The Female Surgery

Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery or Exercise?

By Clare on September 15th, 2014

Brazilian Bubble Butt

Getting a Beach Bubble Butt

An hourglass figure is the shape striven for by many women for most of their lives. The curve of lower hip to butt strikes an instinctual desire among men and that’s why so many women look for the look of the Brazilian butt lift. Unfortunately, nature has not designed all women to have this specific curve.

Surgeons came up with trying out silicone buttock implants as a potential solution. However, many of these implants had their own problems. It was not until in the 80’s that the idea of displacing a person’s own fat was discovered. By using a body’s own fat deposits as supply, a number of risks decreased and made getting dramatic feminine curves much easier.

Beyond aesthetic appeal, plastic surgery on the buttocks can help serve other purposes. Gluteoplasty denotes the plastic surgery procedures that aim at correction of congenital, traumatic, and other deformities of the buttocks. There are many methods to correct both the functional (balance while walking, being able to sit down) and aesthetic appeal to a person’s buttocks. These methods can correct gluteal hypoplasia (flat buttocks) along with correcting several problems that may occur after massive weight loss. There are also a number of treatments that can reduce buttock size.

The following article will discuss a very specific procedure pioneered in 1987 called an autologous-fat transfer (Lipoinjection) [American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery Vol 4, Number 2, Apr. 1987 :123-129 ]. This procedure minimizes risk while strengthening the feminine curve often associated with the female buttocks. It is often nicknamed a Brazilian Butt Lift, which may be confusing as there is a workout series with the same name.

Surgery Overview and Advantages

If exercise does not correct or enhance feminine curves as needed, lipoinjection (Brazilian butt augmentation) may be a potential solution. This will lead to a lifelong set of feminine curves, after the initial healing period that is. In this procedure, excess fat is harvested from the abdomen, flanks, and thighs of a patient. This fat is then filtered for a number of particles and purified. After this fat is cleaned up, it is injected back into the buttocks. This technique has several huge advantages over gluteal implants and other injection types:

Avoidance of tissue rejection

Since the patient is both the donor and receiver, there is no tissue rejection. This minimizes a large amount of complications that arise if donor tissue is rejected by the body.

Less invasive = Faster recovery

Since muscles and nerves are avoided during this procedure, the recovery period is reduced tremendously. Most patients return to normal daily life in two days and full recovery within two weeks.

This procedure is not suited for those with minimal body fat, as not enough will be available to donate. This procedure can still be done with the addition of an implant, but the risks and recovery time increase. However, this combination approach may be well suited for those who have experienced massive weight loss or are going through sexual reassignment surgery.


Shortly after breast implants were created in the 1960’s, creative plastic surgeons began to use this same technology to enhance gluetal curves. The first reported case was performed by Bartels in 1969 and was followed by Cocke and Ricketson in 1973. While these silicone devices were effective in augmentation, they were prone to rupture and leakage. This condition then led to potential major complications such as infection and dehiscence (wound re-opening). It would not be until the 80’s when lipoinjection would start to be used.


While plastic surgery demand is hard to trace, due to the personal nature of each procedure, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has been keeping records for over a decade with intimate surgery such as labiaplasty and the increasingly common procedure vaginoplasty becoming more prevalent along with bottom augmentation. These figures are the result of a yearly poll of more than 17,000 board-certified physicians who perform plastic surgery. Please note that a buttock lift is different than a lipoinjection as a buttock lift deals mostly with skin, whereas a lipoinjection also increases volume.

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These figures show a number of trends. The first is that buttock implants are a very small percentage of procedures being done. Furthermore, that demand for buttock implants has been relatively stable. Buttock lift demand spiked in early 2000’s followed by a steady decline. Demand for buttock augmentation with fat grafting has increased 16% in just one year (2012 vs. 2013). This additional demand for buttock augmentation with fat grafting may be the result of the influx of exercise videos specialized around the perfection of the butt.

Popularity by region (2013)

Within the United States, certain areas find this procedure more attractive. The following shows which regions are most interested in completing this procedure.

In 2013, there were 9993 Total Buttock Augmentations with fat grafting:

22% (2174) are from region 1.This region includes :New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) and Middle Atlantic states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania).

28% (2811) are from region 2. This region includes East North Central states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin) and West North Central states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota).

21% (2061) are from region 3. This region includes South Atlantic states (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia).

17% (1650) are from region 4. This region includes East South Central states (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee) and West South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas).

13% (1297) are from region 5. This region includes Mountain states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming) and Pacific states (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington).

Average National Physician Costs

Trends show that the cost of these procedures has remained steady through the years. Please note that many providers now prefer to complete a buttock augmentation with fat grafting instead of buttock implants. The following figures do not include anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses.

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The 2013 average national physician fee for buttock augmentation with fat grafting (fat transfer to buttocks cost) is $4,129. As mentioned above, these costs are for provider labor only and do not include anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related expenses. When you include everything the higher side ends up around $10,000. Totals vary from clinic to clinic, so it may be best to contact your local clinic for a specific quote.

Properly certified medical practitioners should quote the procedure from $6,000 to $12,000. Here are a number of quotes given from around the United States:

  • Overland Park, KS – 1/30/2014 – $6500
  • Kansas City, KS – 12/14/12 – $6000
  • Plano, TX – 4/21/13 – $6500
  • Chicago, IL – 7/19/14 – $6000
  • Owings Mills, MD – 5/24/14 – $8200
  • Duluth, GA – 6/26/14 – $8200

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Who is a prime candidate?

A prime candidate for this procedure will have a number of traits. One of the most important traits a candidate will have is having enough fat to be re-purposed for this procedure. The overall impact of the procedure can be increased if the donor fat comes from the love handle region. This helps increase the curve ratio between the waist and buttocks. However, fat removal and reinsertion is not a 1:1 process. Instead, for every 6 to 8 pounds removed, 1 to 2 pounds are added back in. This is because the fat must undergo a screening where much of the matter is removed.

The prime candidate for this procedure is also willing to put in their time to verify a medical provider. Many providers advertise expertise while not having much experience. Furthermore, non-legitimate people will advertise as medical providers, even through they have no license. Finding the right provider to complete the procedure is often the best way to decrease risk. The correct provider will also be able to determine the best anesthesiologist to help with the procedure.

A prime candidate will also have non-saggy reflexive skin. Since this procedure requires a lot of manipulation on the skin and what is under the skin, having healthy reflexive skin is important.

As with any surgery, checking both hemoglobin and hematocrit are important. Diabetic patients may need additional safety checks while having this procedure completed.

Rounded Butt Augmentation


The biggest risk is having any injection done by non-medical staff. Even if an individual claims to have the proper license, verifying the license and setting of the procedure is important. Furthermore, fat may re-absorb into the body after the procedure. Many places estimate that displaced fat survival is around 80%. A patient can help ensure this does not happen, but multiple rounds may be needed if displaced fat does not survive. There are a number of other risks as well:

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Major Complications (All major including below: 7%)

  • Infections (minor and major) – 2.7%
  • Restricted blood flow in diabetic patients (Ischemia) – 1%

Minor Complications (All minor including below: 13%)

  • Donor site skin infection (Cellulitus) – 4.1%
  • Blood plasma pockets (Seroma) – 4.1%
  • Passing pins and needles feeling in legs (Transient nerve paresthesias) – 2.7%

Several methods to decrease risk include:

  • Ensuring BMI is over 30.
  • Minimizing amount of transferred fat. (The longer in surgery the more likely complications can arise)
  • Finding the right medical provider.
  • Ensuring non-diabetic blood work.

Preparing for surgery

There are a number of steps that can be done to help decrease the risk of buttock augmentation and to make the transition into post-surgery easier.

  • Stop using Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and any other blood thinners. Blood thinners can cause excessive bruising, bleeding, and complications. It is also recommended to stop these while recovering.
  • Quit smoking two weeks before and after surgery as nicotine can impair circulation and healing.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol two weeks before and one week after surgery. Alcohol is a blood thinner and will prevent proper healing.
  • Drink plenty of water leading up the procedure. Electrolyte drinks like Gatorade will help replenish the absorption of water needed by the body.
  • Have someone drive you home after the procedure and take care of you for 24 hours.
  • Fill prescriptions ahead of time and place them within reach
  • Prepare proper pillows, spare compression, and hand towels for any wound drainage.


Many patients return to daily life within a couple days. However, the challenge then becomes giving the displaced fat the greatest chance at survival. There is also the battle all surgeries must undergo to help prevent infection. To give fat the best survival rates, and to help prevent infections, patients are often asked that for 2-3 weeks they complete the following steps:

  • No sitting. Sitting can exude over 400 – lbs./square inch, which can crush these free form fat cells.
  • Reduce squatting and stretching.
  • No exercise / sex / lifting during recovery time
  • Wear a compression garment on the butt to help reduce tissue swelling.
  • Rest only on sides and stomach, without putting pressure on healing areas.
  • Resume showering 2-3 days after surgery.

While these two-three weeks may be difficult, they are crucial for the procedure to work. It is also recommended to avoid any high impact activities that require a lot of bouncing (such as jogging) for up to a month.

Additional Recovery Tips

  • It may be possible to use a large donut pillow to put pressure on thighs (assuming donor area is not the thighs) instead of buttocks when sitting. However, the best solution is to simply ensure time off work and heal up.
  • No hot tubs, pools or swimming for 4 weeks after surgery.
  • Use a strong sunscreen if sun exposure is unavoidable. This will help scars to become less noticeable.

Brazilian Butt Workout

Before the procedure is discussed, it may be worth noting the benefits of the workout called the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). This workout is not exclusive to those with Brazil butts. This type of workout includes a number of lunges and squats aimed at three specific buttock muscles: medius, maxiums, and minimus. While it is impossible to target fat loss, strengthening the muscles underneath fat change how that fat lays on top the muscle. The workout originated from a number of Latin dancing moves, hence being called Brazilian. While no authority has done a comparison study between this workout and lipoinjection, hundreds of Amazon reviews place this workout product at four of five stars. Furthermore, the reduced cost [$150 vs. $10,000] and increased cardiovascular benefit from this workout may place this as a forerunner recommendation to try before lipoinjection.

Several examples of this muscle specific exercise include:

  • BBL Plie
  • BBL Touchdown
  • BBL Explosive Lunge
  • BBL Single-Leg Squat with Towel
  • BBL with Kick-Back

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Several tips for getting the best results from a Brazilian Butt Lift workout include:

  • Try to lose some weight before you begin; this will help highlight results.
  • Don’t skip workouts; habits form from repeating.
  • Use weights and a stability ball to help increase difficulty.

Final Words

While the buttocks enhancement surgery has a variety of risks, many women cannot refuse getting “two for one”. Not only does this procedure help decrease fat in a difficult spot, but also then helps accent their curves. However, this is not a cheap or easy decision to make. It may be best to start with a number of exercises aimed at improving the muscles in the buttocks.

If these exercises do not help then a potential patient needs to verify their blood work, BMI, skin elasticity, and other concerns to ensure he or she is a good candidate. Once these are done then the patient can prepare for surgery by knowing the full consequences and how to best recover to maximize fat not being re-absorbed.

Another major concern is cost. There is the potential that fat absorption into the body may be more than the patient desires. This could lead to repeat sessions to obtain the curves desired.

The fact that full recovery may take a full month is another factor in trying to maximize results. Being surrounded by supportive individuals willing to help a patient recover from surgery is very important.

One final piece of advice is to never allow anyone claiming to be legitimate to inject you with foreign substances. Many of these non-certified, back-alley butt lifts include compounds such as olive oil and rubber cement. These often cause a variety of toxic symptoms and have even led to death. It is highly recommended to have medical procedures done in medical offices under properly certified individuals that can be verified.