Dear Dr. Perez,
Based on rudimentary research, I gather that the Brazilian butt lift surgery and silicone butt implants are not one in the same. Please advise me of the difference, risks and benefits, etc… before any consultation. I assume you do both procedures.
Thanking you in advance, -SP
Response From the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa:
Dear Ms. P,
Thank you for inquiring about the Brazilian butt lift procedure and butt implants at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa! We consider cosmetic buttock surgery, in whatever form, to be our specialties!
You are definitely correct; a Brazilian butt lift is different than butt implants. Butt implants, or gluteal implants, are shaped, silicone implants (similar in consistency to the "gummy bear" breast implants you may have heard about recently) used to increase the projection (i.e. the front to back measurement) of the buttocks. Butt implants can be placed directly above the gluteal maximus muscle (the main muscle of the buttocks), just under the gluteal muscle fascia, or inside the gluteal muscle. Because of increased risks of complications with the other planes, most plastic surgeons now place butt implants inside the gluteal muscle through a small, vertical incision placed just above the gluteal cleft (i.e. the "butt crack"). Butt implants are used to increase the projection and volume of the butt, and are not available in sizes greater than 400cc. For comparison, an average breast implant size is 350cc and a can of soda is 360cc. Additionally, butt implants have no affect on the hips, lower buttocks, sides of the butt, waist, or trunk, and thus, are not used to shape these areas.
A Brazilian butt lift is actually a combination of plastic surgery procedures: liposuction of the trunk and fat transfer to the buttocks. First, areas of unwanted fat, usually from the abdomen, flanks, iliac rolls, and back, are removed with liposuction to create a beautiful, curvy, cinched-in waist, abdomen, and lower back. Then, the clean, pure fat is injected into the buttocks in various planes and in various ways to increase volume, improve projection, improve the shape, and give the appearance of a lift to the hips, thighs, sides of the butt, and lower buttocks! The average amount of fat injected into each buttock is around 400-1000cc and varies with the patient's desires, anatomy, and needs. Thus, a Brazilian butt lift with liposuction of the trunk and fat injections to the buttocks, allows for more individualized sculpting, flexibility, and full-body three dimensional shaping than butt implants alone.
The benefit of butt implants is that there is no possibility of donor site morbidity because no other area of the body is subjected to surgery. The downside to butt implants is that there is a fairly high complication rate; it has been reported that up to 30% of patients receiving butt implants may later suffer from infection, bleeding, fluid collections, and/or implant malposition requiring repeat surgery and possibly implant removal. Because of this relatively high complication rate, most plastic surgeons that perform cosmetic buttock surgery prefer the Brazilian butt lift procedure and reserve butt implants for those patients who do not have enough body fat available for harvest and transfer to the buttocks. However, no surgery is truly without risk. Risks specific to a Brazilian butt lift include loss of postoperative gluteal volume, liposuction contour deformities, and cyst or scar tissue formation at the site of the fat injections. Because of these known risks, it is important to choose a plastic surgeon with experience and technical expertise in both procedures that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Recently, to reap the benefits of both procedures while trying to minimize the known complications of butt implants and the Brazilian butt lift alone, skilled plastic surgeons have started doing a combination of liposuction, butt implants, and fat transfer to the buttocks in one procedure. This type of two-for-one surgery allows for a large increase in gluteal volume while still allowing for maximal shaping and minimizing postoperative volume loss.
Of course, every patient is concerned about the cost of a Brazilian butt lift vs. butt implants. In Tampa the average cost of a Brazilian butt lift starts at approximately $6,500 and goes up from there depending on the complexity, patient needs, and other associated procedures. The price of butt implants, when performed alone, starts at approximately $5,900. At our center, the price includes anesthesia fees, facility fees, surgeon fees, implants when used, postoperative garments, and all preoperative and postoperative appointments. Taxes are included and there are no hidden fees.
Recovery for the two procedures is similar. Patients are generally able to stop narcotic pain medicines at 2-3 days, drive at 5-7 days, and return to work after a week. Drain tubes are usually removed after five days when they are draining less than 20-25cc per day. Lower extremity compression garments are worn for two weeks to avoid blood clot formation and full compression garments are worn for six weeks to help with shaping a reduce swelling. While there are no universally agreed upon recommendations regarding sitting following a Brazilian butt lift procedure or placement of butt implants, we generally recommend that patients avoid prolonged sitting for at least two weeks after surgery.
If you have any other questions or would like to speak to the office regarding scheduling a free Brazilian butt lift and/or butt implant consultation, please call the office or give us your best contact information and time to call you. If you'd rather make arrangements on-line, simply reply to this email to get started.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa