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CosmeticSurg Blog

Dr. Rodriguez discusses Plastic Surgery, Medicine, and Stem Cell Research

6 Essential Questions to Ask Before a Brazilian Butt Lift

woman with questionsA lot of surgeons now are beginning to perform Brazilian Butt Lifts. Fat grafting is a highly technique-dependent procedure, and some surgeons are having more success than others. Unfortunately, most surgeons do not see other surgeons’ work so it is hard for them to compare results. But you can!

The information you can get from asking these questions will help you pick the best surgeon!

  1. ARE YOU BOARD CERTIFIED, AND BY WHO?

    The first question you should always ask when consulting with a plastic surgeon prior to any cosmetic surgery procedure is, very specifically, “Are you Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?”.

    There are many surgeons who are Board certified in other specialties, or who are certified in cosmetic surgery by boards that are not accredited by the American Board of Medical Specialties. They take advantage of patients’ lack of information to appear like they are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but they are not. Read more about the difference. If they are not being transparent about this, should you trust them?!

  2. HOW MANY BRAZILIAN BUTT LIFTS HAVE YOU PERFORMED?

    Be sure to get an actual answer. Likewise, your surgeon should be able to show you before and after pictures of at least 10 good results, preferably with some different body types in the mix. There should be some slender cases, some mid body types, and some heavy body types. This shows the surgeon has experience with difficult cases and you have a better chance of finding a body type you can identify with.

  3. HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE PROCEDURE?

    You want to have the surgeon explain his technique so that you understand how he performs the procedure. The Brazilian Butt Lift has 3 distinct parts: Liposuction, Fat Processing, and Fat Reinjection. Each component’s process is critical to the success of the entire surgery:

    1. Liposuction

      The fat removal via liposuction should be done with a fine thin cannula to get smooth even liposuction results. Typically, a total of three areas of liposuction are performed. If a large cannula is used, the fat will come out faster, but the liposuction results may not be smooth. Therefore, the use of a thin cannula will make the procedure longer, but the results should be better!. The liposuction should be done at low suction pressure to preserve the delicate fat cells.

    2. Fat Processing

      The fat should be centrifuged at low gravity forces for brief periods of time. If not, debris, and unhealthy or dead cells will be mixed in with good cells used for reinjection into your buttocks, and the fat will not last.

    3. Fat Reinjection

      The fat should be reinjected using small cannulas in minute quantities, the so called micro droplet technique. This ensures that the result will last long term. If the fat is injected in large bunches (instead of small quantity injections), it will not take permanently.

  4. HOW LONG WILL MY SURGERY TAKE?

    Because of the meticulous way the fat has to be extracted (liposuction),  processed, and reinjected to get a permanent result, the surgery is time consuming. Typically, a Brazilian Butt Lift will take 5-8 hours. Overall, it depends on the amount of liposuction performed (to get the most fat) and the amount of fat to be reinjected into your buttocks. A general guideline is:

    1. Liposuction of 3 areas: minimum 2-3 hours
    2. Fat processing: varies and can be done simultaneously
    3. Fat Reinjection: minimum 2-3 hours

    how long does the surgery take?

    Dr. Rodriguez

    You want to have a feel for time in surgery because shortcuts compromise quality resulting in less predictable results. If a surgeon quotes anything less than 4 hours, he’s probably taking significant shortcuts. If performed by one plastic surgeon, it is typical for the procedure to last 5-8 hours. Typical shortcuts which can compromise results are:

    • harvesting the fat with large cannulas (instead of thin cannulas)
    • not centrifuging the fat (to separate the debris, unhealthy, or dead cells)
    • injecting the fat into the buttocks too fast or in large quantities

    Any of those shortcuts can result in poor surgical outcome, or the results may not last. Furthermore, if someone is assisting your surgeon with the liposuction or fat injecting, he/she should be a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon as well. A surgical tech should not be doing the liposuction or the fat injections! So make sure you know who is performing all parts of the surgery.

  5. WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF THE BEST RESULT FOR ME?

    You should expect the surgeon to address how your whole body looks, not just enlarge the butt. The waist to hip ratio is very important, so I also pay attention to the hips and I discuss with the patient if she will want fat injected into this area. Too many patients focus on volume of fat retention or how many cc’s they want rather than what looks good. Remember, the objective is to have a great looking body, not just a big butt. Ask the surgeon to describe what he thinks will produce the best result for you, specifically, paying attention to your whole body, not just your booty.

  6. WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD THAT I WILL NEED A REVISION OR TOUCH UP? COST?

    This is the acid test. If a surgeon tells you that you might need a touch-up, you can count on it. If the surgeon is vague about redos, he probably has had to do more than he would like to admit.

    Touch-ups and redos become necessary because the fat is reabsorbed, which is caused most frequently by taking shortcuts in technique. After over 200 cases of large volume (over 400cc per buttock) Brazilian Butt Lifts, I have not had a single patient who has needed a redo because of a graft loss. Over ten years, the only few patients who returned for more surgery, were satisfied patients who had gained weight since their original surgery, and wanted more fat injected, for an even bigger result.

    The surgeon or his staff should have a clear policy for billing touch-ups/ redos and you should know what it is. A low cost Brazilian Butt Lift is no bargain if you need a redo!

So, that wraps up the questions you should be asking if you’re considering a Brazilian Butt Lift. Make sure you get answers to those essentials during your consultation. The plastic surgeon will appreciate your diligence and attention to detail. If not, find another surgeon. In fact, I would also add another valuable piece of information to consider prior to choosing any Doctor, and that is to check out the Doctor’s reviews. The Doctor and his staff believe in their own capabilities, but reviews let you know what previous patients have experienced. Useful places to get patient reviews include Doctorbase, RealSelf, etc.

By Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Baltimore, Maryland
Ricardo L Rodriguez on Google +

Posted in Butt

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18 Comments

  • wrote
    November 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Mya:
    Unfortunately, I do not operate in Begium.
    But we do have many European patients who fly here for surgery. If you are interested, contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net
    Thanks for your interest!

  • wrote
    November 2, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Hi Dr.Rodriguez,

    I have a question about brazilian butt lift,
    For so long i want a fuller buttocks with help of my own fat, but its really difficult of finding a good doctor in my country (Belgium) because they are not well trained for doing such a procejure i was wondering if you also do surgery in Europe?

    Sorry for my bad english :)

    Greetings

  • wrote
    September 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Mary:
    We are located in Baltimore, Maryland
    We will let Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg know of your interest.
    Thank you for your interest! We do a lot of out of town patients

  • wrote
    September 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    What city is Dr. Rodriquez in. How much does fat transfer to the buttox cost.

  • wrote
    July 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Sue:
    I cannot recommend anyone as I do not know the local scene at those places. I doubt there is much advanced fat grafting in Asia. Most Plastic surgeons there are proficient at eyelid surgery and nasa surgery.

  • wrote
    July 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Maly:
    We have plenty of patients from out of town- as a matter of fact, almost 30% of patients are from out of town.
    If you want we can do a virtual consultation, call Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net for details. There is a consultation fee.

  • wrote
    July 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you for posting this! Extremely helpful! I’ll be going to Singapore for a month and was looking into getting the Brazilian Buttlift in either Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand. Cost, professionalism, and recovery time is extremely important to me. How would I go about finding a reliable certified doctor and what is the recovery time I can expect post surgery?

  • wrote
    July 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Olga:
    Your worries are well placed. Internal Medicine doctors do not receive ANY surgical training. Slim Lipo with Laser has not been around 13 years. Laser lipo damages the fat cells so reinjecting the damaged cells back into the buttocks is a crazy idea. Regarding the pictures, an old saying is “a photographer is known for what he shows, not for all the pictures he takes” That doctor may be showing you his best cases. I will have Kelly contact you to see if you would be interested in a virtual consult. But no matter what you do, go to a board certified Plastic Surgeon. Would you have an Internal Medicine Doctor operate on your heart? No way!

  • wrote
    June 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Ricardo, I would love a free consultation with you. You seem so far the best one but the only thing is live in Orlando close to winter park. I would like to know if you have an office here.

  • wrote
    June 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I’m 54 yrs old and worried my skin won’t retract and tighten up. There is an MD in internal medicine who performs slimlipo with laser so it supposedly helps to tighten the skin and then he transfers fat to buttocks. Do you think this is an ok procedure? His before after pictures and reviews look great. My worry is he is not board certified plastic surgeon. He’s been doing it though for 13 yrs without problems.

  • wrote
    January 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Kendra:
    I hope this works for you.
    BTW I have operated on patients fro as far away as Hawaii and Singapore

  • wrote
    December 28, 2013 at 2:29 am

    thank you so much for posting these questions!! I live in Hawaii and am considering this procedure, but didn’t know what to ask when I go on a consultation. I wish I was on the mainland now, though so I could come to you. Thanks again:)

  • wrote
    September 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Thank you for the excellent advice and for the great list of questions to ask a plastic surgeon. I have been considering this procedure for a while, but haven’t moved forward with it yet.

  • wrote
    September 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Dennece:
    If you can’t find anybody, call us, we’ll be happy to take care of you! We do lots of out of town patients.
    Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net if you are interested.

  • wrote
    September 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Great advice, I will definitely ask myself these questions before talking to a surgeon about getting a butt lift. Thanks!

  • wrote
    July 14, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Thank you for this information! I live in Oklahoma and am currently looking for a Plastic Surgeon to perfome this surgery. I am also hoping the surgon will ba able to widen my hips as I have broad shoulders and back with narrow hips and thin legs! I am hoping for a more balance look. Thank you again, very informative and eye opening!

  • wrote
    June 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I will put you in contact with Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net
    Thanks for contacting us!

  • wrote
    June 11, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I would like to go ahead with the consultation!