A Guide to Brazilian Butt Lifts

A Brazilian Butt Lift, commonly called BBL, is a popular surgery in the UK and the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in the world. If you’re considering getting this surgery to attain your desired figure, this guide will provide you with the key information that you should know to ensure a safe procedure and optimal results.

What is a BBL?

A BBL is a surgery that adds volume to and reshapes the butt and hips using your own fat cells that have been harvested from other areas of your body. As such, it can contour multiple areas of the body by removing fat from areas such as the abdomen and adding curves and volume to the lower body. 


Many people undergo surgery to attain an hourglass figure. However, the surgery can be customised to provide you with the shape and proportions you desire. Surgeons can perform liposuction on almost all areas of the body and can transfer the fat into different parts of the butt and hips. For instance, if you want a rounder ‘bubble butt’, the surgeon will inject fat equally into the top and lower region of the butt and hips. If you’re a man who wants a BBL, the surgeon can avoid injecting the fat into the hips to create a more square-shaped butt that conforms to the masculine aesthetic. 

How is it performed?

A BBL procedure is performed under general anaesthesia or sedation and takes between 2-4 hours. The surgeon starts by performing liposuction on targeted areas of the body to extract the fat cells. This involves inserting a thin suction tube into the area through tiny incisions. Afterwards, the harvested fat will be cleaned, purified, and prepared to be injected into the butt. Finally, the surgeon will inject the fat into the butt to achieve your desired volume and shape. Typically, surgeons extract 1-2 litres of excess fat through liposuction and inject 0.5-1 litre of fat into the butt. 

What’s the recovery period like?

After surgery, you will experience some swelling, soreness, and tightness in your butt, hips, and the liposuctioned areas. These side effects should significantly dissipate in 1-2 weeks, after which most patients can resume light activities and office work. However, you are advised to wait 4-6 weeks before resuming exercises and more strenuous activities. 


You should avoid sitting down or putting pressure on your butt for the first three weeks after surgery to avoid damaging the new fat grafts. During this period, you can use a BBL pillow to help you sit down while keeping your butt elevated. 

What results can you expect?

Immediately after the surgery, your butt may appear larger than expected. This is partly due to the swelling and partly because the surgeon injects more fat grafts than needed to account for the 30-50% of fat grafts that your body absorbs during the recovery process. It takes around 3-6 months for the fat grafts to settle and connect to the blood supply in the area, after which they will become a natural part of your body. 


Additionally, during this period, any residual swelling will dissipate, and your skin will stretch to accommodate the fat grafts, thus making your results look and feel natural. After six months, most patients will have a bigger and more contoured butt, and after three months, most patients will notice the slimming effects of their liposuction surgery. 

Is it safe? 

If performed by a board-certified surgeon using appropriate surgical techniques, BBL is a safe procedure that carries the same risks as any other cosmetic surgery. Much of the fatalities and injuries associated with BBL are the result of the surgery being performed by unlicensed surgeons using unsafe methods. 


Traditionally, surgeons would inject the fat grafts into or under the muscle during a BBL, which carried a high risk of fatal fat embolisms. Most international plastic surgery societies have now banned this technique after becoming aware of its risks. Instead, surgeons use safer methods such as injecting the fat over the gluteal muscle. However, unlicensed surgeons in some countries continue to perform BBLs using outdated techniques at cheaper rates. Therefore, it’s important to choose surgeons who are board-certified, prioritise patient safety, and possess extensive training in BBL surgery.  


For some people, BBL offers a way of contouring their bodies to attain results that diet and exercise alone can’t provide. However, as an invasive and expensive surgery, it’s important to be fully informed about the procedure.  If you are considering a BBL procedure, be sure to choose a board-certified surgeon specialising in BBL surgery who will design a bespoke treatment plan for you. 

About the Author

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

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