Purpose of Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

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The Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a fat transfer operation that helps create a natural-looking backside augmentation while avoiding the added infection risk that's associated with implants. BBL uses liposuction to remove fat from another area of the body, such as the hips, abdomen, or thighs.

Once the donor fat is harvested, it's purified and injected to contour and enhance the buttocks. Some of the transferred fat cells won't survive, so surgeons may choose to inject some extra to account for the loss. Once the swelling goes down and the new fat cells integrate, you'll get a glimpse of the full results.

Always seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure the best results and your safety for any cosmetic procedure.

Surgeon performing liposuction on patient
Juanmonino / E+ / Getty Images

Diagnosis Related to Brazilian Butt Lift

The shape of your body is largely determined by a combination of genetics and lifestyle, with the skeletal structure playing a big role in a person's overall silhouette. Everyone stores fat a little bit differently. Furthermore, changes like pregnancy or weight lifting can alter the natural shape a person is born with (to an extent).

The Brazillian butt lift is an elective cosmetic procedure. For those who work out and eat well but remain unhappy with the shape of their bodies, a BBL can create a look that's otherwise impossible to achieve through lifestyle changes alone. Men or women may choose to have a BBL for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Balancing proportions between the upper and lower body
  • A desire for buttocks augmentation without implants
  • Improving the fit of clothing
  • Minimizing areas of fat in other parts of the body

It's important to have realistic expectations about what a BBL can and cannot achieve. Spend time discussing the procedure and looking over real before and after photos from your surgeon's office. Every individual's results are different. It's impossible to know for sure how the procedure will change your body until after you have fully healed from surgery.

Patients with sagging skin or those who are very lean may not be good candidates for a BBL. Although a BBL is capable of filling out the area, it doesn't lift excess skin. An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to recommend alternative procedures to achieve your desired results (such as a butt lift).

If you have a very low body fat percentage, it may be difficult for your surgeon to find adequate fat stores to harvest for transfer during the operation. In this case, your doctor may recommend implants instead. You'll be able to review all of your options in a consultation with the surgeon before scheduling a BBL.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A BBL can reshape areas of the body which may help boost your self-esteem. However, no cosmetic procedure can heal deeper underlying insecurities, including those associated with eating disorders or depression.

If you suspect that mental or emotional issues are fueling your desire for cosmetic procedures, it's best to consult a psychotherapist before making any decisions about plastic surgery.

A mental condition called body dysmorphic disorder causes people to believe that their body needs to be "fixed" when in reality, they are unable to see themselves as the rest of the world sees them. People with body dysmorphic disorder often believe they possess certain flaws, which aren't noticeable to others.

Unfortunately, plastic surgeons lack the training necessary to detect body dysmorphic disorder. Furthermore, an evaluation is not a required prerequisite to surgery. In 90% of cases, patients may invest time, money, and risk their safety with cosmetic procedures, only to find their symptoms are worsened or unchanged.

Studies show that the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder is higher in cosmetic surgery patients (10%) than in the general population (2.4%).

Criteria

The best candidates for a BBL are those who plan to maintain their current weight. Gaining or losing weight after a body contouring procedure can lead to undesired changes in your overall physique.

If you're planning to become pregnant or undergo weight loss surgery (like a gastric bypass), it's best to wait until you've reached a stable weight before getting a BBL. Patients need to have adequate fat stores in other areas of their body to provide sufficient donor tissue for a successful BBL.

our surgeon should work with you to ensure that you have realistic expectations based on your body type before getting a BBL. Instead of looking to celebrities for inspiration, it's better to reference real patients who share a similar starting point as yourself.

Much of the procedure is about reshaping the buttocks, not necessarily making them larger. Depending on the look you want (athletic, rounded, etc.) going into the procedure with an informed outlook guarantees a greater likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the outcome.

As with any procedure, it's ideal to be as physically healthy as possible before you get work done. Patients who exercise, eat well, and have a positive mental outlook are the best-suited for a rewarding experience with surgery.

Tests and Labs

Before going under the knife, your surgeon will want to ensure that you're in good shape to recover quickly after the procedure. You'll begin preparations for surgery about three to four weeks before your scheduled operation.

Start with a visit to your primary care physician for medical clearance and lab testing. If you're a smoker, it's best to quit at least four weeks before surgery for optimal wound healing. Your surgeon will advise you on the specifics of your required labs and testing.

BBLs are typically performed as an outpatient procedure either under general anesthesia or with a local anesthetic and IV sedative. Depending on your medical history, your doctor will want to ensure that your heart and lungs are strong enough to handle anesthesia.

If you have a genetic bleeding disorder or an autoimmune disease that impairs recovery, your surgeon will want to take special precautions or suggest an alternative procedure to ensure your safety.

A Word From Verywell

Cosmetic surgery can be a wonderful option for the right candidate. If you're physically healthy, financially capable of affording your procedure, and mentally prepared to take on the process, a BBL can produce positive changes in your self-image and confidence.

Only you can decide what's best for your body. After researching the procedure and speaking to a qualified surgeon, it's up to you to decide whether a BBL is right for you.

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  1. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Brazillian butt lift.

  2. Clay RA. Beauty in the eye of the beholder. American Psychological Association. Updated June 2017.

  3. Joseph AW, Ishii L, Joseph SS, et al. Prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder and surgeon diagnostic accuracy in facial plastic and oculoplastic surgery clinics. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(4):269-274. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2016.1535

  4. The Naderi Center. Pre-operative instructions for BBL (Brazilian butt lift). Updated 2018.