Natural-Looking Results: The Secret to Successful Plastic Surgery
Posted in Plastic Surgery
Each year, almost 15 million people around the world decide to change something about their appearance through plastic surgery or non-surgical treatments, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), and even more when inflation is not rampant. This number highlights not only how many people want to improve the way they look, but how they want to do it.
It’s noteworthy that both kinds of treatments – the ones involving surgery and the ones that don’t – are becoming increasingly popular. Last year, the demand for surgical treatments went up by 16.7%. But what really stands out is the 57.8% increase in non-surgical treatments over the last four years. Evidently, a growing number of people are choosing treatments that are not too extreme and give results that look natural and understated.
This trend has emerged partly because many celebrities are now choosing to be vocal about the “small tweaks” they have had that have led to big differences. Katy Perry admits to getting under-eye fillers to get rid of her dark circles; she suggests others try it too. Supermodel Cindy Crawford has talked about using Botox and vitamin shots to keep her skin looking young as she gets older.
Since 90’s waif-like, stick-thin beauty standards have been replaced with au naturel curves, Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is currently topping the charts in minimally-invasive procedures. If you want to get a more rounded, lifted derriere without suffering through a whole lot of cuts and stitches, continue reading. In this post, we will discuss how a BBL works and why it might be the best way to meet your aesthetic goals without compromising the natural harmony of your body’s proportions.
The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Procedure
If you have ever wondered why it’s called a “Brazilian Butt Lift”, it’s thanks to the renowned Brazilian plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy who invented this innovative technique back in the late 90s.
During the BBL surgery, the surgeon takes out fat from areas of your body where you have extra, like your stomach or thighs. This is done through a process called liposuction. The doctor makes small cuts in your skin and uses a thin tube called a cannula to suck out the fat. After taking the fat out, it goes through a purification process where it is spun really fast in a machine to separate the good fat cells from blood and body’s natural oils.
Next, the clean and good fat cells are put back into your body, but this time in your buttocks. The surgeon uses special techniques (fat grafting or lipofilling) to put the fat in the right places and layers to make sure the result looks even and natural.
This is where they use a “micro-droplet technique”. It’s basically injecting tiny amounts of fat at different depths and locations in the buttocks to achieve a very even, smooth result. The surgeon strategically places the fat to sculpt the behind into a desirable shape while making sure that the fat cells have a reliable blood supply so they can organically blend and survive in their new location.
The results of a BBL usually last several years, even more than a decade, without the need for any follow-up lifts. The idea of taking your own body fat from, say, your tummy and then injecting it into your posterior sounds so straightforward, right? But it’s a technique that requires a deep understanding of the complicated anatomical structures and a skilled hand to achieve the best results.
If the fat is not injected properly in the right layers, it can lead to an uneven appearance, with one side looking different from the other. Or, if the transferred fat cells don’t survive and end up dying, it can create lumps in the buttocks area. To make sure nothing goes wrong, it’s extremely important to find a board-certified surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery and has the past results to show up for it.
The Two-Step Procedure
A BBL is considered way healthier and less risky – not to mention it gives the most natural-looking outcomes – because it uses your own fat. This avoids the problems that can happen with other alternatives like gluteal implants, such as them moving around or your body reacting badly to them.
With that said, the success of a BBL depends on many factors including your body type, how much good fat you have, and the skills of the surgeon as we discussed above. It works best for people with enough fat to use and skin that holds its shape well.
We previously mentioned that this procedure involves liposuction and fat transfer; let’s take a closer look at these two steps.
Step 1: Liposuction
Believe it or not, Liposuction – the technique of removing fat from specific body parts – was first invented in the 1920s in France by a surgeon named Charles Dujarier. But the liposuction we know today was made better in 1975 by Dr. Giorgio Fischer in Italy. Later, doctors in France improved it even more.
Your journey to that perfectly contoured derriere via BBL begins with liposuction surgery. First, you are given anesthesia to numb the area, then your surgeon makes tiny incisions in these targeted areas; this could be your stomach, thighs, or love handles. Then a thin tube (cannula) is inserted through these cuts to loosen the fat cells. The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth to break up the fat cells, which are then sucked out using a syringe attached to the cannula.
Once the surgeon has the amount of fat they want, they close up the stitches. Later, you will be given a compression garment to help scale down the swelling and support the areas that were treated. It’s normal to see some bruises and swelling, but they will go away in a few weeks.
It should be noted that while the liposuction procedure does remove the excess fat pockets, it’s not exactly a weight-loss method. Good plastic surgeons know exactly where to put the fat to get a look that is not only pretty but also right for your body’s natural shape.
Step 2: Fat Transfer
The name says it all. Once the fat cells are taken out from your body, the surgeon will choose the best ones for this next step (also known as gluteal fat grafting or fat injection) to make sure the results last a long time.
How do they do this? The extracted fat tissue is put into a centrifuge machine where it spins really fast to separate substances based on their density. This purified fat is then injected into your buttock region. Some doctors use ultrasound technology to help them see exactly where they are inserting the fat. This is to make sure the fat is safely placed above the muscle layer in the posterior so there is little to no risk of fat embolism; it’s where fat enters the bloodstream and blocks blood vessels.
Finally, the cleaned fat cells are put into the buttocks using a micro-droplet, layering, fan, or a cross-tunneling technique. The type of technique a surgeon uses here depends on their own preference plus how your body works. The end goal is to give you a shape that feels extremely natural when touched.
After the fat grafting, you will be recommended to avoid sitting directly on your buttocks for about six weeks to not damage the newly transferred fat. Over time, some of the transferred fat may be absorbed by your body, but about 60-80% will stay.
If you are on the fence about getting a BBL, consider this: Brazilian Butt Lifts are favored over butt implants for two reasons. First, they drastically minimize the risk of allergic reactions and other serious complications associated with having a foreign object (i.e., silicone) in the body. It’s rare, but some people are severely allergic to silicone, which can lead to implant-related complications such as implant leak or migration of the implant.
Secondly, the procedure offers a kind of “two-for-one” benefit because of taking fat from one area of the body and using it to enhance another. If you have a belly pouch or a heavy waistline, your surgeon will take the fat from these areas for your BBL, resulting in a well-defined stomach or waist.
Recovery and Aftercare
The time it takes to heal after a BBL can vary a lot from patient to patient since it depends on how healthy you are to start with, the extent of the surgery, and how closely you follow the surgeon’s advice afterward. If you are generally healthy and don’t smoke, for example, you might heal faster. So doing your part and working together with your doctor can really help you get the best outcome from the surgery.
That said, here are some common guidelines all BBL patients are advised to follow:
Right After the Surgery (First Week)
- If you experience any pain in the first few days, take the pain medications prescribed by your surgeon.
- Wear compression garments on the areas where fat was taken out to help reduce swelling and support the healing areas.
- Start gentle walks within your home to prevent blood clots.
- Avoid foods that are high in sodium as they can increase swelling. This includes canned foods, burgers, pizza, fries, pretzels, salted nuts, processed cheese, pickles, hot dogs, deli meats, and soy sauce.
- Attend the post-op appointments for check-ups and to change any necessary dressings.
- Your doctor might suggest lymphatic massages to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation in the surgery area.
Short-Term Healing (First Month)
- For the first two to three weeks, try not to sit on your buttocks for a long time to protect the new fat cells.
- Sleep on your stomach or side to avoid putting pressure on your buttocks.
- Keep the surgery areas clean. You will get detailed instructions on how to do this.
- Eating healthy foods like eggs, lean meats, beans, lentils, leafy greens, avocadoes, and bone broth can help you recover faster.
Medium-Term Healing (1-3 Months)
- Start doing light activities (stretching, yoga) slowly, but avoid running, squats, weight lifting, contact sports, and other extreme workouts that might affect the surgery results.
- Don’t miss the follow-up appointments with your surgeon to keep a close eye on your recovery process.
Long-Term Healing (3-6 Months)
- After a few months, the swelling will go down and you can see the final result of the surgery.
- In addition to silicone gel or sheets, your surgeon might recommend specific massages or laser treatments to further reduce the appearance of scars.
- Around this time, you can start getting back to your routine activities including exercises that involve your glutes (squats, lunges, kickbacks, hip thrusts, etc.)
- Use a high SPF sunscreen and wear protective clothing when going out to shield the treated areas from harmful sun exposure to prevent the darkening of the scars.
Throughout your recovery, make sure to drink plenty of water, and stay away from smoking and alcohol as these can interfere with your body’s natural healing process. Keep in mind that recovering after any cosmetic surgery, big or small, can sometimes be a mentally taxing process so take some time for yourself. Meditate, read a good book, or spend time with your loved ones to keep your mind relaxed during this period.
👉Also read: How to Maintain Results After Liposuction?
Schedule Your BBL Consultation with a Top-Rated Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today
With dual board certifications under his belt, Dr. Josef Hadeed ranks among the top plastic surgeons in the country for those who want to enhance their appearance with less invasive and more effective plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Hadeed specializes in body contouring procedures including Brazilian Butt Lift, liposuction, tummy tucks, and mommy makeovers.