February 9, 2016
It’s no secret that societal ideals of beauty change over time. We used to revere models that appeared unnaturally skinny, but more commonly now we covet the more curvaceous body type. Beyonce is probably known more for her curves than for her singing voice. For women who were born with slimmer figures, a bodacious backside may seem out of reach. However, with the advances in medical technology that are common nowadays, it’s possible to achieve the bum of your dreams through a common surgical procedure. When it comes to butt lifts and butt augmentations, though, it’s important to understand the distinction.
Butt augmentation surgery is conducted either with fat injections or with implants. Butt augmentation with fat injections, which is also commonly referred to as a Brazilian butt lift, involves a transfer of fat from one area of the body to another. Typically, fat is removed from areas such as the hips, lower back, or abdomen. It is then injected into the buttocks after undergoing a purification process to ensure the injection site will not reject the injection or result in infection. The purpose of butt augmentation with fat injections is to make the shape of the buttocks fuller and rounder. In about one out of three cases of butt augmentation surgery with fat injections, the body reabsorbs the fat that was injected and the results may not be as dramatic as an otherwise successful procedure. In this case, more than one fat transfer procedure is needed in order to achieve the desired results. It is argued that the Brazilian butt lift results in a more natural appearance because the patient uses their own fat to plump up their bottom, instead of supplementing the size of the buttocks with synthetic implants.
Butt augmentation surgery with implants, on the other hand, involves the insertion of silicone implants into the buttocks. The skin surrounding the buttocks is lifted to make room for the implant, which is then placed and adjusted before the incision site is closed. Results are seen immediately, though it may take a few months after the surgery before the implants begin to look and feel like a natural part of the patient’s body. The patient may need to undergo butt implant replacement surgery approximately eight to 12 years following the initial procedure.
When it comes to choosing the type of butt augmentation surgery, whether with implants or fat injections, each individual is different. Injections are recommended for patients who want to enhance the appearance of the buttocks and create a fuller shape. If a patient wants to significantly increase the size of the buttocks, however, then a butt augmentation surgery with implants may be the better fit. It is also required that the patient has enough fat on her body to perform the butt augmentation surgery with fat injections, in order to properly redistribute the fat to the buttocks area.
There is also a difference between recovery times for butt augmentation with implants and a Brazilian butt lift procedure. The butt augmentation with implants procedure requires that the patient wear a support garment (think Spanx) for up to three weeks following the procedure. This provides the necessary support to hold the implants in place until proper healing has completed. The final results are noticeable after approximately three months, when the swelling has settled and the implants are firmly positioned. On the other hand, for butt augmentation with fat injections, also known as the Brazilian butt lift, the patient is required to avoid prolonged sitting for about two weeks following the procedure. If this advice is not followed, it may cause the fat to distribute incorrectly or become damaged. Therefore, the patient will need to sit with support of a thick pillow and sleep face-down to allow the fat to properly settle. Butt lift patients will also wear support garments that apply compression if they received liposuction in addition to the augmentation surgery. Swelling may take several months to dissipate and for the patient to see final results.
Patients undergoing butt augmentation surgery may come across varied price points for both the butt lift procedure and the implant procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of buttock augmentation surgery with fat injections and the average cost of buttock augmentation surgery with implants are both typically between $4,000 and $4,600. It is important to discuss the financial implications of either procedure, as most health insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgeries or any complications that may result from them. It is also important to understand that the average cost figure excludes the costs associated with anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other medical expenses.
As with any surgery, there is always risk associated. Butt augmentation with implants poses certain risks, including infection, bleeding, scarring, and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Various risks associated with butt implant procedures also include movement or displacement of the implant, collection of fluid in the implant site and surrounding areas, and capsular contracture. Butt augmentation with fat transfer poses different risks, including asymmetry, stretch marks, fluid shifts, infection, and blood clots. There is also a risk associated with butt augmentation by fat transfer of a fat embolism, which is when the injected fat actually travels into the bloodstream which can cause inflammation in the lungs.
It is important to discuss your personal goals, expectations, and health condition (including family health history) with your surgeon. This will help to manage expectations and give you a realistic idea of what to expect from your surgery immediately, as well as long-term results. It also serves to give your surgeon important information about the risks particular to you as an individual. It is essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative procedures in order to ensure you achieve the best results possible.
Butt Lift vs. Butt Augmentation
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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