Information on Butt Implants and Butt Augmentation

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Jill Daniels, Freelance Medical Writer

Jill Daniels is a freelance health writer based in New York City. She spent several years writing for WebMD, including their Weight Loss Clinic and Fertility Center programs. Jill has also written/reported for publications including InStyle, People and Women's Own. She received a degree in journalism for Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


November 13 2008

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What do Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Jessica Biel, and Kim Kardashian have in common? They've all made headlines due to their famous fannies. Yes, the ladies have butts – enviable ones, in fact. Not everyone who desires curves is so naturally blessed, but if a bootylicious bum is what you want, you can override Mother Nature.

Butt augmentation through butt implants or fat grafting (also called a Brazilian butt lift) can enhance the shape, lift and size of your rear end, and reshape your silhouette. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more and more people are heading to their doctor's office for butt augmentation. From 2006 to 2007 the number of buttocks implant procedures increased 62%, the highest percentage increase of all cosmetic surgical procedures.

There are certainly pros and cons to each type of butt augmentation procedure. It's best to speak with your doctor to discuss which method is the right one for you and your body.

Facts About Fat Grafting to the Buttocks

Fat grafting the buttocks is considered less invasive and ultimately less painful than butt implants. However, in order to have buttock augmentation with fat grafting you must have a good amount of excess fat in other parts of your body –such as your thighs, flanks or abdomen – that can be harvested for use in your butt.

For fat grafting, fat is removed through liposuction, processed, and then injected into the buttocks. Thin layers of fat are added on top of each other to produce the desired buttocks contour and fullness. The procedure must be performed very meticulously to improve the chances of fat cell survival. That's because fat tissue needs to receive a certain amount of blood supply to survive. Without proper blood circulation to the area fat cells will die and be reabsorbed back into the body. Obviously, fat that's reabsorbed will decrease the volume of the butt augmentation. Approximately 30% of injected fat is reabsorbed, which means that the original fat grafting has to be exaggerated at first to account for the loss.

If too much fat is reabsorbed into the body, fat grafting may have to be repeated several months later. However, if it's done well and your body accepts the fat, the results of fat transfer to your buttocks can last many years.

Following the procedure, special compression garments are typically worn for several weeks to help reduce swelling and to help shape the butt. Additional liposuction may be used with this procedure to achieve a better contour.

Bring On the Butt Implants

For people who don't have a lot of extra fat on them, having butt implants is a good option for boosting the booty. Implants vary in size and style, and are made of a solid silicone (the same material used in chin implants and calf implants) and is available in several levels of firmness Buttock implants made of a cohesive silicone gel are available in other countries. The solid silicone implants used in the United States produce a firmer, more resilient derriere than the gel implants. Custom butt implants created by an experienced surgeon can also be an option. Some surgeons who have extensive familiarity with butt implants may modify them with tools to help create the perfect rear end for you.

Butt implants are inserted through an incision that is made either down the buttock crease or along the cheek where the butt meets the thigh. The implants are typically placed between the fascia, which is the connective tissue that covers the muscle, and the muscle itself. However, your doctor can also place the implants on top of the muscle, depending on your preference and what the doctor feels will give you the best results.

The implants are positioned pretty high up on the butt so you don't actually sit on them. This reduces the risk of complications with the implants, including having them move out of place. The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia, but in some cases local anesthesia, an epidural block or other anesthesia may be used – and people may opt to stay overnight or longer; the procedure should take 2 to 3 hours. Liposuction may also be used to enhance the results of this procedure.

Risky Business?
No procedure comes without certain risks. For buttocks implants, there's a possibility of the following:

  • Infection, particularly if the incision is made down the buttock crease, an area which is prone to contamination
  • An adverse reaction to the anesthesia
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Implants may shift, which causes the butt to appear uneven
  • On rare occasions, implants can rupture requiring removal of the implant and additional surgery
  • The need for second or third procedures

What to Expect After Surgery
Whether you choose butt implants or fat grafting, you will need to take some time to heal after bolstering your buttocks. It will likely take up to two weeks post buttock augmentation before you'll feel up to flaunting your new figure. Most people can return to their normal activities after about three weeks, although the recovery time for people who opt for buttocks implants is typically a bit longer than for those who choose fat grafting. People who opt for butt implants should avoid lying on their backs for around two weeks following surgery, and some pain and discomfort should be expected.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Butt Augmentation?
If you're in good health and physical shape, over 18 and are realistic about the results you seek, butt augmentation may be a promising option for you. If you have excess fat on your body, you can opt for either fat grafting or butt implants, but if you're very petite, butt implants may be your best bet for a newly enhanced, bodacious butt.