What is the recovery period for the Brazilian butt lift?

Today I would like to answer questions that Andrene asks regarding the Brazilian butt lift recovery period.

Submitted on 2009/01/31 at 8:38pm from Andrene
My questions have to do with the two to three week recovery period after the Brazilian butt lift. If you cannot sit directly on your butt, will bending over, squatting and stretching your butt damage the fat injections? Or if you kneel down and then lightly rest your butt on your heels (with the majority of your weight on your knees) will that also cause indentations in the new fat? Won’t the compression garments flatten out the “new” and improved butt? Or should you wear one of those garments that have the butt cut out and missing? thanks so much.

The recovery period for the Brazilian butt lift is 3 weeks. If you sit sooner than that it can prevent some of the fat grafts from surviving.

A pre op Brazilian butt lift patient.

Sitting during the recovery period is harmful to the new fat grafts because it exerts a tremendous crushing pressure, up to 400 pounds per square inch in some areas, on these tender cells and tissues. Even the areas that are not crushed are under such pressure that blood flow is shut off.

Squatting and stretching are not as bad as sitting, but they can place significant shear and tear stress on the tissues. The blood vessels that keep the cells alive and the grafts themselves are held together by a mesh of tissue called the extracellular matrix. This matrix is composed of protein rods and cells that link together. In the beginning it’s a gel like structure. It can get deformed by folds in the garment or constant low grade pressure. This matrix is only 50% as strong as its going to be at the 1 month post op. This is why stretching, squatting, etc., is not ideal in the early postop period.

A compression garment is very helpful during the recovery because the low compression prevents tissue swelling. Tissue swelling is the enemy of good healing. The pressure is not nearly enough to crush tissues or shut off circulation. A compression garment with the buttocks cutout would be the exact wrong thing as it would allow swelling in the buttocks and prevent drainage into the surrounding areas. As a matter of fact, it would milk swelling from the surrounding tissues into the uncompressed buttocks.

Why 3 weeks then? These are the key things that must happen for a fat graft to be successful:

  • Blood supply must reach the fat graft before it runs out of nutrients.
  • Blood vessels must get incorporated into the graft successfully.
  • All the tissues- fat grafts, blood supply, and surrounding tissues must be knit together successfully by the extracellular matrix.

It takes 3-4 days for the blood vessels to grow into the fat grafts. During the new few days, the blood vessels begin to strengthen. The extracellular matrix surrounding the fat graft takes another 2-3 weeks to reach enough strength to withstand minor stresses.

plan for 3 weeks of no sitting

– Dr Rodriguez

This is why 3 weeks is the earliest a patient can begin stressing the tissues. A patient should plan for 3 weeks mostly of rest on her stomach or sides, getting up occasionally to limber up the muscles, but avoid things that place stress on the healing tissues.

The three week recovery is important in achieving the best possible long lasting result. Sitting on your buttocks during the first or second week will likely prevent some fat graphs from taking, resulting in a less prominent buttocks which you could have had by not sitting.

If you are interested in the Brazilian Butt Lift, see our before & after photo gallery to see how this procedure will transform your body and contact us to schedule your consultation!

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 a complimentary in-office consultation or consider a virtual consultation for just $75 (which gets applied to your surgery when you book). 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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