How Is a Brazilian Butt Lift Done?

1
Patient Is Marked for Fat Transfer to the Buttocks

Female surgeon marking on patient's body
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A Brazilian Butt Lift is technically known as a gluteoplasty. The area where the additional fat is desired is outlined with a surgical marker. Your surgeon will also mark the incision sites through which the fat will be injected. The incisions are small (approximately 2 to 3 millimeters in length), about the size of a grain of rice.

2
Anesthesia Is Administered

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Anesthesia is used to make you comfortable during your procedure. General anesthesia can be used. However, local anesthesia, with or without intravenous sedation, also known as "twilight sedation," may be used. Which type of anesthesia you receive will depend on you and your surgeon. It is possible to have a Brazilian butt lift without using general anesthesia.

3
The Harvest Site and the Buttocks Are Prepped for Surgery

Prepping For Surgery. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The harvest site is the area from which the fat will be removed with liposuction. The harvest site and the buttocks are disinfected by cleansing the areas with an antibacterial soap. Disinfecting the areas reduces the likelihood of an infection at the surgical sites.

4
Incisions Are Made at the Harvest Site(s) and the Buttocks Area

Making a Surgical Incision With a Scalpel. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The incisions are made at the harvest site and the buttocks area. The incisions are about the size of a grain of rice. Your surgeon will do her best to make your incisions inconspicuous. Some will be hidden in the buttocks crease. The incisions at the harvest site(s) are the entry sites for the infiltration cannula and liposuctioncannula. In liposuction, a cannula is a long, thin metal tube that is inserted into an area to deliver tumescent fluid or to suction fat from an area. The infiltration cannula is made specifically for injecting tumescent fluid into your fat. It is smaller than the liposuction cannula. The incisions in the buttocks area are the entry site for the fat transfer cannula.

5
Tumescent Fluid Is Injected into the Harvest and Donor Sites

Process of Tumescent Fluid Infiltration. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Tumescent fluid

is injected through an infiltration cannula into the areas of fat that will undergo liposuction. A lesser amount is injected into the recipient site – just enough to make fat injection tolerable. The tumescent fluid is comprised of two medications - lidocaine and epinephrine. These two medications are diluted in one liter of either a saline type solution. The lidocaine numbs the areas that will be treated. The epinephrine narrows blood vessels to minimize bruising and bleeding.

6
The Fat Is Harvested from the Donor Site(s)

Image of plastic surgeon, Dr. Millicent Odunze, liposuctioning flank area. Photo © Millicent Odunze

In order to obtain enough fat to transfer to your buttocks, you will have to have fat taken from other areas. This is done with liposuction. Common sites for obtaining fat include the abdomen and the flanks (love handles). The reasoning for this is that even with weight loss, fat in these areas tends to persist. The hope is that when fat is transferred to your buttocks, it will withstand the effects of weight loss.

The fat is suctioned into a container made specifically for collecting the fat that will be transferred to the buttocks. This specialized canister keeps the fat from being contaminated, which decreases the risk of infection. The container also keeps air from interacting with the fat. Exposure to air decreases the fat's viability.

Patients who do not have enough fat for a Brazilian butt lift are better candidates for butt implants.

7
Fat Is Transferred into Large Syringes

Fat Collection Into Syringe. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

Once the fat has been collected into the canister, it is then transferred into large syringes. The fat is allowed to separate from the fluid. The fluid is the tumescent fluid that has not been absorbed by the body. The fluid is discarded and the fat is then transferred to smaller syringes. A special cannula for injecting fat is attached to the end of the smaller syringe. A smaller syringe allows for more precise injection of the fat.

8
The fat Is Transferred to the Buttocks

Process of Fat Transfer. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The fat is injected

9
Incisions Are Closed with Sutures

Closure of Incision with Suture. Photo © Millicent Odunze, M.D., M.P.H.

The incisions are closed with sutures to keep the fat from extruding from the buttocks. A suture is a strand of fiber similar to fishing line, that is used to sew together the skin edges of an incision or cut. Steri-strips may be placed on the incisions after they are closed.

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