dramatic result immediately after surgery. However, not all of that fat stays for a few reasons:
1. The fat is mixed in with fluid that is used in the liposuction. As the fluid gets absorbed by the body, some of the volume from the augmentation is lost
2. All of the fat does not survive. The patient can lose a small amount of their results after the procedure is done. Fortunately, surgeons who are experienced with the procedure can give more stable long term results.
The amount of fat that can be put into a patient is limited by the amount of fat they have to transfer into the buttock and the amount of fat volume their buttock can accept. It is important not to “over fill” the buttock because too much pressure can be placed on the transferred fat which may cause the fat to die.
Patients undergoing fat transfer typically has a better and faster recovery time compared to those getting augmentation with implants. Patients need to stay off their buttock for anywhere from two weeks to two months. This means they have to put a pillow underneath their thighs when they sit down so the buttock is not actually sitting on the surface. They also need to wear a compression garment in the areas they had liposuction.
Maintenance of results after buttock augmentation is fairly simple. The most important concept is to stay healthy. It is important to eat well, exercise regularly, and avoid major fluctuations of weight. After fat transfer, there are generally few, if any long term complications to be aware of. With buttock implants, it is important to watch for shifting of the implant or development of late infections.
Besides fat and silicone implants, there are few safe options available for buttock augmentation. Some fillers that are most commonly used for facial augmentation have been used for buttock augmentation, most notably Sculptra. It has the advantage of allowing buttock augmentation with a safe, FDA approved product, without the need and downsides of an implant, particularly in cases where a patient does not have enough fat to use for a fat transfer. The downside of the product is that it is expensive, does not allow for the degree of augmentation seen with fat or implants and is temporary – lasting only 1-2 years.
More concerning is the abundance unsafe injections being offered for buttock augmentation. There are many places that offer buttock injections to increase volume. These injections are often performed by unlicensed practitioners who inject any array of unapproved products to enhance the buttock. Commonly used injections include industrial grade silicone, caulk, cement, and a host of usually unknown products. There are many reported deaths and serious, permanent complications associated with these illegal injections.
Buttock augmentation is a procedure that can be performed safely and provide safe, beautiful results when performed by and experienced, board certified plastic surgeon. It is very important to seek the advice of an experienced surgeon and be very wary of “alternative techniques or products” for buttock augmentation.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Joubin Gabbay, MD in Beverly Hills, CA