The Brazilian Butt Lift: What Is It?
A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) involves the transfer of fat from other parts of the body to the butt, creating a fuller, rounder appearance. For the procedure, a doctor uses liposuction to remove fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs and lower back. The fat is purified and injected into the butt, reshaping the lower body.
A BBL is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and you will likely experience some swelling, but post-procedure pain is usually minimal for most patients. There are obvious restrictions focused on certain sitting and sleeping positions for some weeks after the procedure.
The effects of a Brazilian butt lift are long term—the fat cells remain in their new location—but significant weight fluctuations may alter the results. The cost of the BBL ranges from $2,000 to $12,000, but the average falls between $4,500 and $6,500.
Why a Brazilian butt lift?
Scientifically speaking, people get a Brazilian butt lift because of evolution (whether they know it or not). Studies have shown that the shape and size of a female’s butt affects a male’s attraction—it’s actually not butt size, but spinal curvature. A greater curvature, which makes the butt protrude more, meant a female was better able to forage while pregnant without risk of spinal injury. The curvature was also an indication that the woman was likely able to bear multiple children.
Whatever the reason, in the 21st century, the full-size butt definitely became a trend. Celebrities have glorified the look of a tiny waist and voluptuous hips and butt. Brazilian butt lift procedures rose by 90 percent from 2015 to 2019, topping more than 34,000 procedures in the United States. Women might choose the procedure to boost confidence and correct imbalances with body proportions that make them self-conscious or uncomfortable in certain clothing styles.
Risks & benefits
While less invasive than silicone implants, the Brazilian butt lift still has some serious risks, such as infection, lumps, scarring, loss of skin due to deep infection and pulmonary fat embolism (PFE), which can be fatal. Fatality rates for the BBL are 1 in 3,000, significantly higher than for other aesthetic surgical procedures. Additionally, some of the injected fat may not stick—your body will basically break it down and get rid of it—necessitating a second procedure.
Impact on sexual health
If you’re struggling with body confidence, that struggle is likely to have a profoundly negative effect on your sex life. You may be anxious about dating, or nervous about undressing in front of someone for the first time. Even with a long-term partner, you may still be self-conscious, especially if your body has changed over time, such as after pregnancy, with age or from weight gain.
Multiple studies show that increasing one’s self-esteem can improve one’s sex life and sexual satisfaction. However, while a BBL may help with confidence, it won’t eliminate any insecurities. At the end of the day, if low self-esteem seriously impacts your life, you should seek counseling.
The Brazilian butt lift isn’t the only way to change the size and look of your butt. Other forms of gluteal augmentation use artificial “fillers” or implants, like those used in breast augmentation.
While their results may be less permanent, some exercise techniques can increase the size of your butt muscles, including the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Try adding sprints, stair-stepping and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts to your gym routine.
Considerations for a Brazilian butt lift
Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who has specific training in the BBL procedure. Ask to see before-and-after photos of patients, and focus on people whose body shape is similar to yours, for a realistic idea of how your results may look.
Talk to friends, family or a partner(s) for support and guidance. Read online posts from patients, including those with both positive and negative experiences.
Ask yourself why you’re interested. Is it because you feel pressured by your partner or societal expectations? The decision is ultimately yours, but the procedure won’t fix a relationship or resolve all your insecurities. At the end of the day, your body is your own, and what happens to it is your decision—including adding a little oomph to your booty.