A Brazilian butt lift is a popular cosmetic procedure that involves the transfer of fat to help create more fullness in your backside.

If you’ve heard of a Brazilian butt lift and are curious about more permanent results than exercise alone, read more about the procedure and how to find a reputable provider to make sure it’s done safely.

A Brazilian butt lift consists of fat grafting that is notable for its natural-looking results. The procedure involves the following steps:

  1. The procedure is usually performed under anesthesia, but in procedures where a smaller volume of fat is transferred, it may be done with only local anesthesia (numbing medication). You may ask for an anti-nausea medication beforehand, especially if anesthesia makes you sick.
  2. Your surgeon then uses liposuction to remove fat from other areas of your body, such as your hips, stomach, and thighs. Liposuction itself involves making incisions in the skin, and then using a tube to remove fat from the body.
  3. The fat stores that have just been removed from your body are purified and readied for injection into your buttocks.
  4. Your surgeon finishes by injecting the processed fat into specific areas of the buttocks to create a more rounded, full look. They make three to five incisions around the buttocks for fat transfers.
  5. Both liposuction and fat transfer incisions are closed up with stitches. Your surgeon then applies a compression garment against the affected areas of skin to minimize your risk of bleeding.

Unlike other forms of buttock surgery, such as placement of silicone buttock implants, a Brazilian butt lift is touted for providing more natural-looking results while also creating more roundness in your backside.

It can also help address certain issues, such as the sagging and shapelessness that sometimes occur with age.

You might also consider the procedure if you’re bothered by figure imbalances that make it difficult to wear clothing comfortably.

Another benefit to Brazilian butt lifts is that there is a lower risk of infection compared to silicone buttock implants. It does have a better safety profile than other substances, such as silicone caulking and sealants, that are sometimes illegally injected into buttocks by people not qualified to perform the procedure.

Despite these advantages, there are some serious side effects to consider.

A Brazilian butt lift may carry fewer risks compared to other surgeries, such as silicone buttock implants. Still, as with any surgery, this procedure carries the risk of side effects — some very serious. These include:

  • infection
  • scarring
  • pain
  • lumps under the skin in the areas suctioned or injected
  • loss of skin in the treated areas due to deep infection
  • fat embolism in the heart or lungs, which can be deadly

Current reports show a fatality rate of 1 in 3000 as a result of Brazilian butt lifts. When the procedure is performed incorrectly, injected fat can enter the large veins in the buttocks, and then travel to the lungs. This causes respiratory distress and ultimately death.

Another known side effect is the failure of your buttocks to take up the grafted fat stores. A certain amount of the fat injected is broken down and absorbed by the body. Sometimes you may need an additional one or two procedures.

To help minimize this risk, your surgeon may insert extra fat the first time around.

Curious about what a Brazilian butt lift looks like? Your provider should also have a portfolio of pictures to give you a better idea of their work.

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The Brazilian butt lift (fat transfer procedure) is done by transferring fat from the abdomen or thighs to the buttock area. Image by Otto Placik, from Wikimedia Commons, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Buttock_Augmentation_Before_%26_After.JPG

Like any cosmetic surgery, you’ll need to take special care after a Brazilian butt lift. You won’t be able to sit on your butt for two weeks following surgery, and you’ll need to sleep on your side or on your stomach until the area has completely healed.

Your buttocks may be swollen for several weeks as you recover from surgery.

Overall, the effects of this surgery last several months to years.

Initially, you may need more than one procedure until you achieve the exact results you want. It can also take up to six months before you see full results from the initial procedure.

You can help ensure a positive outcome by making sure your weight doesn’t fluctuate.

In 2016, the average cost of a buttock lift was $4,571, while buttock implants were $4,860. These averages are based on the surgeon fees only — you may still have to consider other costs, such as hospital stays, anesthesia, and aftercare.

Be wary of “cheap” procedures that seem too good to be true. Always research your cosmetic surgeon and make sure they are a board-certified.

Insurance doesn’t cover a Brazilian butt lift because it’s not considered medically necessary. You can work with your provider ahead of time to determine all the costs involved and to see if they offer payment plans. Financing may be another option.

You’ll also need to consider recovery time away from work, which can be one week or longer.

It’s always a good idea to check with a cosmetic surgeon before considering a Brazilian butt lift. They might give you the go-ahead if you:

  • lost your natural shape due to age or weight fluctuations
  • don’t feel comfortable in your clothes
  • have enough fat stores in your hips and other areas for grafting
  • are a nonsmoker
  • are at a healthy weight
  • lead a healthy lifestyle overall, which includes regular exercise
  • haven’t had any recent infections or complications related to surgery

Butt augmentations are on the rise, but this doesn’t mean your choices stop at the Brazilian butt lift. Consider discussing the following options with your provider:

  • Sculptra butt lift. Sculptra is a type of dermal filler used to plump up the skin due to natural losses of volume with age. The filler is most often used for facial wrinkles, but may be considered for use along with a Brazilian butt lift for maximum volume. Use of Sculptra in the buttocks is considered off-label use by the FDA.
  • Silicone butt implants. As the name suggests, this procedure involves the use of silicone implants placed in your buttocks. It’s much more invasive than the Brazilian butt lift, although sometimes the two procedures are used together. Silicone implants carry the long-term risk of displacement, so you will likely need to get the surgery done again at some point in the future.
  • Liposuction. If you have excess fat stores in the gluteal area, sometimes a surgeon will recommend removing them as a way to create more roundness. This procedure focuses on fat removal only, not the transfer of fat used in a Brazilian butt lift.

Never use silicone or hydrogel injections for a butt lift. Such injections fail to deliver the same results. But more importantly, the FDA has warned against their use due to cases of severe side effects and death.

Securing the right provider is dependent on finding out their credentials and experience.

Most providers offer consultations during which you can ask them questions about their education and board certifications. They should also have a portfolio of pictures that show examples of their work.

It’s important to trust your gut on this end. If a provider seems overly eager to perform the procedure at an extremely inexpensive rate, they may not be a legitimate surgeon.

If you’re having a hard time finding a provider, start with a search at American Society of Plastic Surgeons or The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Brazilian butt-lift surgeries are increasing in popularity in the United States. When performed by a board-certified, experienced surgeon, you will have a better chance at a good outcome. Be prepared ahead of time and know the process, costs, and recovery time before signing up.

While the Brazilian butt lift is a popular surgery, it isn’t right for everyone. Talk to your surgeon about what your desired outcomes are as well as your health history. They may recommend this procedure or something different that will better suit your needs.