What is Buttock Augmentation?

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  • Written By: Josie Myers
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2018
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Buttock augmentation is the surgical process of placing fat or artificial implants into the buttocks to increase their size or change their shape. They gained particular popularity thanks to the voluptuous nature of stars like Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce Knowles. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of buttock augmentation procedures performed quadrupled between 2002 and 2005.

The first documented attempts at buttock augmentation through implantation occurred in 1969. The buttock in question had a physical deformity that the surgeons attempted to fix with mammary implants. The attempt did not give the desired results and was repeated several times before a satisfactory result was produced with the use of an implant between the muscles. It was a complicated procedure that spurred the development of more efficient and effective ways to augment.

For years, liposuction was the primary was plastic surgeons chose to contour the buttocks. Then came the "Brazilian Butt Lift," which allows doctors to take fat from one area of the body and transport it into the buttocks with a large syringe. Full silicone implants were introduced in the 1990s and have become the darling of buttock augmentation, or contouring.


Many doctors today prefer the freedom of contouring that the Brazilian Butt Lift can offer. During the procedure, fat is harvested from deposits around the mid section using liposuction. The fat is purified and injected strategically into the buttocks region. Patients appreciate the non-invasiveness and quick recovery time. There is very little physical risk involved, although the body may absorb up to 30% of the fat back into itself.

During an implantation, a patient is usually placed under general anesthesia and an incision is made, either at the back of the upper thigh or down the buttock crease. Although it may produce more visible scarring, the former is the most popular choice since it minimizes the chance of infection. A pocket is created to insert the implants into and it is placed either under or over the muscle depending on the doctor's decision. Occasionally, it is additionally contoured with liposuction or fat deposits.

Both buttocks are treated in the same way and checked for symmetry before the incisions are stitched shut. The implant buttock augmentation process usually takes two to three hours from top to bottom, but can vary as much as each patient's physical makeup varies. The stretch of the tissue and makeup of fat deposits under the skin are determining factors in surgical time.

Recovery from a buttock implantation is not an extremely long process, but can be quite painful for the first few days. The pain is significantly more when the under the muscle route is followed. Severe pain is expected to last for at least 48 hours and bed rest is necessary for the first 24 hours.

With both procedures, compression garments must be worn for the first few days as per doctor's orders. An implantation patient will be prescribed medications for pain and antibiotics to prevent infection. Stitches are taken out by about ten days, while the swelling goes down over the following weeks. With either method, non-physical job holders can usually return to work within about a week.



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