The Surgeon Minute

Buttock Augmentation and The Era of the Big Booty

Buttock Augmentation and The Era of the Big Booty

He rapped it in 1992 and ever since then, more and more folks agree with Sir Mix-A-Lot. Considering the massive rise of buttock augmentation over the last years, everyone seems to be saying what he said back then:

“I like big butts!”

We’re in the Era of the Big Booty

According to Vogue, we’re “officially in the era of the big booty.” That headline and article has drawn significant backlash and sparked internet-wide debate. While many do view “big booties” as a positive and laud the trend as a move toward body acceptance, the reality is, according to many board certified plastic surgeons, many women think their tushes are too big already. Or they’re not big enough!

“Not all butts are big. And that’s actually the problem, right?” rhetorically asks board certified plastic surgeon Bruce Van Natta, MD of Indianapolis. “I have become much more aware of the little boy butts. Little pinched tushes on the part of these gals. The joke is ‘my butt’s huge’ and that’s what you hear a lot of complaining about. And usually when the butt’s big, everything else is big.”

The Trend for Bigger, or More Shapely Butts

While liposuction, face lifts and breast augmentation have skyrocketed in the last 30 years, butts are increasingly becoming the new, hot area in need of a fix. According to a report issued by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2013 alone saw more than 11,000 buttock augmentation surgeries in the US, up 58 percent from 2012. The U.S. pales in comparison to Brazil, where 63,925 butt augmentation procedures were performed in 2013, nearly five times the number in the US, according to a report by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Butt augmentation is the use of implants, fat transfers or sometimes a combination of both to increase butt size and alter shape.

A Little Can Go a Long Way

The key with buttock augmentation is the procedure is not just about volume. Many think surgeons are simply adding volume, but contour is the true purpose. Many patients may have all the volume they need, albeit in all the wrong places. With fat grafting, surgeons are able to remove fat from one area – let’s say the saddle bags and love handles – and move it to elsewhere, like the buttock. In this situation, the shifting of volume is creating a better contour, which can make the buttock more round and the waist more curved.

Contour reshaping with buttock augmentation.

Overdoing volume addition can be an issue, but trusting in a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in the latest buttock augmentation procedures will avoid that. While a large buttock isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it all has to do with contour and how it will fit into your unique physique.

“There’s a craze to do these mega butts, you know the Brazilian butt or the Miami butt lift. I’m from the Midwest so I’m a little calmer,” explains Van Natta. “And I don’t have a lot of women coming in asking for that. And if they did, I’d try to talk them out of it. Because what’s going to happen long-term with these mega butts? They go through menopause, gain 20 or 30 pounds and someone’s going to go around pushing that tush in a wheel barrel.”

 Contour following buttock augmentation.

Are You a Candidate for a Buttock Lift?

Excess skin and fat in the gluteal area can add bulk and frustrate your efforts to achieve a slimmer, more sculpted body through weight loss. If any of these conditions apply to you, then you might be a good candidate for buttock lift:

  • You have undergone bariatric surgery or significant weight loss through dieting.
  • Pregnancy and/or aging have left you with loose skin below the waistline.
  • You have significant skin laxity, excess skin, and ptosis (sagginess) of the buttocks.
  • The layers of fat below your loose skin are relatively thin.
  • You do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
  • Your weight has been stable for at least a year, with no further weight loss expected. For optimal results, body contouring should not be done for about two years following the start of any massive-weight-loss program.
  • You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body contouring procedures. You must obtain clearance for plastic surgery from your primary care physician or from doctors treating you for medical conditions.
  • You have a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

“We’re just trying to give a nice normal shape to this tush and so we carve out the waist with lipo, maybe a little bit on the saddle bags, and then add a little bit in,” Dr. Van Natta says. “The results are amazing and in this day and age when yoga pants are worn by everybody, that appearance is a little more public if you will, and the ability to give the really nice feminine shape has really been exciting.”

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