The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) procedure has come a long way from its controversial beginnings. This increasingly popular surgery, which involves transferring fat from one area of the body to enhance the buttocks and hips, has evolved with improved safety measures and refined techniques. Dr. Steven Williams, a renowned plastic surgeon based in Oakland, California, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), attests to the enhanced safety of BBLs, emphasizing the importance of consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon for the best possible outcome.
The Evolution of BBL Surgery
Dr. Williams highlights the significant reduction in reported dangers associated with BBL surgery over the years, thanks to increased surgeon education and training. Compared to the past, the number of serious complications has substantially decreased. However, he underscores the importance of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for a safe and successful procedure.
Navigating the Recovery Process
Recovery after a BBL involves a specific set of guidelines to support optimal results. Three board-certified plastic surgeons who regularly perform BBLs shed light on the recovery journey.
Phase 1: Initial Recovery (Approximately Five Days)
Dr. Chris Funderburk, a New York City-based plastic surgeon with extensive BBL experience, describes recovery in three phases. During the initial phase, which spans the first four to five days after surgery, patients are advised to rest and limit physical activity. Gentle walking within the home or local neighborhood is encouraged to aid in recovery.
Phase 2: Compression Garments (Minimum One Month)
Dr. Williams explains that a BBL combines liposuction with fat grafting, and the recovery is similar to other liposuction procedures. Patients may experience mild to moderate pain during this phase and often require pain medication for the first few days. Dr. Funderburk advocates the use of compression garments to reduce swelling. Patients are encouraged to wear these garments 24/7, with exceptions for showering, during the first month, and at least 12 hours a day during the second month.
Phase 3: Sitting Restrictions
Maintaining the results of a BBL involves avoiding prolonged pressure on the buttocks for the first six weeks after surgery. Dr. Funderburk emphasizes the importance of adhering to these restrictions, even for activities like sitting. Patients are advised to use a specialized "BBL pillow," a discreet and triangular cushion that redistributes pressure away from the buttocks. This tool facilitates everyday activities while safeguarding the results of the procedure.
Proper rest is essential for a successful recovery. Patients are initially instructed to sleep on their stomachs, and this position should be maintained until approved by their surgeon. For those who find it uncomfortable to sleep on their stomachs, alternative solutions like a "BBL pillow" or specially designed cushions can provide comfort.
Dr. Williams notes that patients will notice immediate improvements in contour after the surgery, both in liposuctioned areas and in areas receiving fat grafts. There is a second phase of visible results during which the body tightens and experiences swelling reduction. By month three, the risk of fat loss from the buttocks diminishes, and the size and shape indicate the likely long-term outcome. Over the following months, the shape further refines, and curves become more apparent.
Considering a Second BBL
Despite following post-surgery guidelines, nature can affect the results. Dr. Funderburk explains that approximately 60% of the transferred fat survives, with the remaining 40% naturally absorbed by the body. As a result, some patients opt for a second BBL procedure to address contour irregularities or seek additional enhancement. The success of fat retention varies, making some patients return to their plastic surgeon for further adjustments.
In conclusion, the Brazilian Butt Lift has evolved into a safer and more refined procedure. By adhering to proper recovery guidelines and consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon, patients can achieve the desired results while minimizing risks and complications.