Have you ever dreamed of taking fat from one area where you had a little too much, and transferring to somewhere you wanted a little more?  A Brazilian plastic surgery team has done just that, using a combined liposuction and fat grafting technique to augment and enhance the buttocks, reports a study in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Rodrigo Gouvea Rosique, MD, PhD, of Master Hospital of Plastic Surgery in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil, and colleagues outline their safe and effective technique of "gluteoplasty with autologous fat tissue" for buttocks augmentation. They write, "This gluteoplasty technique is simple and inexpensive, with minimal morbidity and excellent results."

Simple Approach Combines Liposuction and Gluteal Enhancement

The researchers report on their technique and outcomes of liposuction and fat grafting in 106 women, average age 33 years. In an initial liposuction step, the plastic surgeons obtained fat from areas like the thighs or hips.

This was followed by a gluteoplasty step, in which the collected fat was reinjected to sculpt and enhance the appearance of the buttocks. The researchers limited their evaluation of the results of the technique to patients with no major weight loss or gain during the year after surgery.

On average, about one-half liter of fat was transferred to the gluteal region. None of the women had any medical complications or infections. Five patients had a minor fluid collection (seroma) in the area where the fat was obtained.

At one year, the patients were highly satisfied with their results. All were satisfied with the appearance of their waist and 97 percent with the appearance of their buttocks. Three patients underwent a further procedure to enhance their cosmetic results-in two cases, to reduce the volume of gluteal augmentation.

Plastic surgeons are seeing growing demand for gluteal or butt augmentation procedures. A number of different techniques have been used for this purpose, including gluteal implants.

However, implant procedures have disadvantages related to cost, durability, and complications. Performing butt augmentation using fat obtained by liposuction-sometimes called the "Brazilian butt lift"-provides a more flexible approach using the patient's own tissue.

Fat grafting procedures-obtaining fat from one area of the body and transferring it to another-are finding a growing range of uses in both cosmetic and aesthetic plastic surgery. Dr Rosique and colleagues extended this technique to gluteoplasty, combining liposuction to reduce fat in areas where there is too much and using it to enhance the buttocks.

They find good results using the combined liposuction/gluteoplasty technique to improve the contour and, when needed, the projection of the buttocks. They outline important technical considerations for plastic surgeons, illustrated by a supplementary video on the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery website.

Dr. Rosique and colleagues note that their procedure provides the best results when the planned fat transfer is less than about one-half liter. They also emphasize that the cosmetic outcomes aren't determined by the amount of fat grafted, but rather by the plastic surgeon's combining careful surgical technique and aesthetic judgment. They conclude, "A good result does not depend on a lot of fat infiltration, but in a harmonious way of combining the elimination of fat by liposuction and fat grafting for buttocks sculpting, even with lasting results."

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For more than 60 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS)® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, PRS brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair, and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

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About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 7,000 Member Surgeons, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. ASPS advances quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. 

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