by Dr. Johnny Franco, Cosmetic Surgeon
Many men and women wish they had rounder and more attractive buttocks. Exercise to remedy this is helpful for some people, but for others cosmetic surgery may hold the answer.
There are several ways the buttock can be augmented. Initially, implants were used – however this limited shape as the implant cannot be tailored to each individual patient. Moreover, the implant method does not allow for contouring of the waist. A new method of buttock augmentation has now evolved and is performed by micro fat grafting.
Buttock augmentation through fat grafting is a surgical procedure performed to reshape the buttock, as well as enhance the overall figure of the patient. The concept has evolved from just increasing the size of the buttock to improving body shape. Fat is liposuctioned from one area of the body and then transferred to the buttock.
There are a variety of terms that are used interchangeably for surgery to enhance the buttock, and this can lead to confusion. Generally speaking, buttock augmentation, butt enhancement, butt lift and Brazilian butt lift are all terms used to reference buttock augmentation.
Buttock Augmentation through fat grafting is becoming increasingly popular as it can be used to treat a wide range of patients. It may be performed to lift and rejuvenate a deflated buttock after weight loss, aging or pregnancy – or even to add shape to a patient who genetically just didn’t have shape in the buttock area.
Regardless, patients will undergo improvement in overall body figure as the fat used to shape the buttock is taken via liposuction from other areas of the body.
The process of fat grafting begins with liposuction of the abdomen, flanks and hips or other areas in which patients would want fat removed. This fat is then processed so that only viable fat cells are used to shape the buttock.
The fat is then injected in the buttock in very small amounts. As a surgeon, this technique allows me to sculpt the buttock without using implants, giving patients a more natural and softer feel.
Good candidates for buttock augmentation are in good physical and emotional health. They desire a more sculpted and shaped buttock.
They must be at a normal weight as they need to have sufficient areas from which to liposuction fat from that can be used to sculpt the buttock. Patients also must have good skin elasticity so that the areas that are liposuctioned can shrink down and improve overall shape.
Most importantly, patients must have realistic expectations about what can and cannot be done in terms of results. This should be discussed with the surgeon at the initial consultation.
Buttock augmentation is an outpatient surgical procedure that usually takes several hours to complete. Patients require general anesthesia during the procedure.
Once the fat has been liposuctioned from the predetermined areas, it is then processed so that only viable fat cells are used to shape the buttock. Small incisions are made for the liposuction and the fat injections.
When the procedure is completed, the patient will be wearing a compression garment, except for on the area of the buttock itself. The buttock will either have no compression garment or a modified garment so that there is no pressure on the sculpted area.
The first couple weeks after surgery are the most difficult as you are limited in how much you will be able to sit. The amount of time that you are required to avoid any prolonged sitting or sleeping on your back will vary from surgeon to surgeon.
Patients often state that the discomfort is similar to other liposuction procedures. They can be sore, but it is rare that patients have a significant amount of pain following the procedure. Patients usually return to work within two weeks, depending on the type of work the patient performs.
The results from buttock augmentation with fat grafting are dependent on the amount of fat that is used to sculpt the buttock. The amount used is dependent on the pre-operative discussion with your surgeon and the amount of fat that is available to be used for grafting.
This procedure has some of the inherent risks of any surgical procedure, which include infection, bleeding and the need for secondary procedures; however this is rare. Problems with the procedure occur when overzealous amounts of fat are used to augment the buttock or improper technique is used.
Buttock augmentation with fat grafting is a new alternative to augmentation with implants. The benefits for augmentation with fat is that the entire body can be sculpted and shaped to enhance a patient’s overall figure.
With this procedure, the long-term problems associated with butt implant use can be avoided. However, because patients must have sufficient fat for the procedure, not everyone is a candidate. In consultation with your surgeon you can discuss if you’re a good candidate for buttocks augmentation with fat grafting.
(published April 18, 2012)
Johnny Franco, M.D., earned his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Franco served his residency in Plastic Surgery at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, finishing as head resident. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Dr. Franco has become part of the team of cosmetic surgeons at Miami Plastic Surgery, where you can get more information on buttocks augmentation with fat grafting, or schedule a personal consultation.