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Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

A BBL Is Neither Brazilian Or A Butt Lift

The BBL is done with fat transfer to create more shape and add projection. It is the best of both worlds, taking unwanted fat from one part of your body and transferring it to reshape the buttocks.

I don't think anyone knows the actual answer to how this procedure was named the Brazilian Butt Lift, but (no pun intended) there is speculation. 

In the U.S., in 2010, breast augmentation became the most sought-after cosmetic surgery. In 2015, the BBL surged in popularity, and along with that, the need for properly trained surgeons. The shapely, rounded buttocks women craved were synonymous with Brazil's women. Still, others credit Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, a Brazilian plastic surgeon who was the first to talk about this procedure back in the 1960s.

The Brazilian Butt Lift Is Not A Lift

The buttock lift is a separate procedure. It is also called the gluteal lift and is often done simultaneously with a BBL. This lifting procedure is appropriate for patients who have lost buttock volume and tone, combined with excessive loose skin, for a variety of reasons:

  • Aging
  • Large weight fluctuations
  • Genetics 

Each of these factors and more can play a part in sagging in the buttock area. 

When you have buttock lift surgery, your surgeon typically makes a rounded incision along the upper buttocks, allowing them to:

  • Remove excess skin and fat
  • Lift the entire buttocks area
  • Create tight, smoother, younger contours 

Most people undergoing a gluteal life want additional volume. The BBL may combine fat transfer to create more projection and an enhanced shape.

What Is A BBL & Why Have One?

What is a BBL?

A Brazilian Butt Lift is a detailed fat transfer procedure that enhances the shape and size of the buttocks without using implants. Unwanted, healthy fat is harvested from the abdomen, love handles, lower back and bra line area, hips, or thighs with liposuction, carefully and quickly prepared for injection into the buttocks above the muscle.

The Role Of Liposuction and Fat Transfer In A BBL

Liposuction is the procedure that allows the surgeon to harvest the fat for reintroduction into your buttocks, hip, and thigh areas. To create the shape and projection you desire, a great surgeon will discuss rounding out the hip area as needed and filling in hip dips with fat while snatching your waistline area by removing love handles and excess back fat. A BBL is all about removing fat from the lower back part of your body and putting fat where it creates the desired shape in the buttocks area.

Dr. Ahmed uses VASER liposuction, which allows for the largest amount of fat to be removed from the body of all methods and preserves the most healthy fat due to its gentle, non-heat technology. What that means is your Brazilian Butt Lift results will be more lasting and allow for larger amounts of fat to be transfered.

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Why Have A BBL?

Your buttock's shape and proportion are in large part determined by your genetics, although aging, diet, and weight fluctuation can play a significant part, particularly a big weight loss. But how your skeletal structure is formed and how your body stores fat have a lot to do with the natural configuration of your lower body. Exercise is key to healthy body weight and can tone muscles, but if you were born with flat or long buttocks that lack the shape you want, a BBL might be desirable.

A BBL helps deal with the effects of genetics, aging, and weight loss by reshaping the buttocks and adjacent areas, like the hips, waistline, lower back, and hip dips.

Am I A Good Candidate For A BBL?

Some patients are better candidates for this procedure than others. It's essential to have sensible expectations about the process of surgery, recovery, and the results you can expect. 

Typically you are a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift procedure if you fit the following criteria:

  • You are in overall good health
  • Your weight is stable
  • You have sufficient fat deposits to harvest for transplant into the buttocks
  • You want to improve the proportions of your lower body
  • You are looking for more natural augmentation than implants
  • Your skin tone is good and can accommodate a larger profile
  • You are willing to deal with restrictions around how much time you can spend sitting on your buttocks for several weeks

Remember, a BBL is not a true lifting procedure in the way we are discussing. It does not address excess or sagging skin around and on the buttocks. If you have an issue with excess, sagging skin around your buttocks or thighs, fat removal and injection are not likely to produce the result you envision. You may need to consider a buttock or thigh lift. If your surgeon recommends one or both of these procedures to give you the result you want, it's essential to consider the impact of not doing lifiting surgery on your final outcome.

BBL vs. Implants

One of the advantages of the BBL procedure is that it enhances buttock shape and size without using implants. An experienced cosmetic surgeon who does this surgery in an accredited facility offers low risk for complications and high reward by giving patients a natural look and feel to their results.

Buttock implants are sometimes a good option for some patients, especially those that are too lean to harvest fat even with VASER liposuction. Since VASER can address fat in the subcutaneous and surface layer, there are exceptions to finding sufficient fat, even in some lean patients. But in some cases, implants are the only option.

It is important to recognize that there are added risks to having implants, including:

  • Capsular contracture (a complication that only happens with implant surgeries)
  • Higher risk for infection
  • Implant rupture or leakage
  • Risk of buttocks asymmetry - uncomfortable or unsightly movement or shifting
  • Larger incisions, more scaring
  • A longer recovery that requires sitting and sleeping restrictions

Dr. Ahmed can answer all your questions and help you weight the pros and cons of BBL vs. implants.

Is A BBL Safe?

 Keep in mind that all surgical procedures have risks. The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) has historically had a higher risk than other procedures. In the past several years, the risk profile has improved greatly as surgeons use methods to ensure patients do not suffer the complications that early BBL surgeries had.

Fat Embolism

The number #1 fear for most BBL patients and doctors is fat embolisms due to the injection of fat too deeply. To mediate this risk of injecting fat into the gluteal muscle, surgeons must:

  • Place the fat between the muscle and skin layers, avoiding the muscle altogether 
  • Be careful not to angle the cannula down toward the muscle layer 
  • Gauge the proper amount of fat that the patients' buttocks area can support without placing too much pressure on the muscle layer

That means the surgeon must be experienced at doing BBLs and have sufficient time in surgery to place fat and shape the buttocks. BBL "mills," where the surgeon is rushing to get to the next procedure or to do several in one day, should be avoided at all costs, including discounted costs.

Unfortunately, people seeking cheaper procedures outside and inside the US is more and more common for Brazilian butt lifts. Too many patients are seeing disastrous outcomes and face a second surgery.


The Critical Role of Fat Preservation

The second frequent safety consideration is ensuring that the fat injected is healthy and likely to develop a new blood supply. BBL procedures done with damaged fat, whether by harsh liposuction methods or improper handling of fat once it is outside the body, are the main causes of necrosis. Fat that is exposed to air, improperly treated, or outside the body for too long can turn necrotic. Necrotic fat cannot recover - it is dead tissue. Either the body sloughs off the dead fat via the lymph system, or worse must be surgically removed to prevent health issues leaving the buttock area deformed. 

A BBL done with proper liposuction, the right air-tight system, and injected in a timely manner preserves the most healthy fat. Not all fat will remain after the transfer, but the percentage of fat that adapts and sets up a new blood supply can be as high as 85-90% if the conditions are correct.

One of the reasons Dr. Ahmed uses VASER liposuction for his fat transfer procedures is that it is by far the best technology for extracting the most healthy fat without the damage that methods like laser and traditional lipo do to fat cells. 


Recovery From A BBL

Immediate Recovery

You'll need a caretaker, a friend or family member who is responsible for driving you home after your surgery and someone to assist you around the house for the first few days. If you have small children, make sure they are able to take over your duties as well.

You will very likely experience a degree of soreness, some bruising, swelling, and initial numbness. Your surgeon will give you a prescription for pain medication if you require it but just to address discomfort the first few days. Under no circumstances should you drive while taking pain medication.

Those first few days should be for resting and taking short walks to reduce swelling and keep your circulation up. This is especially important to prevent clots and the painful swelling that comes from inactivity. 

NOTE: Do not put direct pressure on your buttocks during this period. Your surgeon will give you detailed recovery instructions that will include advice about sleeping on your stomach or side. Use a pillow to prevent rolling on your back at night and a donut pillow for sitting. You want the pressure on your outer thighs to avoid affecting the fat transfer areas.

First Week

The first week after your liposuction and BBL procedures, your surgeon will have you wear a compression garment for the area you had lipoed. This will:

  • Help reduce swelling and fluid retention
  • Minimize discomfort
  • Help skin retract to new dimensions
  • Assist your body in additional flushing of fat, especially with VASER    

For your BBL, continue to use the donut or buttock pillow for comfort and to protect your new shape.

With VASER liposuction is often required by your surgeon to do lymphatic drainage massage to speed up healing, flush fat, help form the sculpted contours, and to treat early scar tissue.

Second and Third Week

As time goes by, the amount of pain and tenderness will fade substantially. The pain and tenderness should subside dramatically. Exercise like walking more is encouraged but avoid heavy lifting. You still need to be careful about how long you sit and should continue to use your special booty pillow. Your surgeon will likely tell you driving short distances is ok as long as you have discontinued pain medications.

Fourth and Fifth Week

You should be taking longer walks, and resuming light exercise is usually fine at this point. Heavy lifting is still out, but most of your regular activities and household responsibilities are fine.

Some discomfort may continue but if you are still experiencing pain, call your surgeon.

Week Six

Most patients no longer experience soreness. Specific lower body exercise is usually ok if your recovery has been normal but check with your doctor first.

By this time, the results of your liposuction and BBL, although not quite final, will be visible. A certain amount of the transplanted fat will not survive even if your recovery is smooth. Depending on your care with sitting and using your garments, you can expect up to 30% of the fat to dissipate. If your surgeon uses advanced procedures and the best equipment, they may have a better average. Your body's natural healing abilities and adherence to post op instructions play a big part as well.

This serves as an approximate healing profile. Your body is different than others. There are other influences in healing, like your overall health, age, and genetics. When you have your personalize consultation with the surgeon you choose, they will provide you with a recovery plan for your needs.

How Long Does A BBL Last?

You can be sure that not all fat will "take" and establish their own new blood supply, but you want the best result possible. The good news is the fat cells that remain are essentially permanent. You want to do everything you can to ensure you are happy with your results!

The amount of fat that survives after your BBL procedure depends on a number of factors:

  • Your skin's elasticity and tightness
  • The volume transferred
  • The recovery process
  • Your surgeon's harvesting, purification, and transfer protocols

You can see how vital the choice of surgeon is and how important it is to understand their methodology and the technology they use during liposuction and harvesting of the fat.

FAQ about BBL

What is a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)?

  • A Brazilian Butt Lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves liposuction to remove excess fat from one area of your body and then injecting that fat into your buttocks to achieve a fuller and more contoured look.

How much does butt augmentation cost in Las Vegas?

  • The cost of butt augmentation or BBL surgery in Las Vegas can vary depending on the surgeon's expertise, location, and the extent of the procedure. It's best to schedule consultations with potential surgeons to get accurate pricing.

What is the recovery time after a BBL surgery in Las Vegas?

  • Recovery time can vary, but typically, patients need to avoid sitting or lying on their backs for a few weeks and follow post-operative care instructions provided by their surgeon. Full recovery may take several months.

Are buttock injections a safe option in Las Vegas?

  • Butt injections, especially those not performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, can be dangerous and carry significant risks. It's crucial to choose a reputable surgeon for any buttock augmentation procedure.

What is HD BBL, and how is it different from a regular BBL?

  • HD BBL, or High Definition Brazilian Butt Lift, is a technique that focuses on sculpting the buttocks to create a more defined and toned appearance. It often involves more precise fat grafting and liposuction to achieve a sculpted look.

Can I combine a BBL with other cosmetic procedures in Las Vegas?

  • Yes, many patients choose to combine a BBL with other procedures like tummy tucks or breast augmentation. Discuss your goals with your surgeon to determine the best approach.

How long do the results of a BBL in Las Vegas last?

  • The longevity of BBL results can vary from person to person. Maintaining a stable weight and following a healthy lifestyle can help prolong the results.

What is the ideal candidate for a BBL in Las Vegas?

  • Ideal candidates for a BBL should be in good overall health, have enough fat for the procedure, and have realistic expectations. Consult with a surgeon to determine if you are a suitable candidate.

How can I choose the right surgeon for a BBL in Las Vegas? - Research and consult with multiple board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in BBL procedures. Check their qualifications, reviews, and before-and-after photos to make an informed decision.

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Meet Your Surgeon Mustafa Ahmed, MD

Mustafa Ahmed, MD, is a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon passionate about high-definition liposuction and related procedures. Dr. Ahmed is honored to help improve the lives of the men and women of Southern Nevada who see him for their cosmetic surgery needs.

You have options for medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgery, and having that choice is beautiful. Today’s liposuction technology has evolved. Results are possible today with a thoroughly trained and highly skilled doctor like Dr. Ahmed that simply was not available just a few years ago.

Education has always played a central role in Dr. Ahmed’s life. He earned his medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. Dr. Ahmed went on to refine his skills and knowledge through a residency in internal medicine at Mount Carmel Medical Center in Columbus with a residency in general surgery at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

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