Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
Brazilian butt lift case study: This patient had approximately 3L of fat liposuctioned from her mid-section and arms, and 1.5L transferred to her buttocks.
What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The Brazilian Butt Lift is actually a colloquial term for fat transfer to the buttocks. It is a surgical procedure that augments your buttocks using your own fat. Your own fat is harvested from liposuction and injected directly into your buttocks. It aims to enhance the shape, size, and attractiveness of that area. Like breast augmentation improves one of the key sensual curves of the female body, the Brazilian Butt Lift does the same for the buttocks. Unlike traditional breast augmentation however, there are no artificial implants used in the Brazilian Butt Lift, only your own fat.
The basis of the procedure is to liposuction fat from areas that need reduction and instead of discarding the fat, re-inject it into the buttocks to enhance its size and shape. This may improve flat buttocks, or further enhance buttocks that already have a reasonable size or shape. The key objective of this procedure is not just to augment the size of the buttocks. The Brazilian Butt Lift aims to further improve your curves through fat redistribution and help achieve the most attractive body figure – the hourglass shape. Liposuction and fat transfer to the buttocks can also help improve the waist:hip ratio. Liposuction slims the waist and fat transfer to the buttocks improves the size of the hips. This may help to achieve the most attractive waist:hip ratio of 0.7. Brazilian Butt Lift surgery is therefore best suited to those who naturally accumulate fat in the abdomen or upper body, and have very slim hips and legs. Transferring the fat from the larger torso to the buttocks (hips) usually reverses the larger waist:hip ratio.
What is involved with a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The Brazilian Butt Lift can be performed as day surgery and requires no overnight or hospital stay. Liposuction is the first part of the procedure. Fat is liposuctioned from areas such as the abdomen, back, arms or thighs. Instead of discarding the fat, the fat is transferred or injected into the buttocks. Liposuction is performed on these areas as it would normally be done, however, there are some differences to help keep the fat viable when re-implanted into the buttocks. Firstly, it is using low suction pressures can help to reduce trauma to the fat and improve viability. The fat is harvested into a sterile canister designed for the procedure. The aspirate is left to separate. Fat (like oil) rises to the top, and local anaesthetic and fluid (like water) falls to the bottom of the cannister. The local anaesthetic and fluid are removed from the bottom of the canister, leaving the fat. The fat can be centrifuged to further remove local anaesthetic and unwanted fluid. This makes the fat more ‘compact’ to inject into the buttocks allowing for a greater amount to be injected.
Harvested fat can be injected into the buttocks using a cannula (long metal hollow tube with a rounded tip) and a large syringe. Alternately, a pump can be used to inject fat into the buttocks using a power-assisted cannula. This method opens up a greater space in the buttocks to inject more fat. Any fat harvested from liposuction that is remaining after the buttock transfer can be frozen and thawed and injected at a later time to further augment the buttocks.
Overall, fat transfer to the buttocks is done with careful consideration to achieve the ideal size and shape required. The patient’s personal preferences will help to determine the amount of fat re-injected. We do aim to achieve the ideal buttock shape which is an upside-down heart shape appearance from the back, and perkiness when viewed from the side. Although a size increase will be evident, it is important to understand that shaping the buttocks is of equal, if not more, importance. Aside from the buttocks, there is often a ‘dent’ between the hips and the outer thighs. This dent often filled with fat also to create a smoother silhouette contour.
Removing fat from ‘around’ the buttocks is also important, for example, liposuction of the outer thighs, and above the buttocks (lower back/hips) is important to achieve the attractive smooth curves required.
For an effective procedure, there needs to be an adequate amount of fat harvested. The number of areas requiring liposuction to harvest fat for transfer to the buttocks will vary. In some cases, there may be inadequate fat present for liposuction throughout the whole body, and in these cases, weight gain may be required prior to surgery. If possible, we aim to liposuction enough fat so that there is an amount remaining. Once again, this fat is frozen for use at a later date, should a touch-up or additional transfer be required.
After the procedure, a compression garment needs to be worn for 6 weeks. Most people feel stiff and sore for about a week, and some analgesia may be taken during this time. It is important to minimise the amount of time you sit, to avoid any excessive pressure on the buttocks for about 3-4 weeks.
For more information on liposuction, please visit our liposuction webpage.
For a case study on the liposuction and the Brazilian Butt Lift, click here.
Fat survival – how much fat survives the transfer?
There are a number of factors to determining how much fat will survive the transfer. As mentioned previously, the suction pressure used to liposuction fat should be kept low to reduce trauma to the fat and increase survival. Fat should be injected into the buttocks or frozen for future use as soon as possible, and not kept outside the body. The pressure used to inject the fat should also be minimised if possible to reduce shear forces on the fat. The size of the cannula used to inject the fat should also be the same or a bigger size than the cannula used to harvest the fat.
Local anaesthetic used for the procedure can also be toxic to the fat cells. Reduction in the total dose used can help to improve the viability of fat cells that are to be transferred. It is possible to wash and centrifuge fat after harvesting to help remove this local anaesthetic. Centrifuging must be done carefully to reduce the risk of causing shear forces on the fat and reducing its viability.
Post-operatively, not sitting on the buttocks for prolonged periods, and not sitting on hard surfaces may assist in helping fat to survive.
It is possible that more than one procedure is required to obtain the buttock size that is desired or more proportional.
What are the risks of having a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The surgery carries all the same risks of liposuction with some additional risks. In fact, the mortality from having a Brazilian Butt Lift is higher than all other cosmetic procedures. The most serious risk from injecting fat into the buttocks is the risk of injecting into the large gluteal veins. These veins reside within the gluteus muscle and if the fat is injected in this area, it is likely for the fat to enter these large veins. If this occurs, the fat travels up into the circulation, and into the lungs. This can potentially be a fatal complication.
It is important to therefore to inject only in the superficial layers of fat and not deep into the muscles. This depth of injection reduces the possibility significantly of injecting into the deep veins. Seeing an experienced practitioner who is knowledgeable about the potential complications is of key importance.
How much is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
The price of this procedure will be dependent on the number of areas that require liposuction primarily, and it is difficult to give an estimate without seeing our surgeon prior.
Why choose The Victorian Cosmetic Institute for your Brazilian Butt Lift?
Our surgeons specialise in this procedure and regularly perform this procedure with successful long-term results.
We operate from our own fully accredited day surgery, and our staff will provide you with great service to provide you with the best experience possible.
Brazilian Butt Lift Case Study 1
This patient presented to Victorian Cosmetic Institute for liposuction and fat transfer. This was performed over two procedures.
The first procedure was liposuction to her abdomen, waist hips, back, arms and neck. The fat harvested was used in a fat transfer procedure to the buttocks for a Brazilian Butt Lift. Approximately 1.5L of fat was transferred into her buttocks.
A second liposuction and fat transfer procedure was performed to remove further fat from her back and abdomen, and more fat was transferred to the buttocks.
Brazilian Butt Lift Case Study 2
This is a patient in her twenties who presented with concerns about various stubborn areas of fat on her body, including her arms, back, waist, hips, abdomen, and thighs. She also wanted to slightly enhance the shape of her buttocks. She wanted to maintain a very classic feminine physique without looking muscular, so resistance training with weights was not an option for her. Instead she had a full body liposuction with fat transfer to the buttocks. The result shown in these before and after pictures is only ten days post op. Further improvement will occur as skin further tightens and swelling further reduces.