BBL Today: Brazilian Butt Lift & More

Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is the name that’s been used for years now in San Jose (and everywhere), for a procedure that removes a patient’s excess body fat, and inserts it into the buttocks. That’s the basic description.

Why “Brazilian?” Because plastic surgeons in Brazil pioneered and popularized the technique.

Is a Lift always involved? A true “lift” of the buttocks may involve an additional procedure, which would include surgical removal of excess and sagging skin and tissue. With a Brazilian Butt Lift, the buttocks may gain the appearance of being lifted due to added volume and a change in shape.

The Brazilian butt lift procedure has become so popular that it’s now mostly referred to by its nickname, the initials BBL.

The BBL is still buttock augmentation. But, it’s no longer viewed as something principally for those who want “reality show” attention, or those who want to stand out in a crowd.

Who’s getting buttock augmentation?

People who want a more proportioned, balanced figure than the one nature or circumstance gave them, are the most frequent requesters of a BBL. Surprised? It’s true.  BBL patients are likely to be your neighbors or co-workers.

A typical BBL patient may be bothered by what they often describe as a “square” shape. They may desire definition they don’t presently have in the waist, hips, and buttocks. Rather than a straight line from the chest to the thighs, many desire a more curved appearance. Or, they may want more volume to add dimension to a flat-appearing contour.

What can a BBL do?

A big part of the cosmetic benefit of the BBL is the often dramatic change in contour. The waistline becomes more defined (and noticeably narrower), the outer sides of the hips (the pelvic frame) will have a more rounded shape, and the buttocks gain volume and roundness.

At the same time, other areas of the body that had been storing excess fat, are reduced and reshaped by liposuction and fat transfer. The fat used to add dimension comes from those unwanted spots.

So, frequently bothersome areas like the love handles, saddlebags, or puffy tummies and thighs, get slimmed down—even as the hip and buttock areas are enhanced.

What’s involved in a BBL?

BBL is a combination of surgical procedures: Liposuction and fat grafting. The procedures are performed together in the same session. Liposuction is done first. Depending on the individual, various amounts of excess fat are removed from a single or multiple areas. The augmentation procedure then begins, with the harvested fat injected into the areas you and your surgeon have discussed—in the buttocks and hips. 

 Of course, the degree of change you might experience will depend on the amount of fat available to remove and reinject.

A very thin person wanting a reshaped appearance will have a more modest result than someone with excess fat.

On the other hand, we need to remind you that liposuction should not be considered a weight-loss procedure! If you’re considering this or any cosmetic surgery, you should be generally healthy, with a good diet and exercise program, and you should be close to your ideal weight. Maintaining your results will depend on your healthy lifestyle and on following your doctor’s instructions!

What’s new in the BBL procedure?

When a surgical procedure like BBL becomes more mainstream, new techniques and approaches continue to emerge. In our practice, we use a new power injection system that helps transfer harvested fat more precisely and efficiently. The Wells Johnson HVP System (High Volume Precision Auto-Graft System) allows liposuction, washing, and processing of harvested fat, and reinjection of the fat—all in one enclosed unit. The advantage is faster, more precise reinjection of fat, and a single closed system that helps ensure sterility. (In the old systems, fat had to be collected in multiple injection syringes, which made the process cumbersome and increased the risk of contamination.)

How do I keep my new shape?

Your initial result may not be your final result. A percentage of the transferred fat will not remain permanently—it will get re-absorbed into the body. But approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of the fat will survive in its new location. Following post-surgical instructions for BBL is very important to maximize your results. Some of those instructions and explainers may go like this:

  • You will be required to wear various compression garments over the surgical sites for a number of weeks. Using them is crucial and beneficial in a number of ways. They will help with the pain and swelling—and also continue to shape your results!
  • Following your initial healing period, maintaining your new shape will be an ongoing life choice for you. You’ve removed fat from bothersome areas and you’ve gained shape where it was lacking before. Try to avoid weight gain, keep healthy habits, and be as active as you can be.

As we said earlier, perceptions of BBL have changed. Perhaps soon, we’ll see a new name for this body-shaping procedure. At present, it is among the most popular of Body Contouring procedures.

The individual patient satisfaction following a BBL is usually very high. The procedure helps create balance, proportion, and contour—as well as improving the patient’s self-image.

We recommend seeking out a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in buttock augmentation surgery for this procedure. Do your research, and enjoy your results!

Dr. Vincent Lepore is a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Jose with extensive experience in body contouring with fat transfer. At Reveal Plastic Surgery, Dr. Lepore, Dr. Benjamin Maser and Dr. Steven Bates all perform the procedure. Please contact us to schedule a consultation or call us at 408-356-4241 with your questions. Cosmetic consultations are offered free of charge.


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