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There’s probably never been a woman born who doesn’t think she needs improvement, even ladies who are worshipped world-wide for their beauty. And if it’s her rear end that’s the problem, there hasn’t been much she could do about it in the past. But things have changed these days, when well trained and skilled plastic surgeons can do successful procedures never before possible. So if you’ve ever heard someone say, “I wish I could just take this from here and put it there,” when speaking about their body, now that is a very real possibility.

Buttock augmentation with fat grafting, more commonly known as the Brazilian Butt Lift, is a growing trend in cosmetic surgery for women around the world.  Using liposuction, surgeons extract fat from “problem areas”, as well as the hips, thighs, waist, and lower back, then graft the fat into the buttocks to add volume and reshape it.

“Transferring fat from common 'problem areas' to the buttocks can make dramatic improvements in the entire lower body profile,” explains D.C based plastic surgeon Dr. Samir S. Rao. “The Brazilian Butt Lift technique allows us to sculpt surrounding parts of the body, to your advantage.  It is what distinguishes this procedure from other buttock augmentation options." 

The technique sounds simple enough, but it's no mere “pull and plug” procedure. The surgeon isn't just making the buttocks larger, but sculpting the surrounding lower body to the patient's best advantage.  The surgeon maps out the areas where the fat will be pulled from, administers liposuction, purifies the fat, then re-injects it into the buttocks for a rounder, fuller shape. Each result is unique to the patient, depending on the natural shape and curvature of the body. 

Though this procedure can bring impressive and quick results, it doesn't promise miracles. “Patients who are in good shape before surgery,” explains Dr. Rao, “tend to have good results afterward. The better you look before, the better you look afterward, generally speaking.”  Patients should also take into consideration the amount of fat they have to begin with before consulting a surgeon.  Thin patients may be hard to treat, and won't have as dramatic results as patients with more fat to work with.

The healing process can take over a week, roughly 10 days, depending on the patient and the amount of liposuction done. Dr. Rao suggests that any patient in recovery should refrain from sitting directly on the buttocks during that time. He explains, “The fat cells transferred to the buttocks go through a delicate process to integrate and survive.  Excessive pressure on the newly transferred cells can lead to cell death.”  So, other than using the bathroom, this means finding other ways of kicking back and relaxing. Preferred options would be to lay on your side or stomach.  

Because people absorb fat differently, results can vary from patient to patient.  This can produce asymmetry and may require additional fat grafting sessions before the final desired look is achieved.  Not all of the fat cells will survive-roughly about 60-80% will- so some shrinking should be expected after the swelling subsides. The results depend largely on post-operative care, as well as the healing ability of the patients body, so be sure to take good care of yourself. 

Once the healing process is over, the results may just blow you away.  The Brazilian Butt Lift can offer many positive results, including long-lasting buttock enhancement, improved balance between the upper and lower buttocks, greater levels of curviness through reduction of nearby areas, and improved body confidence.

In North America, this procedure can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000, depending on the type of practice it is, where it’s located and the amount of work needed. And because health insurance doesn’t pay for this, you’ll have to pay for it out of your own pocket. No surprise here, surgery is expensive. Though other countries can offer a surgery for as little as $3,000, you run the risk of a possible hack job, and poor care, abroad.  

Dr. Rao emphasizes that the most important thing to know is the reputation of the person who is doing your surgery. Many people have gone to other countries to get a less expensive surgery, and ended up with disastrous infections or side effects. He even recalled a patient he once had who nearly died after getting a cheap job done overseas, that left a lot of scarring. The patient called upon Dr. Rao to attempt to repair the damage, and her appearance.

“You must be very careful with these things,” Dr. Rao told us. “There's nothing more important than safety.”

For more information on this procedure or Dr. Rao, visit / Issue 157 - September 2018
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