Buttock augmentation has seen a massive spike in procedures performed in the last few years. Many of these procedures, and much of the hype, surrounds buttock augmentation for younger patients – the famous “Brazilian Butt Lift”, or BBL. These procedures are mostly about adding volume and contouring the waist and buttock with fat grafting to create a superior shape. While the younger patients are satisfied, what about those who are older, looking to rejuvenating the aging buttocks?
Board certified plastic surgeons Dr. James Namnoum of Atlanta and Dr. Stafford Broumand of New York City discuss how increasingly popular buttock augmentation procedures may also help those with aging buttocks.
What Can be Done for the Aging Buttocks?
The buttock augmentation rage is a rage for good reason, thanks to fat transfer. Taking unwanted fat here and placing it there sounds like magic; many patients might look in the mirror post-recovery and agree. The buttock is a great region when it comes to fat transfer because skilled surgeons can not only add volume, but recontour the waist, abdomen, and even outer thighs to directly affect the contour and shape of the buttock. Generally known as a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), the key to these procedures, is having a generally youthful starting place. Patients with loose, aged skin and massive volume loss may not see the same kind of results from the same procedures.
“First of all, let me tell you what BBL is – it’s Brazilian Butt Lift,” shares Dr. Broumand. “That’s more for a younger buttocks that needs more volume. We put fat in, it works. What can we do for an aging buttock? Not one that just needs a little bit of a lift, but one that has excess skin. We can get rid of the skin, add more volume, do a little of both. It’s not the greatest outcome, I don’t believe.”
Part of the problem with aging buttocks is there are many problems! It all depends on the patient, their lifestyle over decades, their genetics, etc. Not everyone ages the same and each patient will need to be addressed individually to provide proper solutions. One such issue could be a flat buttock, one that isn’t necessarily sagging but has lost a majority of it’s volume.
“An aging buttock could be just a flat buttock; it doesn’t necessarily have to even sag all that much,” explains Dr. Namnoum. “There are some women that just have lost volume and they’ve lost shape. In those cases, it might be a great idea to suction away some fat and volumize the buttock and enhance the shape. It’s not just about volume, it’s also about reshaping.”
Safety of Buttock Augmentation
One the one hand, buttock augmentation has undergone a massive popularity boost. On the other, the procedure has caused serious alarm within the board certified plastic surgeon community due to major complications, including patient death. Both of these are derived from the fat transfer procedure.
While fat transfer is immensely successful and, in the opinion of many, a game-changer across the whole spectrum of plastic surgery, it’s is dangerous in the wrong hands. When fat is reinjected into the body, surgeons have to be extremely careful not to put it in the wrong places, or accidentally inject fat into the bloodstream. This could (and has) led to patient death on the operating table.
The incidents are not cause for alarm, so long as patients understand the risks and heavily vet the surgeon they’re consulting with. “You don’t want someone who’s trying this for the first time,” says Dr. Broumand.
This is especially poignant considering buttock augmentation is so popular – everyone, including non-board certified plastic surgeons, and even doctors who have no surgical training, are getting in on the craze. Patients need to do their homework regarding their surgeon and understand the risks. This same process will help patients find surgeons who are experienced and skilled, two qualities that not only guarantee safety, but great results. “You want someone who knows what they’re doing and understands how to craft and make it look beautiful,” shares Namnoum.
Buttock Augmentation with Implants?
A buttock augmentation of old was performed with implants. The high complication rate kept buttock augmentation from being a popular procedure, now remedied by fat grafting. Having an implant in an area of the body that you sit on day in and day out begs for complications.
“I think as a last option for volumization of the buttocks, an implant can work,” says Broumand. “It’s problematic, the recuperation is very long, the complications are significant complications… In our practice, we don’t encourage that.”
As Dr. Broumand suggests, only in extreme circumstances might a surgeon consider a buttock implant. Even then, it still may be better to not do anything at all. “I’m just like you,” explains Namnoum. “I would say buttock implantation with devices is something you should just say no to.”
At the end of the day, both young and old patients can benefit heavily from buttock augmentation. While fat grafting with BBL is more successful in younger patients because of younger tissue, the aging buttocks can certainly be addressed and improved. Patients need to remember that with the extreme excitement surrounding buttock augmentation must come extreme vetting to find a surgeon both trained and experienced to avoid complications.