Brazilian butt lift (BBL)
A BBL can lift your butt and make it appear more shapely

For many women, a pert, round, gravity-defying butt is a must-have on their wish lists. A toned butt adds to your curves and makes the money spent on those jeans worthwhile. But what if your genes, diet or lifestyle mean that a sculpted booty is out or reach? A plastic surgeon can give you the results you want by giving you a Brazilian butt lift (BBL).

As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and may start to sag. A BBL is a specialized procedure that can lift your butt. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon removes excess fat from your abdomen, lower back or thighs using liposuction. The surgeon then transfers this fat to the buttocks through injections. This can improve the look of the buttocks and make them appear more shapely.

What is the difference between a butt lift and butt implants?

The main difference between a BBL and butt implants is that the former doesn’t use implants and instead uses your own body fat for cosmetic enhancement. The results may last many years.

Butt implants vs. BBL chart
Butt Implants Brazilian Butt Lift
Uses implants to increase the butt size Uses your body fat to sculpt the butt
Increased risk of infection and joint scarring Reduced risk of infection and joint scarring
Ideal for thin people who may not have enough fat to extract from other areas of the body Ideal for those with “problem areas” or excess fat in the abdomen, thighs and lower back
Looks and feels less natural Looks and feels more natural

How is the procedure performed?

During the procedure

A BBL is an outpatient procedure performed under intravenous (IV) anesthesia and involves these basic steps:

  • Liposuction: Fat is removed from your lower back, thighs and abdomen for the purpose of transferring the fat to other areas of the body. 
  • Preparation: The extracted fat is purified and prepared for the transfer.
  • Fat injection: The prepared fat is injected into specific points on the buttocks to increase their volume and enhance their shape. Because all injected fat may not “take” in the new locations, your surgeon may inject a slightly larger amount of fat into the buttocks than is required.

Post-procedural care

  • You will be kept under observation for a few hours or overnight, as your surgeon sees fit. There will be some pain after the procedure that can be managed with pain medications.
  • Your surgeon will advise you against sitting on your butt or sleeping on your back for about two weeks after the procedure. You will need to sleep on your sides at night and perform most activities in a standing position during these two weeks.
  • For about the next eight weeks, you may use a donut seat while sitting to avoid putting pressure on your new butt. Your surgeon will follow up with you after 14 days and allow you to return to work if all is going well.

After about six months, you will begin to see the results of the surgery and enjoy having the pert, shapely butt you wanted so badly.

Does the surgery pose any risk?

Every surgical procedure comes with a risk. Although a BBL is generally assumed safe when performed by an experienced surgeon, some people may be prone to complications with this procedure. For example, if you have diabetes or heart problems or are prone to keloid formation, the procedure may not be suitable for you.

A BBL may also result in the following complications:

  • Infection: Improper sterilization techniques or reduced immunity may cause infections. The risk of infection can be reduced by taking antibiotics before and after the procedure.
  • Decreased skin sensation: During a BBL, your surgeon will cut the nerves over the skin of the buttock. This will cause the skin over your butt to feel numb. It may take years for sensation to return to normalcy, if at all.
  • Poor wound healing: Wounds or cuts made during surgery in people with diabetes may not heal and result in abscess formation and cellulitis (extensive soft tissue swelling).
  • Scars and keloids: Scars from a buttock lift are permanent. Your surgeon may make cuts along the skin creases so that they are not visible. However, in some cases, a keloid (bulging itchy scar) may form.
  • Seroma (fluid collection beneath the skin): The incision site may swell due to discharge from the trauma during surgery. Your surgeon will leave fine tubes in place after surgery to help reduce the risk of seroma.


Plastic Surgery: Before and After Photos of Cosmetic Surgeries See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 4/29/2021