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The Showdown: Brazilian Butt Lift Goes Head to Head with Butt Implants

The Showdown: Brazilian Butt Lift Goes Head to Head with Butt Implants

Butt jobs seem to be the new boob jobs, as the American Society of Plastic Surgery called 2015, “The Year of the Rear”. Every half hour in 2015, a butt grew. The number of butt-related surgeries increased by a whopping 252 percent. As trusted experts in cosmetic enhancement, we here at Elevate decided to get to the bottom of it (pun intended) and help educate you on the options available.

Dr Peter W. Bray MD, MSc, FRCS(C) plastic cosmetic surgeon in Toronto gave us his insight on the differences between fat transfers or Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) in comparison to buttocks implants. He provided us with the main considerations when it comes to perfecting your peach.

What’s The Difference?

“BBL involves removing fat from an unwanted area, such as the abdomen, thighs or love handles, and then transferring it to a place that you want more volume, for example the breasts, buttocks and face,” says Dr. Bray. This is done by gentle liposuction, and the fat is then processed in the operating room and strategically injected into your desired area. The fat then integrates into its new place, where it adds volume. This gentle liposuction improves body contours, by narrowing the waist. Together these two components give patients that highly sought-after hourglass figure.

Buttocks implants are similar to breast implants: “they are inserted under the buttocks, either above or within/below the gluteus maximum muscle to add volume, improve projection and enhance shape,” says Dr. Bray. “Buttocks implants are similar to breast implants in composition in that they are made of silicone rubber, but there are a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. The variety allows surgeons to choose an implant that suits the patient’s individual needs.”

What Kind of Recovery am I Looking at?

For Brazilian butt lift, patients should avoid pressure on the buttocks for the first few weeks. This means sitting is off-limits unless for a very short period of time. Special cushions are available that help reduce the pressure on the buttocks area when sitting. Standing, walking and light activity is allowed, but patients should avoid heavy exercise for about six weeks.

For buttocks implants, patients should similarly avoid pressure and sitting for a few weeks. In the case of implants, this restriction is due to soreness and the need to avoid shifting or displacing the implants. Again, walking and light activity is fine and most patients are back to work in two weeks. Patients must avoid heavy activity or exercise of the gluteus muscles, that means no squats for at least eight weeks.

What to Choose?

BBL is by far the most popular method for buttocks enhancement. Patients like using their own fat and not having to introduce a foreign man-made object into their bodies. However, according to Dr. Bray, “for a very lean patient, with minimal excess fat, there will not be enough fat available for removal and transfer to the buttocks. In this scenario buttocks implants are the only option because they do not depend on finding a source of available fat. Also, implants are a very predictable method to add volume.” Overall, the main benefit of buttock implants is that you get a predictable increase in size and shape, whereas with the Brazilian butt lift you run the risk of absorption or volume loss over time.

Should I Gain Weight?

Don’t start an all burger diet just yet! Weight gain is not required prior to Brazilian butt lift. For lean patients, Dr Bray recommends a modest weight gain of 10 to 15 pounds. Anything more than this would be difficult to maintain and can compromise the appearance of other areas in the body causing issues with your overall health and fitness. Moreover, weight loss after the surgery will cause the new fat to shrink anyways.

Are the Risks the Same?

Serious risks are rare with either procedure. Both are subject to the usual risks associated with any type of surgery including bleeding, infections and healing issues.

With Brazilian butt lift an extremely rare side-effect called fat embolism can occur. This is when some of the injected fat enters deep blood vessels in the injected area, and travels to the lungs causing a blockage, which can be serious and fatal. With a qualified surgeon, however,  there are strategies to reduce this very rare risk.

Buttocks implants can sometimes result in awkward sensations and discomfort during certain activities due to it being placed adjacent or under the strong and very active gluteus maximus muscle. There can also be shifting or displacement over time resulting in a change in the shape of your behind. The only way to correct this is additional surgery.

Although infection can occur with either treatment, “the risks are somewhat higher with buttock implants and can occur months, or even years after surgery,” says Dr Bray. This is due to the nature of the buttock area and its higher density of bacteria. Treatment requires the use of antibiotics.  In extreme cases, as a last resort, the implant must be removed

What Does Dr. Bray Say?

“I almost always recommend a Brazilian butt lift unless the patient simply lacks sufficient donor fat to achieve their goals,” says Dr. Bray. “This method has a double benefit; improvement in contour of both the buttocks as well as the areas from which the fat was removed. Fat transfer has flexible shaping capabilities, results in a natural texture and avoids the long-term risks of artificial implants.”

The one complication with Brazilian butt lift is the uncertainty around the amount of fat survival. In a best-case scenario, 40 percent of the transferred fat will not survive and will be absorbed by the body. Consequently, the surgeon will overcorrect by transferring more fat than required. Some patients may require a second-stage procedure to add more fat if the first transfer does not satisfy their goals.

What About the Benjamins (Cost)?

The cost for these procedures varies since the amount of work involved can vary dramatically between people. A Brazilian butt lift will typically cost between $9,000 to $13,000. The more areas involving liposuction, the higher the cost of the procedure. Buttocks implants range from $10,000 to $12,000+.

The Choice is Up to You

You are now fully equipped with the knowledge required to choose the best option so you can literally keep up with the Kardashians’ behinds. As with any type of surgery, final results become apparent around 6 to 12 months after the procedure. So, keep those eyes on your badonkadonkdonk.

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