Buttock Augmentation | Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)
Augmenting the buttocks with harvested fat has become one of the more popular procedures in recent years. This is a three step procedure which involves 1) liposuction of multiple areas of the body to harvest fat, 2) separating the fat that is to be used for augmentation, and 3) injecting the fat into the gluteal region to improve the appearance of the buttocks.
The procedure has grown so popular because the liposuction improves & thins many of the body’s contours while the fat transplantation creates a fuller, rounder buttocks appearance that also enhances the appearance of the thinner waist.
The time required to perform this procedure varies widely among patients. Some patients desire extensive liposuction of multiple areas of the body while others want just enough fat removed to build & fill the buttocks.
A common question patients ask is how much fat can be transferred, and what size will the buttocks be afterward? Dr McCluskey prefers to perform a full liposuction of the abdomen & waist, and other areas if necessary. This allows him to take many inches off of the waist & contour the abdomen while harvesting enough fat to transfer to the buttocks. The amount of fat that can be transferred depends primarily on how much fat can be harvested by liposuction. After the fat has been separated from the fluid, essentially all of the pure fat can be injected into the patient’s buttocks. This can be as little as 300cc per side, or as much as 1000cc per side. The fat is injected through very small, well-hidden incisions (less than 1cm in length) in the buttocks and leaves virtually no visible scarring.
What are hydrogel injections and are they an alternative to fat transfer? Hydrogel is a word for any injectable substance that is mixed with water. In the area of buttock augmentation, hydrogel is typically silicone or a cement-like substance called PMMA that is injected in large quantities into the soft tissue of the buttocks. Many patients, however, are misinformed about the safety of hydrogel injections. No licensed physician in the United States should be injecting hydrogel into the buttocks. Despite this fact, many patients seek out hydrogel injections and have the procedure performed in hotel rooms or at someone’s house. The injections can be dangerous and because the substances are not available in the U.S. and are not controlled by the FDA, there is no guarantee as to what is actually being injected. Deaths from hydrogel injections (due to the injected substance getting into the bloodstream and causing a pulmonary embolism) are frequent and often make local or even national news.
I see a number of patients who have undergone hydrogel injections to the buttocks but they remain unhappy with the long-term results or concerned about the health risk.