American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Recovering from a Brazilian butt lift

It's no secret that the popularity of Brazilian butt lifts is on the rise. According to 2015 American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) plastic surgery statistics, there was a 28% increase in Brazilian butt lifts performed from 2014 to 2015, and a buttock procedure was performed on average every 30 minutes of every day. The Brazilian butt augmentation (Brazilian butt lift), or gluteal augmentation surgery, is a type of butt augmentation procedure which uses a person's own fat to naturally augment and shape the buttocks. Liposuction is performed to remove fat from other areas of the body (often the stomach, hips, and thighs), and that fat is then transferred to the buttocks. Additional liposuction can be completed around the butt to improve the appearance of lift and contour, resulting in a perkier, youthful, buttocks and a more sensual body profile.

Initial recovery

Immediately following the procedure, the patient can expect to have bruising and swelling in the areas used to harvest the fat cells. Pain can be managed with medication, although it is advised to switch from narcotics to Tylenol before driving a motor vehicle, which also helps to avoid constipation. Every patient recovers differently from surgery, but most often one can expect to be up and walking a day or two after the procedure. Moving around will also help with constipation. Excess tumescent fluid may also drain from the incision points. Do not be alarmed if the fluid is tinged with blood, as this is completely normal and will cease a few days after surgery.

Compression garment

After the surgery, the plastic surgeon will put the patient in a special compression garment to treat the areas where liposuction was performed. It is recommended that the patient wear the garment for eight weeks to ensure that areas where the fat was harvested heal properly. This also helps to minimize swelling, decrease discomfort, and help the skin retract. Often the compression garment will have the rear end cut out so that the compression garment will not kill the fat grafts before they have a chance solidify.

No but(t)s about it

One of the most important recovery tips regarding Brazilian butt lift surgery is to not sit directly on your buttocks for at least eight weeks after the procedure. Patients are often advised to sleep on their stomach or sides, and if you absolutely do have to sit, it is recommended to use a donut pillow or inflatable pillow. Placing the pillow behind your legs is helpful to avoid putting pressure on the fat graft by raising the buttock. This is very important to achieve long lasting results, as sitting directly on the buttocks can affect blood circulation in the area. Reduced blood circulation could destroy the fat cells transferred to the buttocks, though it should be noted that up to 40% of the transferred fat may not survive, regardless of if a patient has or has not sat down. After the first eight weeks of recovery, it is important to still use a cushion when sitting, and to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. It is also advised to continue to avoid sleeping on your back for the first eight weeks after your surgery.

Resuming activities

Immediately follow the surgery, high impact activities should be avoided, especially any type of bouncing. After one month, light activities, such as fast-paced walking, can be performed. Depending on how well one responds to the procedure, most patients can return to their normal activities six to eight weeks after surgery. After the fat cells have stabilized, more vigorous activities can resume, as they should be able to withstand the impact of fat-burning exercises such as jogging or running. It is important to listen to all of the postoperative instructions provided by your plastic surgeon to help ensure the final results provide you with an aesthetic pleasing contour.

For more information, including a list of ASPS plastic surgeons in your community, please use our Find a Plastic Surgeon tool.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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