We can adjust the size and shape of the gluteal area using a combination of techniques. This usually involves liposuction to remove unwanted areas of fat and fat transfer (injection of fat) to enhance areas that we want to emphasize. Excess skin can be removed on occasion, or implants can be placed to increase the size and projection of the buttocks.
Types of procedures
- Gluteal liposuction: This involves removing fat from anywhere in the buttock region. Sometimes fat is removed from just above the buttocks in the lower back, which makes the lower back curvature more attractive and can create the illusion of gluteal augmentation. Liposuction may also be applied to the outer or lower portions of the buttocks and hip area if desired.
- Fat grafting: This involves taking fat from other parts of the body such as the back, flanks, abdomen, or thighs, processing it during surgery, and then injecting it into the gluteal area in key positions to mold and shape the buttocks. This is sometimes known as a Brazilian butt lift.
- Direct buttock lift: This involves removing extra skin and fat from the lower back in patients who have had substantial weight loss. This process lifts the buttocks and outer thigh area but involves a scar across the lower back.
- Gluteal auto-augmentation: This involves the use of fat from a direct buttock lift to directly augment the gluteal area by shifting fat from the lower back to the upper buttock region.
- Targeted liposuction and fat grafting areas are marked prior to surgery
- Surgery is done under local anesthetic for smaller procedures, mild sedation for intermediate procedures, and general anesthetic for most procedures
- The patient is positioned on their stomach, and the appropriate areas are liposuctioned using standard techniques
- If fat transfer is performed, fat collected from the liposuction is processed, transferred to injection cannulas, and placed in appropriate positions in the buttocks area
- Gluteal implant, if used, is inserted through concealed incisions within natural skin folds and placed above or below the gluteal muscles based on patient desires and anatomy
- A postsurgical garment is used
- Patient leaves the surgical facility approximately one hour after the procedure
- It is important not to sit directly on the operated areas for 1 to 2 weeks
Risks & Benefits
The risks of gluteal liposuction are similar to those for liposuction in any other area in the body. Primary risks include contour deformities, areas of numbness, and damage to blood vessels or nerves in the area. If fat injection is used, there is a risk of introducing fat into blood vessels, which can then travel to the lungs causing a potentially fatal fat embolism. Our surgeons adhere to guidelines and use techniques that minimize this risk to less than 1%.
If gluteal implants are used, risks include infections that may require removal of the implants, malposition of the implants that may require re-positioning, and damage to surrounding structures.
Buttock contouring is a safe procedure if done conservatively and correctly. Most patients see a dramatic improvement and truly have a low risk profile. Small contour irregularities can be addressed in minor cleanup procedures three to six months after the original operation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need buttock implants?
If you don’t have a lot of fat on your body or don’t like the idea of injecting fat, gluteal implants may be the right choice for you.
How do I know if I need skin removed from my back area?
Your surgeon will be able to explain what your outcome will be with or without removing skin based on a thorough examination.