Lost in a sea of acronyms TTYL, ROTFL and the like, you may have come across “BBL”, meaning Brazilian Butt Lift. Here are some of the most common questions about the procedure –
What is a BBL surgery?
A BBL is the term for shaping the buttocks with fat that is obtained by liposuctioning it from other areas of the body.
What does it have to do with Brazil?
Like many South American countries, the shape of ladies’ posteriors holds a special cultural significance. The enthusiasm for that body part is akin to the obsession over breasts in the U.S.
…but I don’t want my butt to be too big.
Every patient is different when it comes to their goals and I’m careful to tailor the surgery to meet those goals. Some patients want as much augmentation as possible, while others may want a more subtle enlargement.
For most patients, as important as augmenting the buttocks is creating a more pleasing shape. This is accomplished by contouring not only the buttocks, but the low back, hips and thighs to create a pleasing harmony.
Take a look at the patient pictured here. Her entire torso has been reshaped by liposuctioning her back and flanks and augmenting her buttocks to add projection and width. Her buttocks are more reshaped than simply enlarged.
Why can’t I just get butt implants?
Butt implants are an option, but I believe fat grafting to be superior. This is because it has the advantage of “killing two birds with one stone”, meaning the buttocks appearance is enhanced, while simultaneously improving the areas of the body that are liposuctioned. In addition, the fat is soft and a natural part of your body. Finally, there are concerns unique to implants including difficulty in placing them precisely while avoiding important structures in the buttocks and infection necessitating removal.
What is the recovery like?
Patients may return to work when their pain allows, which is typically in one week. Heavy lifting and exercise must be avoided for two weeks. The most awkward part is that pressure must be kept off your backside for eight weeks. That sounds like a long time, but I can show you ways to sit so that your routine is minimally disturbed during the recovery process.
What other procedures can be done at the same time?
Its common to combine a BBL with other body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck.
I heard the BBL is dangerous.
The procedure used to be controversial because of the risk of fat entering the bloodstream and causing serious complications and even death. But that was before a landmark study showed that the danger is eliminated by injecting the fat into the subcutaneous layer and not in the buttock muscle itself. When this technique is used, the injected fat remains far away from the large blood vessels deeper in the buttocks. The procedure is now considered very safe.
Can my breasts be augmented with fat instead of implants?
That’s a great question and, in fact, some surgeons do offer this procedure. However, in my opinion, breast augmentation with implants is safer and more predictable. At the present time, fat grafting to the breasts can only produce modest augmentation and the procedure may confuse mammography. In addition, because the fat is soft it cannot impart a round shape to the breast as well as an implant.
This may be the future of breast augmentation, but we’re not there yet.
Can fat be grafted anywhere else?
As opposed to the breasts, fat grafting to the face is more well established. You can think of fat as an equivalent replacement for injectable fillers like Juvederm and Voluma. Fat grafting is especially effective to add youthful volume to the cheeks.