Highlighting the Brazilian butt lift

Highlighting the Brazilian Butt Lift

OP. DR. YUNUS DOĞAN

All about Brazilian butt lifts

Spring has sprung but that’s not the only thing you’re thinking of springing. Are you looking ahead to plastic surgery regarding your hindsight? Soon bikinis will be popping up on beaches worldwide. You want to make your booty pop but you’re not sure how to get that bubble butt of your dreams.

You want gluteal augmentation and the most popular nationality is the Brazilian butt lift.

This article is the fifth in a series highlighting some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. In the Highlighting series, we tell you ALL the alternative names of the surgery so you learn the medical terminology as well as develop a little street cred with slang terms. We share a little history of the procedure and describe the general process. We mention possible complications and give you an idea of the typical recovery time.

Also known as/similar or related names are:

Brazilian butt lift (BBL,) buttock augmentation with fat grafting, gluteal fat grafting, gluteal auto augmentation, safe subcutaneous buttock augmentation (SSBA,)

First recorded Brazilian butt lift

Dr. Ivo Pitanguy is the most popular name associated with this procedure. (Can you guess what country he’s from?) While his work didn’t involve the implants or fat grafts that are common today, Dr. Pitanguy was responsible for removing excess gluteal skin and tissue. He tightened the buttocks by reducing rather than adding volume. He published this paper on early buttock surgery in 1964.

The first implant was documented in 1969, when Dr. Roger J. Bartels from Florida, USA, used a Dow Corning breast implant to balance out his patient’s asymmetrical left butt cheek. Unfortunately, breast implants are on the list of things you shouldn’t stick in your bum. We now know this. Dr. Bartels had placed the implant just under the subcutaneous layer of skin, which allowed it to move around freely. His patient could physically manipulate her implant with her hands.

Fellow American doctors William Cocke and Greer Ricketson published what is regarded as the first successful gluteal implant in 1973. Working further with Dow Corning, Dr. Cocke requested a variation on the breast implant designed to project further in the buttocks. Their surgery was purely cosmetic.

From 1981-1991 Dr. Mario Gonzalez-Ulloa worked in Mexico, collaborating with manufacturer Dow Corning to develop an implant strong enough to withstand the pressure that buttocks must endure daily. Dr. Gonzalez-Ulloa’s contributions are important but his placement also fell short of where the implants needed to be.

Argentinian Dr. Jose Robles delved a little deeper in 1984, placing an implant made by Silimed between the two layers of gluteal muscle, calling his procedure a “submuscular gluteoplasty.” While successful, his technique required too much technical skill to gain any popularity.

Continuing to pioneer in South America, Dr. Rafael Vergara developed the successful “intramuscular implant” technique that has a low level of complications while providing desirable volume options, according to this National Library of Medicine (NIH) article.

While all these doctors worked to find the best implant and the most effective place to put it over the next two decades, the 1990s saw New Yorker Dr. Sydney Coleman document the steps for a more organic approach to implants: fat grafting.

General process

We will describe the process of fat grafting, as it is the most popular type of gluteal augmentation today. When people discuss the Brazilian butt lift, they are talking about fat grafts to the buttocks. However, if you’re curious about other procedures such as buttock implant or buttock lift, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons wrote this succinct article.

Once you’re asleep on the table, your doctor will procure the fat for the grafts via liposuction. The fat will be processed to remove unwanted components such as dead cells and then injected into your gluteal muscles and/or the subcutaneous tissue through several injection sites. The entire surgery typically lasts between three to four hours.

After your specified recovery time at the hospital, you will be sent home with some type of supportive device to sit on. The key to maintaining your bootyliciousness is keeping pressure off your cheeks.

What could go wrong?

Complications that may occur include:
  • Fat embolism - when fat is accidentally injected into a blood vessel, it can travel to your heart or lungs and stop them from working. Ultrasound-guided BBLs are the gold standard to avoid this complication.
  • Infection - any time you have an incision, you open yourself up to infection. This is why you’ll have an IV of strong antibiotic medicine.
  • Skin numbness or sensitivity - it’s unavoidable that the cannula used to transfer the fat into your cheeks will disrupt your nerve endings. Sensations of prickly or tingly skin should be temporary.

What could go right?

The good things that WILL be part of the fruition of your apple bottom are:
  • An hourglass figure that will stop time.
  • A bigger butt that will proportionally shrink your thighs and abdomen by comparison.
  • An increase in your assets with a bigger money maker.

Recovery time

It will take around four to six weeks for your Brazilian butt lift to heal. Within this time, you should use your BBL pillow for at least two to three weeks whenever you’re not standing up. Keeping pressure off your cheeks is key and this includes when you’re lying down. Unless you’ve had other surgery that prevents pressure on your stomach, you should be sleeping on your stomach. If you HAVE had additional surgery - such as a tummy tuck or breast augmentation - you will sleep in a “V” position while using your BBL pillow.

Give your butt the benefit of the doubt when you’re striving for a beautiful belfie (yes, this is a butt selfie.) It may take up to a year for your BBL to flourish into all its peachy perfection with proper care and nutrition.

The last stitch

You want to protect your assets by following our advice on diet and recovery. We have mentioned some scary complications that could arise but if you follow our advice when you’re choosing your surgeon, you will be making an informed decision for any incisions.

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