This may be the era of the butt. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of butt augmentation procedures using fat grafting increased by 16 percent between 2012 and 2013. The number of butt lift procedures went up by 80 percent between the year 2000 and the year 2013.
The demand for a more plump derrière has meant that not only are patients seeing their plastic surgeons to learn more about their options. It has also meant that some people have gone to untrained, illegal “practitioners” to have a variety of untested, usually dangerous, substances injected into their buttocks. While these injection might have given people the booty they were after, in some cases, they also caused serious medical problems and even death.
Just Say “No” to Silicone Injections
Although some board certified plastic surgeons will perform a butt lift procedure using silicone implants, similar to the implants used during breast augmentation, but designed, sized and shaped for the butt area, silicone injections are never performed by a real doctor. The injections aren’t approved by the FDA for use in the butt area, for one thing.
In many cases the “silicone” injected by a person offering the procedure isn’t something that’s designed to go into the human body. There are plenty of black market injectors who claim that the product they use is medical grade or FDA-approved, but in reality, it is often something they’ve purchased from the hardware store. According to a report from the FDA, one injector, who was eventually caught and who pled guilty, used a type of silicone designed to be added to paint or for use as a lubricant for metal.
Injecting unapproved silicone into the buttocks is similar to injecting poison into the body. The substance can migrate to other parts of the body, causing severe illness. For example, in some cases, the silicone traveled to the lungs of patients who had received the injections, causing respiratory problems such as pneumonia. In other cases, injected area became infected with bacteria, leading to severe illness and death.
Even people who didn’t have severe medical problems from silicone noticed that the injected area changed over time. The silicone can become hard or lumpy, or it can move from the original area to another part of the body, creating a strange appearance. The injections can also affect a person’s immune system.
Fat Is the Way to Go
A much safer and medically approved option for adding volume to the backside is fat transfer. Sometimes called a Brazilian butt lift, the procedure involves removing fat from one part of the body, purifying it, then injecting it into the buttocks. Since the fat comes from a person’s body, there is no risk of it being rejected or causing infection or other negative effects.
Fat transfer might not be right for every patient. The big requirement is that you have enough fat in other areas, such as your abdomen or hips, to be liposuctioned out and injected into the butt. If you don’t have enough fat, your surgeon might recommend another option, such as an implant.
The results from fat transfer or a Brazilian butt lift are visible right away. But, they may change over time and it can take up to a year for you to see the final results. It is possible for your body to reabsorb some of the injected fat. Your buttocks might look very full at first, but decrease in volume as your body acclimates to the fat. For that reason, the surgeon may inject a bit more fat at first, so that as your body adjusts to the injection, you end up with the size of butt you want.
Your Overall Health
It’s important to see a board certified plastic surgeon for a butt lift not only because you’ll have the reassurance that the materials used in the procedure are safe. A butt lift is about more than just your backside. The surgeon needs to consider your overall health, and a person offering injections in a seedy hotel room isn’t going to do that.
When you work with an experienced surgeon, he will let you know what to expect from the procedure, provide you with patient references and review your health and medical history. You will be told to stop smoking for a few weeks before the injections and after and the surgeon will let you know if any medications need to be avoided in the weeks leading up to and after the surgery.
Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Robert Centeno, at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute near Washington, DC, take your health very seriously. To learn more about the Brazilian butt lift procedure offered at their practice, call (703) 206-0506 for a consultation today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.