The Brazilian Buttock Lift
With the popularity of Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian's shapely buttock curvature, buttock augmentation has been reported to be one of the top cosmetic procedures predicted to increase in 2011 according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Recently there has been an increasing demand of having a youthful, prominent and perky buttock to obtain a more sensual body profile. The classic hourglass shape (full buttocks, narrow waist) of the female body has been thought to be aesthetically pleasing, and is what men universally find most attractive according to one study. Several types of augmentation, such as the breast and that of the buttock, have sprouted demand to help create this hourglass figure.
L'Etoile Perdue: painted by William A. Bouguereau
(File courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The buttock has been an important element of sexual attraction in essentially all cultures throughout recorded history. Buttock augmentation can be performed by using several methods such as the insertion of silicone buttock implants; by rearranging muscle and fat from your buttock; and by injection using fat grafts. The so-called "Brazilian Butt Lift" has been increasingly popular in the United States, especially since this buttock augmentation procedure does not involve placement of abuttock implant. This particular procedure involves the harvest of fat from areas with excessive fat (such as the lower abdomen, flank and hips) by performing liposuction. These fat grafts are then subsequently injected in areas of the buttock desired to be augmented in order to produce a more attractive and sensuous body profile. Before one decides to partake and undergo this increasingly popular cosmetic procedure, one should be fully informed about this particular plastic surgery.
Fast Facts about Fat Grafting for Buttock Augmentation (Brazilian Butt Lift)
Liposuction is first performed in areas where there's excessive fat, such as the abdomen, flank, and hips (iliac crest area).
After the fat graft is harvested, it is then injected both intramuscularly (into the muscles) and subcutaneously (underneath the skin) at the desired area of the buttock to be augmented.
Approximately 300 to 400 mL of fat is injected on each side of the buttock.
The average fat injected may depend on the ethnicity of the patient (~205 mL in a petite Asian patient; 400 to 1430 ml per side in a Caucasian patient; 400 to 1478 mL per side in a Hispanic patient; and 400 to 1880 mL in an African American patient.)
The volume of fat that will be injected will depend on the amount of donor fat available. Thus, patients with minimal fatty tissue may not be a candidate.
50 to 75% of the fat grafted remains long term according to a clinical study involving 566 patients.
There may be lesser pain and faster recovery associated with the procedure, as compared to buttock implant placement, according to one study.
Potential Complications of Fat Grafting for Buttock Augmentation
Wound infection/Cellulitis (<2%)
Fat embolism (rare)
Partial reabsorption of grafted fat
Transient sciatic paresthesias (numbness)
Plastic surgery is a rapidly evolving field. It is imperative to have a plastic surgeon, who have solid mastery of clinically relevant anatomy in aesthetic gluteal body contouring surgery, perform these emerging procedures of aesthetic plastic surgery. Buttock augmentation using fat grafts may seem to be a simple procedure, but like any procedure, potential complications and adverse events may occur. I recommend seeing a plastic surgeon in your community if one is interested in getting the "Brazilian Butt Lift."
Emmanuel De La Cruz M.D.
The Woodlands Plastic Surgeon
American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: 10 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2011 Bruner, et al. Complications of Buttocks Augmentation: Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2006, Vol 33 (3): 449-466
Centeno et al. Clinical Anatomy in Aesthetic Gluteal Body Contouring Surgery. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2006, Vol 33 (3):347-358
Roberts, et al. “Universal” and Ethnic Ideals of Beautiful Buttocks are Best Obtained by Autologous Micro Fat Grafting and Liposuction. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2006, Vol 33 (3): 371-394Roberts, et al. Augmentation of the Buttocks by Micro Fat Grafting. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2001, Vol 21: Part 4, pp311-319
Singh, Devendra. Universal Allure of the Hourglass Figure: An Evolutionary Theory of Female Physical Attractiveness. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2006, Vol 33 (3): 359-370