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Butt Lift (BBL)

The best curve on a woman is her smile. Just kidding, look at that bumbum!


Average Stay

1 week

Duration of Hospital Stay

1 day

Duration of Operation

2-4 hours

Type of Anesthesia

General Anesthesia

Recovery Time

2 weeks

What is a Brazilian butt lift (BBL)?

A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a popular surgical procedure that uses your own fat to make your butt higher, rounder, and fuller without implants.

During this outpatient procedure, a surgeon performs liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from other areas of the body like the thighs, back, stomach, and flanks. 

Then they use a technique known as a gluteal fat augmentation to inject a portion of the fat into the butt cheeks and hips, enhancing the size and shape of the buttocks and creating an hourglass shape.

Who makes a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift procedure?

You may be a good candidate for a BBL if you’re at a healthy weight, with enough excess body fat for your surgeon to harvest and transfer.

If you’re skinny but otherwise a good candidate, you may need to gain 10 to 20 pounds before surgery to ensure there's enough fat to transfer.

A growing number of providers are offering a "skinny BBL" procedure for patients with a BMI below 21. Some use the BeautiFill system for fat harvesting and processing, which has an average fat cell viability rate of over 95%. Still, the procedure involves a smaller amount of fat transfer than during a traditional Brazilian butt lift, to ensure a natural result and optimal fat viability. So it's important to have realistic expectations about how dramatic your outcome could be.

You may still be a good candidate if you smoke, but you’ll need to stop for at least four weeks prior to surgery and avoid it during your first few months of recovery. Smoking can increase your risk of serious complications and compromise your ability to heal.

What happens during a Brazilian butt lift procedure?

A BBL procedure takes two to four hours, depending on your surgeon’s technique. Here’s what you can expect will happen during that time.

Marking and photos
Your surgeon will have one last discussion with you about your goals and the results you can realistically expect.   
Your skin will be marked while you’re standing up, delineating the areas where fat will be harvested and added.   
A medical assistant will take your “before” photos.  

Once you’ve moved to a pre-op area, an IV will be placed in your arm. Some surgeons prefer general anesthesia for your surgery involving larger areas, while others prefer local anesthesia with twilight sedation because they believe it’s safer when the patient is awake.
If you’re having general anesthesia (so you’ll be fully asleep), it will be administered through the IV.   
Local anesthesia via injections is also an option, so you’d be awake but the treated areas should be numb. In this case, your surgeon may also incorporate IV sedation so that you’ll be relaxed and sleepy.

To prepare for surgery, you’ll be taken to the operating room, where your skin will be cleansed with an antiseptic surgical prep.  
Your surgeon will inject a mix of saltwater, epinephrine, and lidocaine (to reduce bleeding and bruising) before performing liposuction.
Usually, your fat will be purified to extract the healthiest cells for transfer. Some surgeons use a device that processes the fat as it’s removed, so it’s ready to use right away.

Fat transfer
Your surgeon will begin injecting the fat into the tissue just below the surface of your skin. Injections can be placed in the buttocks to give more projection and in the hips to fill in hip dips and create fuller curves. Some surgeons feel strongly that these Brazilian butt lift injections should be done with a blunt-tipped, vibrating cannula (a thin tube) that’s large enough to not accidentally tear a vein; others think they have better control with a syringe. They all agree that the most important safety factor during the fat transfer procedure is that these injections stay above the fascia and don’t go into the muscle. Injecting intramuscularly was a technique many surgeons used to improve the “take” of the fat and inject a greater volume of fat, and some still believe this. But according to a 2019 study, the long-term retention of the transferred fat is just as effective as that achieved with intramuscular injections.   

They’ll continue to layer the fat just below the skin of your butt and hips until they’ve achieved the most aesthetically pleasing contours, within the bounds of what’s safe.

What is Brazilian butt lift recovery like?

Recovery time varies between two and six weeks, but you should plan to take 10 to 14 days off work. Bear in mind that recovery is very individual and varies greatly from patient to patient.

Follow your doctor’s instructions for managing post-surgery pain. Most patients find that pain can be controlled through prescribed pain medication and begins to decrease after about a week. Because your skin will be numb, it’s important not to use ice or a heating pad around surgical sites, to avoid burning the skin.

Also, be aware that compression garments come with both benefits and risks. Too much compression can damage the recently liposuctioned skin and lead to so-called ‘girdle trauma’ or ‘garment burns.’ It is therefore advisable to leave the skin without compression for around 1 hour a day.

Avoid vigorous exercise for the first month of your recovery. Once your surgeon gives you the OK, lunges, squats and other exercises that cause hypertrophy of the gluteus muscles will enhance the result, increasing muscle bulk and definition. Just be sure not to overdo it when you return to the gym and make sure your body-fat percentage is held in check, or you’ll lose some of the fat.

When can you sit after a Brazilian butt lift?

You’ll need to avoid sitting or lying directly on your butt for at least two weeks to allow enough time for a blood supply to develop so the fat graft can take.

Pressure from sitting can compromise your results by causing the injected fat cells to die. When we reinject the processed fat cells, the only way that fat lives are if blood vessels grow into it. If the area is ‘squished’ by sitting on it, then the nutrients cannot diffuse into the cells, blood vessels do not have a chance to grow into it, and the fat can die or not take.

After two weeks, your surgeon may allow you to sit on a special donut-shaped pillow that puts pressure on your thighs.

When will you see Brazilian butt lift results?

It can take up to four months to see your final results from a BBL, though you’ll see much more volume immediately. During those four months, swelling from the surgery and liposuction is going down, and up to 40% of the transferred fat cells can be lost.

After seeing their final results, some patients opt to have a Brazilian butt lift revision to add more volume. 

Asymmetry, dents, or less-than-ideal results may also be improved with additional fat transfer to your buttocks. You’ll just need to have enough unwanted fat left to harvest from other areas.

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