6 Essential questions to ask before a Brazilian butt lift

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A 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:


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.

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.

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

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 ASPS, Doctorbase, RealSelf, etc.

Wondering if a Brazilian butt lift is right for you?

I am a board certified plastic surgeon, boarded by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and I have been in practice for more than 25 years. I am also a member of the Gluteal Safety Task force, which issues recommendations for safe Brazilian butt lift procedures. Contact Us to schedule your in-office or virtual consultation. Or just give us a call at 410-494-8100! Note: Virtual consults can also be used to get second opinions.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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74 thoughts on “6 Essential questions to ask before a Brazilian butt lift”

  • Madeline Frets says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I’m considering doing laser lipo for my abdomen and re-depositing it to the buttocks area. I currently live in New Jersey but work in NY, the financial district. Do you have an office in either location? If not, can you recommend someone? And how much time should I give myself before going back to work? I weight 138lb. I am a Senior Admin. Thank you, Madeline
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Madeline: Whatever you do, don't get laser lipo to redeposit cells in the buttocks. Laser lipo does severe thermal damage to the cells and kills most of them through a process called apoptosis (the cells kill themselves when they are too damaged). I only have an office in Baltimore. Unfortunately I cannot recommend anyone in NYC. Most people are doing large particle extractions. Large fat particles survive partially so a lot of volume if lost and if you are unlucky precipitate inflammatory or scarring reactions. Contact our office- leeza@cosmeticsurg.net for more info.
  • Madeline Frets says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I'm considering doing laser lip for my abdomen and re-depositing it to the buttocks area. I currently live in New Jersey but work in NY, the financial district. Do you have an office in either location and how much time should I give myself before going back to work? I am a Senior Admin. Thank you, Madeline
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Madeline: We are in Baltimore but have many patients from New York, the west coast, etc. Even Europe and Asia. Please, whatever you do, do not do laser lipo if you are to use the fat for grafting. There is a lot of experimental and clinical evidence that laser energy damages the fat graft and can lead to complications. At the very least it greatly reduces the chances of graft volume retention. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net for more info.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ana: Call the office at 410 494-8100 during office hours as we are running a special during February and March. You can also email Leeza at 410 494-8100
  • Ivy D. Pabon says:

    I visited you for a consult and you gave me good consultation except I'm a low income parent of three. And unfortunately have had to apply go SSD for migraines, chronic back ache..... my surgeon in york pa feels I'm good candidate for the pandoliptomy which he is confident that would be covered under my gateway insurance. I just want to put it all on the table to see if your able to help. I was hoping that you participated a portion of your practice for Government low income program. I thank you for taking the time to read this post and attention to this matter. Ivy pabon 717-814-1040 pabonid@gmail.com
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ivy: If your surgeon is confident you would be covered by your gateway insurance, he is your best bet. I do charity work in Armenia with people who are very poor and have NO options, not even gateway insurance. Here in the US we decided a long time ago to abstain COMPLETELY from insurance coverage because of the requirements to certify my surgicenter with insurance companies.
  • Olivia says:

    Hello ? I have a question about BBL, I am a bbw who loves her curves and I’m becoming a plus size model. My biggest insecurity is my butt and I would love to try BBL to fulfill my curves. But what is the weight limit in order to get a BBL? And would the weight or how much fat that would be removed would effect the cost?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Olivia: I answered you question at another blog post, but the procedure I talked about was the "B'More Butt Lift" where we reshape the midsection to to create a Waist to Hip ratio that is more desirable. Check out our web page here
  • Olivia says:

    Hello ? I have a question about BBL, I am a bbw who loves her curves and I'm becoming a plus size model. My biggest insecurity is my butt and I would love to try BBL to fulfill my curves. But what is the weight limit in order to get a BBL?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Olivia: There is no weight limit, there is a BMI (Body Mass Index) limit of 40 in my practice. If you google BMI you will get many websites where you input your height and weight and it calculates the BMI for you. As for the butt itself and your aspirations to become a model, the most important consideration is waist to hip ratio. A waist to hip ratio of .7 is considered ideal and attractive even if you are skinny, mid weight, or heavy set. Many heavier patients don't really need a BBL as they have enough mass there already, they just need a thorough lip of the midsection to arrive at that ideal .7 waist to hip ratio. Take a look at our website to get more info on this technique.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Heather: Kelly will help you set it up. We can use Skype or FaceTime. Looking forward to it!
  • Tammara Littleton says:

    I'm thinking of getting a bbl so if you will give me more info and the overall cost of the procedure
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Tamara: Sorry about the delay, I don't check the blog daily. I will have Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net get in contact with you. Thanks for your interest!
  • Rosa says:

    I recently had lipo done upper/lower Abdomen, flanks and bra area. Which was supposed to be transferred to my buttocks, looking at the before and after pictures I don't see a significant difference. Meaning my Ass still flat and still have large amount of belly fat. I was told only 2liters of fat was removed and only 1 liter of fat was re-injected to my behind... I do not know if he was in a rush to do another surgery but there should be no reason why I look the same after paying $9500. We spoke about the surgery might cause dissatisfaction due to my stomach hanging, and would have to get a tummy tuck next and that was my only concern... Not still having a flat ass... do I have reasons to Sue???
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rosa: Unfortunately, you stand very little chance of succeeding with a lawsuit. There was no damage to your health. But if you are so dissatisfied get a second opinion, there are some good surgeons that can get you a great result.
  • Sara says:

    Hi I want to get a BBL, will i get any scars if I do this procedure and if so where would the scars be? I wear a size 4/6 dress size, so I'm not too big but I don't have a toned upper body since my chest size is 32G. So can I go to gym for a couple months before I get the surgery so I can be toned for the new bum or is it better to keep all my fat for the fat transfer.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sara: The scars are minimal and hard to see. They are about 1/4 of an inch and are hidden in creases in the body such as the buttock folds or breast folds. Your best bet is to be at your normal weight or at a weight you feel comfortable. But being in shape, not necessarily losing weight is very good for surgical recovery. I will let Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net know about your case.
  • Yolanda says:

    I had a consultation that wasn't with the actual doctor. She told me that this procedure would take about 3 and half hours long and they do PRP. Does that change anything or should it still be longer then 3 and half hours. When I asked if they ever had a client not happy and wanted a redo she said it's never happen. Also she couldn't answer any other questions regarding how it's done and what types of tools they use. Are these red flags ?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Yolanda: Of course they are red flags. If the surgeon will not see you now what do you think will happen after you have paid your money and you have a problem? Anybody who is doing a Brazilian Butt Lift in 3 1/2 hours is taking shortcuts in my opinion.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Alejandra: We have done this a couple of times. Yes it is possible. Contact Kelly if you want more info or a virtual consult for an at length discussion with me.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Tricia: It all depends in your overall state of health. But if you are in good health it should not be a problem. We use Total Intravenous Analgesia (TIVA) which is a lot safer than intubation general anesthesia. I will have Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net contact you.
  • Jessenia says:

    how much fat is ideal to harvest for maximum results the first time? I am 5'3 and about 115 lbs of lean muscle except for my abs. I strength train 3-4 days a week but want some lipo for stubborn fat on my abs, but feel like I might not have enough for a Brazilian butt lift.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jessenia: There is no "ideal" amount of fat to harvest. A better question for you to ask yourself is are you comfortable at that weight or are you struggling to keep it because you don't like how you look with a few extra pounds on? If you are, its better to just eat what you like and be comfortable and let your weight "normalize". Do not try to "gain weight", just do what feels normal and comfortable for you. That will be more than enough fat for me to use in a Brazilian butt lift. The "extra fat" will then be in your butt, not in your belly or other places you don't want it. That is why it's so great! The best way for me to help you is if you set up a virtual consult with Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net that way we can talk directly and I can look at pictures, etc.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Hope: I cannot say that all the dimples will disappear, but the appearance in general will improve. It also depends on the reason for the dimples. Did you lose a lot of weight recently? That requires a different strategy than just fat injections. Contact Kelly for more info at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net Hope to hear from you soon?
  • Anonymous says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I would like to have a Brazillian Butt lift done. I am about 135 lbs and 5"2 Can you give me a ballpark cost of what the cost would be including all additional fees such as anesthesia, overnight stay etc? Thank you,
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sorry for the delay in answering. I will let Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net know about you so she can connect with you and answer questions about pricing and logistics. As far as your weight and height I think it is fine for Brazilian Butt Lift. Some of my best results have been in women that fit your profile.
  • Lashawn says:

    Hi I would like more information about how much it would cost for BBL. Tummy tuck liposuction to the stomach flanks and back thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lashawn: I will let Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net know about you so she can connect and give you info on price. In the meantime take a look at the rest of my blog in the area dedicated to fat grafting and Butt lifts for more on how I process fat. Fat Grafting is incredibly technique dependent. Hope to hear from you soon!
  • lora maldonado says:

    HI Dr. Rodriguez my name is Lora Maldonado i am a post bariatric patient that has lost 85 lbs! i am at 181 but i believe i have roughly 20 lbs of residual fat and skin I want the following procedures and i would like to consult with you I live in NYC and I am looking for a good Dr. good results with out overpaying because i am on a budget but the appearance of my new body has me in a great depression. Extended Tummy Tuck (vertical scar) Breast augmentation with lift ( if needed) and Fat Transfer to buttocks and hips ( most amount of fat possible) i would like pricing estimate if possible
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lora: If you are on a budget, the best option for you would be to go to one of the University Medical Centers near you like NYU, Cornell, or Columbia.They have "Resident Clinics" where senior level residents operate under the supervision of Professors. You can contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net if you are interested in pricing information but If you are serious I would prefer a virtual consult where I can see pictures and then give you a more educated guess as to what the best procedures would be for you. Congratulations on the weight loss! Don't worry about "the new body", think about how you will make it better.
  • Lisa says:

    Dr. Rodriguez, my question is: are you able to be awake during surgery by using a local anastasia? And, would the results be better? I saw a doctor on utube performing the procedure, the patient was fully alert. I am a healthy 45yr.old, I am 5'1" and weight 120lbs.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lisa: I do not know who that doctor is or what YouTube you saw so I cannot offer comments on his technique. The amount of fat and liposuction needed to get a successful Brazilian Butt Lift is not trivial. We do the procedure under IV Sedation, but the patient does not usually remember anything. The amount of local anesthetic needed for liposuction in these cases can in itself be very painful. If the patient is not comfortable the liposuction itself may not be the best it can be.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Danisha: Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net for pricing information. Thank you for your interest!
  • Rhiann says:

    I would like to consider a BBL and have questions regarding cost and time. Please email me. Thank-you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rhiann: I apologize for the delay. This blog is mostly for informational purposes, so I don't check it every week. I will put Kelly kelly@cosmeticsurg.net in contact with you or you can email her. Thank you for your patience!
  • Keisha says:

    WOW!!!!! So much good information I am 41 years old and I have been looking and looking and looking my concerns Dr. Rodriguez is the smoothness of the skin, meaning appearance wise....... A very good point that you stated how the hold overall shape of the body looks not just how big the butt is. I am speaking in reference to a BBL and also concerns with pain and down time, although I am wondering if paying more gets good results. Have you heard of Dr. Aaron Rollings in Beverly Hills being awake while the percedure is done and back to normal activities in 24 to 48 hours and having a tool no one else has along with numbing medicine on top of the skin is it possible. My thing is I really like the work that I am seeing from you as well as the detailed information that is giving about the precedeurs. Thank you for any comments that you have.....
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Keisha: Anything that sounds too good to be true (awake, back to normal activities 24-48 hrs, having a tool NO ONE ELSE has) is probably hokum. The procedure is very technically demanding and requires careful post operative observation. We put out a lot of information because this is not magic- it is a lot of hard work and attention to detail. Would you have work done on your house by somebody who says he can do it really quick with this tool nobody else has? We would love to talk to you. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net for more info.
  • Melanie says:

    Dr. Rodriguez Sorry for the typos in my last post. I meant to say "for those who are seeking to have the BBL done". :-)
  • Melanie says:

    Dr. Rodriguez, Thank you for sharing vital information to who are seeking to have the BBL done. Most people do not "ask" the pertinent questions to ensure the safety and professionalism of the physician. You have educated me with the tools that will give me the confidence in not only having the procedure done, but knowing that my self-esteem in addition will flourish. I am located in NYC do you have an office near by? Do you offer some kind of residence (after the surgery) for people from out of town? Please advise
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Melanie: We do have a lot of patients from out of town. I would recommend you talk to Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net. She can give you a range of options as far as lodging. You can contact her at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net Looking forward to hearing from you!
  • Asia says:

    What is the youngest adult you worked on and is there a website where you can look up to make sure a doctor is board certified and I'm interested in a consultation
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Asia: I have operated on people of all ages, including children for different reasons. If you mean the youngest patient I have done a Brazilian Butt lift, the age was 19. The general rule is that for patients under the age of 18 we need the approval of a parent or legal guardian. I will let Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net know of your interest.
  • mya says:

    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
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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
  • Sue says:

    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?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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 nasal surgery.
  • Maly says:

    Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez, 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.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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.
  • Olga says:

    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.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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!
  • kendra bailey says:

    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:)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

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

    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.
  • Rose A says:

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

    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!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      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.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

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