Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL): Long-Term Care

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The Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a fat transfer operation that's used to graft fat through liposuction and inject it to contour the body. It can take up to six months before your swelling fully subsides after the procedure. Once you've completed your surgery and the initial recovery phases, it's time to enjoy your full results.

Keeping up with your healthcare provider's appointments and recommendations post-BBL will guarantee the best outcome from your procedure for years to come. Here's how you can avoid compromising your results, and even enhance them, over the long-term.

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Benefits of Surgery

Once the swelling and bruising go down, you'll notice a size reduction in the liposuctioned areas which were used to harvest body fat.

The fat cells that successfully integrate into their new location will increase the size and change the shape of your backside. As a result, your clothes should fit differently and your overall shape will have slightly changed.

Many people experience a confidence boost after their BBL, especially if they were previously self-conscious about their figures. You may want to show off the results of your surgery by experimenting with new clothing styles or taking more opportunities to be social.

Increased confidence can spill over into other areas of life, including your career, personal relationships, and even lifestyle habits. Using the BBL as a kickstart to focus on your health and fitness can become a positive outcome of the surgery.

Entering into cosmetic surgery with realistic expectations and a healthy mindset will set you up to experience greater satisfaction with your ultimate results. If you're struggling with mental health issues, like depression, seek help from a therapist before getting a BBL or any other procedure.

Although BBLs are a serious medical operation, they are considered minimally invasive compared to many other forms of plastic surgery. There are several benefits to using the person's own fat cells rather than a filler or implant to modify the physique. With the body less likely to reject its own tissue, the main risks are related to anesthesia or poor wound healing.

When compared to other forms of glutealplasty (buttocks augmentation) the fat grafting techniques used in BBL surgeries are associated with a much lower rate of complications. Data from over 4,000 patients between 1992 and 2017 show a complication rate of 31.4% with buttocks implants compared to 6.8% with fat transfer procedures.

Regardless of the type of procedure you choose, surgery complications are never entirely preventable. Going with the lower-risk BBL gives you better chances of a swift recovery. After a couple of weeks, you'll most likely start feeling like yourself again. From there, the benefits should only continue.

Possible Future Surgery

Once your final results become apparent (about six months after the procedure), your healthcare provider can evaluate whether to recommend any revisions or supplemental surgeries. Even when everything goes well with the procedure, touch-ups may be necessary to achieve the full results that you're looking for.

Patients may be unhappy with the amount of fat that was able to survive the transfer. To increase the volume of fat with a secondary surgery, surgeons may liposuction a different area of the body, avoiding scar tissue from the previous donor site. Scar tissue in the buttocks area can make it difficult to inject into and get a desirable result.

Some surgeons believe that using a smaller cannula during liposuction is essential to achieving a smooth final look. If you choose to have a revision, you'll want to find a surgeon with ample experience doing the procedure.

Revisions can be more difficult to pull off than the initial surgery. Ask to see before and after photos from real patients to get a better idea of what to expect. Revisions can be costly, ranging from $2,000 to $10,550.

Other options include a butt and thigh lift (to tighten sagging skin that isn't addressed with the BBL) or a medical-grade injectable to produce minor shaping adjustments. Schedule your operation or revision with a board-certified plastic surgeon to reduce the likelihood of needing additional work done.

Lifestyle Adjustments

During the two weeks after your BBL, you'll be advised to wear compression garments and avoid sitting directly on your bottom. After this, you can resume driving again and start sitting on a specially designed cushion until your surgeon advises otherwise (up to eight weeks).

Staying on track with your healthcare provider's schedule for follow-up visits will help identify any possible concerns as your body continues to recover. Along with the risk of infection or discoloration, dimples, lumps, and asymmetrical results are possible for patients who don't follow their practitioner's recommendations after a BBL.

While cosmetic surgery may seem like a quick fix, maintaining the results of your BBL requires a continued effort to stay healthy and fit. Although our bodies naturally change over time, the overall effects of a BBL are meant to last. Liposuctioned areas won't regrow their removed fat cells and successfully transferred fat is in its new location to stay.

Significant fluctuations in body weight will impact the look of your BBL. However, when performed by an experienced surgeon, even a weight loss of up to 10% of your total body weight should not negatively impact your results.

Once medically cleared for activity, embracing exercise and healthy eating habits is a smart choice regardless of whether you end up losing some weight.

Life plans can also change with time. You may find yourself gaining weight unexpectedly or even choosing to become pregnant in the years following your BBL.

Don't be afraid to reach out to your surgeon for advice even if some time has passed since your last follow-up visit. It's possible that adjustments can be made to help you retain your results or have minor corrective procedures as needed.

A Word From Verywell

A BBL might seem like a quick and easy way to modify your body. However, all surgical procedures involve some level of commitment. Recovery can be a long road. If you end up needing follow-up procedures, a "minimally invasive" operation can take years to fully recover from.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of patients are satisfied with their BBL results for several years or even a lifetime after the procedure. Take the time to get all the information you need to make an educated decision on cosmetic surgery before you decide to embark on the journey ahead.

Proper support, realistic expectations, and the willingness to follow your healthcare provider's post-surgery instructions will give you the best chance of becoming your own BBL "success story."

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Asserson DB, Kulinich AG, Orbay H, Sahar DE. Differences in complication rates of gluteoplasty procedures that utilize autologous fat grafting, implants, or local flaps: Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2019;82:S342-S344. doi:10.1097/sap.0000000000001765

  2. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Brazilian butt lift.

  3. Jolie Plastic Surgery. Brazilian butt lift revision in Miami.

  4. Rodriguez RL. Brazilian butt lift (BBL). Cosmeticsurg the Science of Beauty.

By Anastasia Climan, RDN, CD-N
Anastasia, RDN, CD-N, is a writer and award-winning healthy lifestyle coach who specializes in transforming complex medical concepts into accessible health content.