Buttock augmentation is a popular procedure that uses silicone implants or a patient’s own fat to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks.
If you’ve been thinking about a Brazilian Butt Lift but are wondering if it’s safe, you’re not the only one. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2019, more than 14,000 Brazilian butt lifts were performed in the United States.
Unfortunately, every plastic surgery procedure involves risk. So do most good things in life!
A Brazilian Butt lift involves detailed liposuction as well as strategic injections, both of which carry their own set of risks. A buttocks augmentation that uses silicone implants requires surgery, although it has fewer complications than breast implants.
It’s important to understand a medical procedure and be educated about the risks before you choose to undergo any cosmetic surgery. And, it’s crucial to have a board-certified, experienced doctor who uses state-of-the-art technology and high-grade medical implants.
Dr. Herve F. Gentile has been practicing cosmetic surgery for over 20 years and has received countless awards and honors that validate his world-class training. Contact Dr. Gentile’s office in Corpus Christi to learn more about what buttock augmentation can do for you and how Dr. Gentile keeps his patients safe.
What’s Involved in Buttock Augmentation?
There’s quite a bit beside your butt! Whether you’re considering butt implant surgery or a Brazilian Butt lift, each of these forms of buttock augmentation involves two very different procedures and results.
Brazilian Butt Lift
- Fat is harvested from other locations in the body using liposuction. Fat can be taken from the flanks, inner thighs, or back.
- This fat is gently suctioned through a small incision via a cannula, a long hollow needle, and collected. The harvested fat is then purified in a centrifuge and prepared for injection into the buttocks.
- The fat is then injected in small amounts across targeted areas of the buttocks and at varying depths. Besides allowing the doctor to sculpt an ideal shape, this gives the newly added fat the best access to blood flow and improves its ability to “take” to its new location. Not all fat will successfully graft to the buttocks, and some will be reabsorbed and naturally processed by the body. As a result, plastic surgeons inject slightly more fat than required.
Like breast implants, solid silicone implants are specially shaped to be inserted either under the skin or under the gluteus maximus muscles. Each implant is surgically placed into the buttocks via an incision in between the buttocks. Implants are preferable for people who do not have sufficient body fat for the injections used in a Brazilian Butt Lift. (1)
What About Fillers For Buttock Augmentation?
You may have heard the horror stories about people getting bargain injections and suffering from the devastating consequences. Unlicensed providers have illegally injected patients in nonmedical locations. Often, they inject silicone sealant (used in sealing bathrooms or tile floors) or other terrifying construction materials.
These products are not designed for medical use and aren’t sterile. Either the product itself or a non-sterile injection can cause life-threatening or fatal infections. Furthermore, the material injected can shift from the injection site, causing deformities. If this product enters the bloodstream, it can have toxic effects on the body or travel to the heart and lungs, causing death. (1) All injections should be performed by a medical professional as directed by the medical product manufacturer. Injections like Botox and other dermal fillers are specially designed to be injected into certain parts of the body and are rigorously tested before being approved by the FDA for use.
What’s Safer, Silicone Implants, or a BBL?
As medical research and technology have advanced, these procedures are performed more frequently, and the safety of these procedures has vastly improved. A recent review of 44 studies that documented the results of thousands of patients showed a low rate of moderate to minimize complications.
The overall complication rate with autologous fat grafting for a BBL was 9.9%, while silicone buttock implants had a complication rate of 21.6 % (2)
It’s also important to remember that both of these procedures are invasive, which allows for the possibility of infection. They both also require general anesthesia, which carries its own risks.
What Can Go Wrong With a Brazilian Butt Lift?
Some of the most commonly reported complications in 3567 patients receiving autologous fat injection were
- Seroma (build-up of fluid): 3.5 %
- Under-correction: 2.2%
- Infection: 2% (2)
A common and deadly result of Brazilian Butt Lifts was a pulmonary fat embolism. This occurred when fat was injected not into the existing fat store but entered the muscle underneath and made its way into the bloodstream. When these globules of fat enter the lungs, the results can be fatal. The correct equipment in the careful hands of a trained expert can eliminate this risk. Dr. Gentile uses ultrasound-assisted liposuction to monitor the exact positioning of the cannula, to make sure that the fat is removed and reintroduced to the correct locations.
Although there still may be misconceptions about the safety of BBL’s this procedure has dramatically increased in safety since a scientific intervention. In 2015, the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) formed a Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force to study the mortality and complication rates of gluteal fat transfer. After carefully studying this procedure and circulating recommendations for best practice, the rate of PFE’s fell by more than half. Fatalities from PFE’s fell from 1 in 3448 in 2017 to 1 in 14,952 in 2019. (3)
What Are the Risks of Butt Implants?
The most commonly reported complications in a study of 2375 patients receiving silicone implants were:
- Wound dehiscence(re-opening) (9.6 percent),
- Seroma (4.6 percent),
- Infection (1.9 percent)(2)
Unlike breast implants, butt implants are made out of solid silicone, which means there is no risk of rupture. However, like breast implants, silicone butt implants don’t last forever. Implants should be replaced approximately every ten years. Failing to replace your implants can lead to a host of other dangerous complications.
What Can I Do to Make Sure That I Don’t Have Complications After My Buttocks Augmentation?
If you’re reading this, you’re already on your way to avoiding complications and securing the best possible results. Dr. Gentile is dedicated to educating and preparing his patients so that they feel empowered to make informed decisions regarding their bodies. You can follow his blog to learn more about the other procedures he performs and the lengths that he goes to ensure great results. As with all procedures that Dr. Gentile performs, you’ll have the chance to discuss all of your concerns during your personal consultation. Once he examines you and determines that you are a good candidate for either implants or a Brazilian Butt Lift, you’ll be given all the information that you need to prepare for your procedure and what to expect during your recovery. Relatively minor side effects include bruising, swelling, and soreness. Dr. Gentile can prescribe medication to control any discomfort.
It’s also vital to closely follow all of the instructions that you’re given during your recovery.
After a buttocks augmentation procedure, patients should:
- Wear the designated compression garment for the prescribed amount of time in order to limit swelling and aid the healing process.
- Avoid applying pressure on the areas with fat grafts.
- Sleep on their stomach or side and limit the amount of time they spend sitting for the first three weeks.
- Avoid strenuous exercise, although light amounts of walking are encouraged.
- Not sit on hard chairs for several weeks following the procedure. They should use a cushion for sitting at all times. This will ensure that the maximum amount of fat survives in the augmented areas.
- Return for at least two follow-up appointments after their procedure so that Dr. Gentile can monitor the patient’s healing and help ensure the best possible results.
What’s More Expensive, a Brazilian Butt Lift or Butt Implants?
Saving money should never be a consideration when selecting a plastic surgery procedure or provider.
Since a Brazilian Butt Lift is such a highly customizable procedure, it is difficult to provide a price estimate without Dr. Gentile first meeting and examining the patient. Similarly, a butt augmentation using implants will also be customized to the patient’s desires and anatomy.
The cost of your buttock augmentation will be specific to your body and desired outcome. Dr. Gentile will go over a cost breakdown in your personal consultation. This breakdown will reflect surgical costs, including the type of surgical method, anesthesia, and the postprocedure garment you have chosen. Dr. Gentile’s office is able to offer several financing options to make the booty of your dreams a reality. If you’re ready to get started on the perky butt of your dreams, call his office in Corpus Christi at (361) 881-9999.
- Cherney K. Butt Implants: Types, Risks, Costs, and Pictures. Healthline. Published January 18, 2019. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/butt-implants#augmentation-procedures
- Sinno S, Chang JB, Brownstone ND, Saadeh PB, Wall S. Determining the Safety and Efficacy of Gluteal Augmentation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016;137(4):1151-1156. doi:10.1097/prs.0000000000002005
- Rios L, Gupta V. Improvement in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Safety With the Current Recommendations from ASERF, ASAPS, and ISAPS. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2020;40(8):864-870. doi:10.1093/asj/sjaa098