BRAZILIAN BUTT LIFT (BBL) VS. EMSCULPT®
Emsculpt® approaches body contouring in a completely different way – it not only reduces excess fat, but it also focuses on an essential piece of the body sculpting equation that no other surgical or nonsurgical method addresses – increasing muscle mass. Emsculpt® is powered by high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM), which works to induce supramaximal (or forced) muscle contractions. During your Emsculpt® session, your abdominal muscles are stimulated, contracting approximately 20,000 times – the equivalent of 20,000 crunches.
Houston Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) aka Fat Transfer
A Brazilian butt lift (BBL), which is also referred to as a Safe Subcutaneous Buttock Augmentation (SSBA), is a plastic surgery procedure that is designed to enhance an individual’s buttocks. Although dermal fillers can be used to add volume to the backside, many patients opt for a Brazilian butt lift with autologous fat transfer instead. Lift Plastic Surgery’s patients choose a BBL with fat transfer over a Brazilian butt lift with dermal fillers because the patient’s own fat serves as the filler for adding volume and reshaping his or her buttocks. At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong harvest fat from areas of the patient’s body that are resistant to diet and exercise. These resistant areas include the abdominal area, thighs, waist, back and hips. Once the fat harvesting is complete, the surgeon purifies the fat before strategically injecting it into the buttocks. After a Brazilian butt lift, patients enjoy a fuller derrière and less fat in the areas used for fat harvesting.
Who Would Choose to Have a BBL in Houston?
Both men and women in the Houston area choose to have Brazilian butt lifts to address a variety of issues.
Issues patients can address with a BBL include buttocks that:
- are lacking shape.
- are flat.
- are too small and not in proportion with the rest of the patient’s body. An imbalance such as this can make it difficult for the patient to find clothing that fits well and is comfortable.
Who is a Good Candidate for a BBL with Autologous Fat Transfer?
At the patient’s initial consultation, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong determines if the patient is a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift with autologous fat transfer.
A good candidate for a Houston BBL with fat transfer is someone who:
- is a nonsmoker.
- has an adequate amount of fat to harvest.
- has enough skin in the buttocks to accept the fat grafts.
- has lost the natural shape of the buttocks due to weight fluctuations or age.
- is at a healthy weight.
- has not experienced any surgical complications or developed an infection following a surgical procedure.
- leads a healthy lifestyle.
- exercises on a regular basis.
- has an adequate amount of skin on the buttocks to accommodate the added fat.
- is also a good candidate for liposuction.
Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
A good candidate for liposuction is an individual who is at stable, maintainable weight. Ideally, the patient should be at or close to the same weight for at least six months before a Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer. In addition, the individual should not have an excessive amount of loose skin or stretch marks.
A BBL with Autologous Fat Transfer for a Patient with Very Little Fat
Patients who have very little fat on their bodies may need to have more than one BBL with fat transfer to achieve the results they desire.
Another option for someone who does not have an adequate amount of fat would be to have a Brazilian butt lift with fillers instead of autologous fat.
Brazilian Butt Lift with Fat Transfer to Address Flat Buttocks with Tight Skin
Some individuals have a flat derrière with extremely tight skin over their buttocks region. This tight skin must be able to stretch; otherwise, it will not be able to accommodate the harvested fat the surgeon injects. As long as the skin in this region will stretch an individual with these skin characteristics may still be a candidate for a BBL with fat transfer in Houston.
Sometimes to achieve the look a patient desires he or she needs another Brazilian butt lift. The surgeon performs the second BBL after the skin has had time to stretch.
A BBL with Autologous Fat or Butt Implants; Which is Better?
A Brazilian butt lift is less invasive than the procedure that is necessary to place silicone butt implants. Furthermore, after placing butt implants an implant may rotate or migrate causing it to become displaced. If this happens, the patient will most likely need to have surgery to resolve the problem.
When it comes to silicone butt implants, the chance of the patient developing an infection is higher than it is following a Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer. Furthermore, when the patient uses his or her own fat to contour and add volume to the buttocks, there are no concerns related to rejection because it is impossible for the body to reject its own fat.
Benefits of Having a BBL with Autologous Fat Transfer Instead of a BBL with Dermal Fillers
Although both dermal fillers and autologous fat work well for a Brazilian butt lift in Houston, there are several additional benefits when the patient uses his or her own fat.
Benefits of a Brazilian butt lift with autologous fat:
- The results achieved with the patient’s own fat are more dramatic than those that can be attained using dermal fillers.
- During the fat harvesting process, the plastic surgeon is usually able to contour the donor areas.
- Directly following a BBL with autologous fat the patient sees results.
- The results achieved with an autologous fat transfer look more natural than the results attained using a dermal filler.
How to Prepare for a BBL in Houston
Following the recommendations below can make a patient’s recovery much easier and healing quicker.
Preparing for a Brazilian butt lift:
- Patients need to take at least a week off work.
- To prepare for this buttock enhancement procedure patients need to avoid nicotine for at least four weeks before surgery and four weeks after. In addition, alcoholic beverages should be avoided for at least a week before and a week after.
- Patients should fill all their prescription medications before the day of their surgery.
- Wear clothing that is loose on the day of surgery and continue wearing loose clothing throughout recovery. These clothes are easier to slip on and off. In addition, the surgeons recommend loose fitting clothes because they will not restrict blood flow.
- Before surgery, purchase a donut pillow as well as the pillow that is designed for sitting on the thighs instead of on the buttocks. Patients who plan on returning to work before they have fully recovered (six weeks) should also purchase one of these thigh-sitting pillows for work and one to leave in the car.
- The patient should use a body pillow while sleeping because this pillow may help keep the patient from rolling onto his or her backside.
- Patients need to set up a comfortable place to recover, remember, there is no sitting on the derrière for at least two weeks. Keeping this in mind while creating the recovery area is essential.
- Have healthy snacks that are easy to eat on hand (e.g., raw broccoli, cauliflower, etc.).
- Have stool softeners.
- All pillows need to be easily accessible.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise before, and after a Brazilian butt lift can assist the body with the natural healing process. Furthermore, this lifestyle can help the patient maintain his or her results for a very long time, possibly indefinitely.
Healthy Diet Recommendations
Create some healthy dishes and freeze them. These can be the meals for the first few days after surgery. Having these ready ahead of time makes the first few days of recovery easier.
Eat foods like walnuts, avocados and salmon. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or sodium. Foods that are high in sodium cause water retention, which increases swelling. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout recovery.
Patients Need a Driver
For the safety of the patient, after receiving general or twilight anesthesia the patient is not permitted to drive for at least 24 hours. Therefore, patients receiving twilight or general anesthesia will need a driver on the day of their Brazilian butt lift in Houston. If a patient arrives without a driver, he or she will need to reschedule.
For-Hire Transportation Policy at Lift Plastic Surgery
At Lift Plastic Surgery, patients must not use for-hire transportation companies after having a procedure requiring general or twilight anesthesia. Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong have created this policy to ensure that their patients return home safely with someone they know and trust. Furthermore, the patient may need assistance walking up steps or unlocking the door.
A BBL in Houston: The Procedure
The Brazilian butt lift consists of three steps fat harvesting, processing of the harvested fat and injecting the processed fat into different levels of the patient’s buttocks.
Before the liposuction procedure begins; the patient receives medications to make him or her sleep.
Patients who receive general anesthesia will be in a deep sleep during their BBL with fat transfer. Additionally, since general anesthesia can cause an individual to become nauseous, patients should request medication for nausea before their liposuction procedure begins.
Patients who receive twilight anesthesia (IV sedation with local anesthesia) will not recall the procedure, but will be easy to awaken after their Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer.
If the surgeon is only transferring a small amount of fat, the patient may just need to have local anesthesia to numb the areas where the surgeon is harvesting fat.
Step One — Liposuction
Once the patient is comfortable Dr. Shitel Patel or Dr. Tuan Truong begins the procedure.
The surgeon creates tiny incisions in the fat-harvesting areas.
The surgeon carefully inserts a cannula, which is a thin hollow tube, through one of the tiny incisions.
The cannula is attached to a machine that is similar to a vacuum in that it collects the fat using suction.
The surgeon uses the cannula to carefully collect the fat. While collecting the fat, the plastic surgeon pays close attention to the amount of fat being removed from each area. This attention to detail is crucial because in order to provide the patient with beautiful contouring results the surgeon must remove the same amount of fat from each area.
Once the plastic surgeon is satisfied with the amount of fat removed, the surgeon closes the incisions with sutures.
Step Two — Purifying the Harvested Fat Cells for Injection
The surgeon takes the fat cells to the centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that spins at a high velocity. After placing the fat cells into the centrifuge and turning it on, the spinning helps separate the strong fat cells from the weak ones. It also separates the cells from any other fluids that are present (e.g., blood). Once centrifugation is complete, the surgeon takes the strong fat cells and prepares them for injection.
Step Three — Injecting the Purified Fat Cells Into the Buttocks
The surgeon makes several small incisions in the buttocks and then strategically injects the processed fat into the different layers of the patient’s buttocks.
After completing the injections, the surgeon closes the incisions with sutures.
To reduce the likelihood of bleeding following a liposuction procedure, the plastic surgeon or a recovery nurse applies a compression garment to the donor areas.
Why Do Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong Inject Extra Fat?
The grafted fat may not survive. If the fat does not survive, the body absorbs it. However, to attain the results a patient desires, he or she may need to have another BBL. To minimize the risk of their patients experiencing this fat loss, Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong of Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, inject a little extra fat into the patient’s buttocks.
What to Expect While Recovering from a BBL in Houston
After their Brazilian butt lift, patients will need to avoid sitting on their buttocks for at least two weeks. In addition, patients must sleep on their side or stomach while the buttocks heal.
Inflammation following a BBL is likely. This swelling usually lasts a few weeks.
After surgery, patients receive a compression garment to wear as the donor sites heal. Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong informs the patient how long this garment must be worn and the proper way to wear the garment. This compression garment helps keep inflammation down and promotes proper blood circulation, which is extremely beneficial during the healing process.
Patients need to avoid sitting on their buttocks for longer than 15 minutes. Nonetheless, if a patient must sit while in the car commuting or traveling, he or she should purchase a Brazilian butt lift pillow. These pillows make it possible for the individual to sit on the back of his or her thighs instead of the buttocks.
Patients should expect to feel sore and have bruises after their BBL. It usually takes about a month for people to return to the normal routine.
The results of the Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer revolve around preserving the fat cells the surgeon transfers to the buttocks. To preserve the cells, the body must create new blood vessels for them.
For a cell to live in the body it needs blood flow. During the liposuction procedure, the surgeon removes the cells from their blood vessels. However, as long as the patient refrains from sitting on his or her buttocks long enough the body is able to grow new blood vessels to supply these transferred fat cells with the nourishment they need.
How Long are the Transferred Cells Fragile?
The cells remain fragile for approximately six weeks. During these six weeks, patients should try to avoid sitting for long periods of time, otherwise, the number of fat cells that survive will decline. When a fat cell dies because it lacks nutrition, the body re-absorbs it.
Activity Level Following a Brazilian Butt Lift with Fat Transfer in Houston
For the first six to eight weeks, patients should remain active, but only perform light activities or go for a walk. Remaining active in this way promotes healthy blood flow, which helps reduce swelling. Keep in mind that Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong do not want patients doing too much too soon; therefore, patients interested in becoming more active should speak with their plastic surgeon before doing so.
Returning to Work After a BBL in Houston
Patients typically return to work after a week or two. Upon returning to work, patients find it helpful to stand or have a kneeling workstation during the recovery period, which is six weeks. Patients should purchase a BBL pillow to keep at work, in the car and at home. These pillows allow the patient to sit without applying any pressure on the buttocks.
The Results of a BBL in Houston
Once the patient reaches the three-month mark, the changes the patient sees should be the final result. These results should last indefinitely; however, if the fat transfer neglects to hold, once the healing from the first surgery is complete the patient can have another Brazilian butt lift. This is one of the reasons that choosing an experienced plastic surgeon to perform a BBL is important; it is the injection locations that determine how well the patient’s results hold.
What Could Cause BBL Results to Change?
Weight fluctuations can affect the results of a Brazilian butt lift. Gaining weight may cause an increase in the size of the patient’s buttocks; on the other hand, if a patient loses weight, the buttocks may get smaller. For this reason, maintaining a stable weight after a Brazilian butt lift can preserve the results.
If a patient applies direct pressure to the buttocks after a Brazilian butt lift, the grafted fat may be moved to a different area. This movement could cause the fat to lose its blood supply, which may result in death of the grafted fat. In addition, fat cells that are moving around in the buttocks could negatively affect the contouring results.
An Initial Consultation for a Brazilian Butt Lift with Autologous Fat Transfer in Houston
During their initial consultation at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, patients should let the plastic surgeon know what they want to accomplish. In addition, patients who take prescription medications need to provide the surgeon with information regarding these medications (i.e., dose, frequency, why it is taken). If the patient has allergies to latex or medications this should be discussed during the initial consultation.
Patients who have previously had a surgical procedure (of any kind) need to let the surgeon know about these procedures. If there were complications or a reaction to the anesthesia during any of the patient’s previous surgeries, please let the plastic surgeon know.
The surgeon may want to evaluate the areas of the patient’s body that would be used for harvesting fat.
After speaking with the patient and evaluating the potential donor sites, the surgeon will know if the patient is a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift with autologous fat transfer.
Potential Risks and Complications of the BBL
The Brazilian butt lift offers patients numerous advantages, however, just like every other plastic surgery procedure, there are risks and complications to consider.
Potential side effects of a BBL include:
- Skin loss in the treatment areas. This skin loss may result due to a deep infection or the development of necrosis.
- A fat embolism in the lungs or the heart. This complication can be serious, potentially leading to death.
- Lumps beneath the skin in areas where the plastic surgeon suctioned out or injected fat.
What Causes a Fat Embolism?
A fat embolism occurs when the surgeon injects a patient’s purified fat into one of the patient’s large veins within the buttocks. If this injected fat travels to the lungs, it causes respiratory distress, which could be fatal. For this reason, choosing an experienced plastic surgeon to perform a Brazilian butt lift with autologous fat transfer is essential to the patient’s overall safety.
How Much Does a Houston BBL Cost?
The cost of a BBL is determined during an initial consultation. Individuals in and around Houston who are interested in learning more about the Brazilian butt lift should call Lift Plastic Surgery.
Questions? Book a Consultation Now.
Contact Houston and Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeons Shitel D. Patel, MD and Tuan A. Truong, MD, FACS, FAAP:
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