What To Know Before Getting a BBL

by Nancy

The Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures today. That popularity is due in large part to circulating rumors regarding celebrities who may have had the procedure performed. At the top of that celebrity list is Kim Kardashian. The shape of her buttocks has been in the news more than the activities of the actress herself, it seems. Even the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed the increase in popularity of BBL procedures. In fact, stimulus checks relating to the pandemic have provided more disposable income patients are using to pay for BBLs and other plastic surgery.

If you want to jump on the BBL bandwagon and schedule a surgery, you must first make sure it is the right step for you. It is important to understand all aspects of the procedure, including its potential risks and side effects. You also need to think about the general process involved, as well as how to select the right plastic surgeon for the job.

What is a BBL and How Does it Differ from Other Buttock Lifts?

There are two main types of standard butt lift procedures. One involves the surgical removal or tightening of excess skin to give the buttocks a firmer, more rounded shape. The other involves the use of implants that are surgically inserted into the buttocks to give it a more rounded appearance. Those implants are filled with one of the following substances:

  • Water
  • Solid Silicone
  • Silicone Gel

A Brazilian butt lift does not involve the insertion of implants into the buttocks. Instead, the surgeon moves fat from other parts of the body to the buttocks. Extra fat is removed from areas like the abdomen or thighs. It is then inserted into the buttocks via a series of injections. 

The Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure

The Brazilian butt lift procedure is not an easy or comfortable one. First, incisions are made to remove extra fat deposits from predetermined parts of the patient’s body. Next, the surgeon must process the removed fat to purify it. Then the fat is put into syringes. A typical BBL requires three to five syringes of fat to complete. Some surgeries may require additional syringes. The surgeon must make incisions in the buttocks before injecting each syringe of fat into the necessary areas. Due to the nature of the procedure, it is typically performed while the patient is under anesthesia and fully unconscious. However, local anesthetic is used in some instances.

Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery 

Like the procedure itself, recovery from a BBL is not easy. A BBL patient cannot sit during the initial healing process. That process typically takes two to three weeks. It can take up to eight weeks in rare circumstances. After the initial healing period, the patient may sit. However, the buttock region may remain swollen or sensitive for several additional weeks. Depending on which area of the body fat is removed from, the patient may also have other mobility restrictions during recovery. Due to those mobility restrictions and general discomfort, a BBL patient may need to take time off from work to recover. He or she may also have difficulty sleeping comfortably during recovery.

Brazilian Butt Lift Side Effects and Risks

In 2019, USA Today reported that one out of every 3,000 BBL candidates died from complications relating to the procedure. That made the BBL one of the deadliest plastic surgeries at the time. According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), most of that risk stems from errors relating to the fat injection process. The plastic surgeon must have proper training. He or she must know exactly how much fat is safe to extract and how to safely inject it back into the buttocks region. Possible side effects of an improperly performed BBL include:

  • Minor Temporary Skin Infections
  • Major Infections Leading to Skin Loss
  • Scarring
  • Pulmonary or Fat Embolisms, Which May Cause Death

Brazilian Butt Lift Candidacy

The BBL is not a procedure for everyone. Excellent physical health is required. The patient must also have the ability to go under anesthesia safely. Additionally, a BBL patient cannot drink alcohol or smoke for several weeks surrounding the procedure date. The patient must also have enough excess fat on another part of his or her body to make the procedure physically possible to perform. If the patient has sagging skin in the buttocks region, he or she must have that issue surgically corrected separately before booking a BBL.

Choosing a Clinic or Surgeon to Perform a Brazilian Butt Lift

The most important factor when choosing a BBL surgeon or clinic is board certification. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) provides the certification recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for safely performing BBLs and other forms of plastic surgery. There is also an American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). However, its certification is not recognized as legitimate by the ABMS. It is important to understand that distinction when selecting a BBL surgeon.

In addition to having proper certification by the ABPS, a BBL surgeon must have a good general reputation. He or she must have verifiable work history and references. The clinic in which the surgeon works must have a clean, sterile, and professional appearance. Clinic staff must also display willingness and ability to answer patient questions thoroughly.

How Much a Brazilian Butt Lift Costs

Data provided in 2020 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) lists the average cost of a BBL as $4,807. However, the exact cost is different in every clinic. Geographic location and demand play roles in cost determinations. Therefore, the procedure is often more expensive in larger cities. The skills and experience level of the surgeon can also affect cost. There are many surgeons willing to perform cheap BBLs. However, it is not advisable to cut financial corners when undergoing such a serious procedure. The lower the cost, the less likely the surgeon is to have proper certifications or perform the procedure properly.

Weighing All Costs of a Brazilian Butt Lift

Money is not the only cost factor when considering a BBL. You must also weigh the costs in time, loss of comfort, and potential side effects. Before you book a BBL appointment, consider all aspects of how it may affect you, your work, and your family. Only book a BBL appointment if you are prepared for all of the commitments and risk factors involved.