by Dr. Kevin Williams
If you are unhappy with the shape, size or firmness of your backside, butt augmentation may the answer. Butt implants are a cosmetic surgical procedure for men or women who desire rounder, fuller buttocks.
Buttocks implants can be good for people who have a saggy rear or simply think their bum is too small. A larger and firmer derriere can do wonders for one’s appearance and self-confidence. The full, round bums of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian are admired by women all over the world.
Butt implants are made from solid or semi-solid silicone, and have the soft natural texture of well-toned muscle. They are placed either underneath or on top of the gluteus maximus muscle in a surgical procedure that takes about two hours.
In order to insert the implants, a cosmetic surgeon will make an incision at the base of the buttocks, where the cheek and thigh meet. The doctor will then form a pocket big enough to accommodate the butt implants. Sometimes liposuction is performed at the same time to further improve the shape of your bum.
When the procedure is finished on both buttocks, the doctor makes sure the butt implants are symmetrical and appear natural. The incisions are then stitched up and recovery can begin. In most cases, this surgery is done under general anesthesia.
Gluteal augmentation can be painful, especially when the implants are placed under the muscle. Be prepared to wake up feeling sore, stiff and very tired. Butt implant recovery can take time.
After the operation, patients must wear a compression garment to provide support. This must be kept on for the next few days to ensure a successful butt implant result. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication for you to take.
Pain medication will also be prescribed by your doctor and must be taken as instructed. You won’t be able to drive yourself home, and you’ll need someone there in the house to help you. You’ll be confined to bed for one or two days to allow your buttocks implants to begin to heal.
The pain can be pretty bad when you first arrive home, but it lessens with each passing day. Most patients say they are very satisfied with the results of butt implant surgery despite the painful recovery.
Your stitches will be taken out after a week or ten days, but swelling will remain for several weeks. As the swelling gradually goes down, you’ll start to see how your new butt implants look.
You should be able to do non-physical work within a week or two after getting butt implants. Definitely avoid physical exertion for several weeks until you are fully healed and your doctor has given you the “OK.”
The risks of butt implant surgery (like any kind of surgery) include excessive bleeding, possible infection and adverse reactions to anesthesia. A second procedure may be necessary if the patient is not satisfied with the results of his or her booty implants.
One potential problem is that the implants may shift over time and thereby create an unbalanced look to the buttocks region, meaning that one butt cheek does not resemble the other. A minority of buttocks implant patients end up wishing they had stayed with their original buttocks instead of having the surgery done.
Another potential issue is breakage of the implants. Although rare, buttock implants may break or rupture, resulting in further surgery to repair the damage.
Most people say that they are pleased with the before and after results of butt implants. Having a sexy, firm and pert butt can make a person more physically attractive. Many patients report an immediate boost in confidence, self-esteem and social popularity after gluteal augmentation surgery.
The cost of buttocks implants depends on what part of the country you live in and which doctor you choose. (Liposuction prices also vary due to these factors.) The average cost of butt implant surgery is around $5,000, with anesthesia and operating room charges often extra. Health insurance won’t cover butt implants in most cases.
In recent years, plastic surgeons have begun using fat grafting techniques instead of butt implants. In this procedure, liposuction is first performed to harvest fat from one part of the body. This fat is purified and then injected into the buttocks region for shaping and contouring.
Buttocks augmentation with fat grafting may not be suitable for everyone. For example, men and women who lack sufficient body fat are not viable candidates for this technique.
Patients should also be aware that the body tends to reabsorb the fat that is injected. This may lead to an asymmetrical appearance if one butt cheek absorbs more fat than does the other.
On the positive side, recovery time for buttocks augmentation with fat grafting is generally quicker than recovery time for buttock implants. In most cases, the pain and discomfort with fat grafting is also less than with standard implant surgery.
(published January 5, 2011)