Buttock augmentation has been named America’s fastest growing cosmetic surgery. Indeed, many women are choosing butt implants as the means to achieve a better butt. If squats and lunges are not delivering the sculpted booty of your dreams, plastic surgery may be the key to unlocking a beautifully sculpted backside.
Today’s top plastic surgeons are warning patients that implants may not be the right choice for everyone when it comes to butt augmentations, due to the risks that accompany them.
The bottom line when it comes to giving your butt a boost: fat grafting instead of implants offers patients greater potential for increased curves, carries less risk of complications after surgery and is typically much less painful than butt augmentation done with implants.
Playing the Butt Implant Odds
The complication rate after placement of butt implants is much higher than after placement of breast implants. “About one out of three has to be removed for either infection, pain, or malrotation/malposition,” says Dr. Daniel Del Vecchio, board certified plastic surgeon and expert in the field of buttock augmentation.
In his Boston practice, Dr. Del Vecchio uses butt implants only for a few select cases. “If I can get away with not using butt implants, I’ll always go to fat.” When a patient does not have enough body fat to be a candidate for fat transfer, he will consider carefully whether or not an implant is right for them.
Possible Butt Implant Complications
- Malposition of the implant
- Pain after surgery
- Capsular contracture
#1 The Risk of Infection Leading to Butt Implant Removal
Every surgery carries the risk of infection. When infection occurs after a surgery that involved the placement of an implant, a second surgery is then required to remove the implants in order for the body to heal. It’s very important to make sure you choose a board certified plastic surgeon who will take every safety precaution to minimize the risk of infection in the operating room. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to keep the incisions clean after surgery as you heal, to further prevent the need for additional surgery to remove the implants.
Butt augmentation with fat grafting carries a lower risk of infection than augmentation with implant. In addition, the fat removal and transfer incisions are much smaller than the incisions that are required for implants.
#2 The Risk of Butt Implant Malposition
Even if an implant is placed perfectly at the time of surgery, the position may change over time. One patient came to the Rhode Island office of Dr. Richard Zienowicz suffering from butt implants that no longer remained in place, but instead rotated when touched. “The implant was turning, and she could see it and was driven mad by it,” Zienowicz shares. Fat, on the other hand, is much more forgiving when it comes to placement and maintaining position.
#3 The Risk of Experiencing Intense Pain after Butt Implants
Butt implants are typically placed within or beneath the muscle of the butt. During surgery the muscles are stretched and pulled and this can lead to significant pain after surgery. Any position or movement that involves the butt muscles can add to the discomfort.
On the other hand, with fat grafting to the butt, there is very little pain after surgery. “Any residual pain you have in the recipient site of the buttock itself tends to go away within twenty four hours in most people,” says Zienowicz.
#4 The Risk of Capsular Contracture, Leading to Butt Implant Removal
When a foreign object is placed inside the body, the body forms a thin layer of scar tissue around the object. This happens with every foreign object surgically placed – knee replacements, hip replacements, breast implants and butt implants.
Sometimes, instead of staying soft and thin, that layer of scar tissue changes over time. If the tissue begins to tighten around the implant, it can make a soft implant feel hard. This is called capsular contracture, and complication that plagues many breast implant procedures.“If you get a firm contracture,” explains Dr. Zienowicz, “you can’t even sit comfortably, not to mention lie on it, or have anybody touch it, because it’s hard and painful.”
Butt Implant Limitations
Del Vecchio and Zienowicz agree that sculpting a beautiful bottom is all about proportions, not just adding volume. “A butt implant is only going to go into one part of your butt. It doesn’t do anything to widen your hips,” says Del Vecchio. “It doesn’t do anything to strengthen the buttock to thigh junction. A lot of women want really thick thighs on posterior view. The strong thigh look. Butt implants don’t do that.”
Fat transfer carries reduced risks while offering endless options when it comes to sculpting the shape of the butt and improving the curve ratio by removing fat where it is unwanted and placing it where volume is needed.