Buttock augmentation has been by far the fastest-growing request in my Toronto plastic surgery practice over the last 4 or 5 years, and there is no doubt that Kim Kardashian’s derrière has helped promote this trend.
Options for buttock augmentation include fat grafting, the Brazilian butt lift (BBL), buttock implants, a combination of both implants and fat grafting for butt and “hip dip” enhancement, and non-surgical augmentation with various fillers.
Every procedure comes with its potential complications and patients must weigh the pros and cons for each option.
Fat grafting is a great procedure if you have a good amount of fat available. It repurposes unwanted fat tissue and “recycles” it to areas needing volume. About 50 to 60% of the tissue will realistically survive assuming the fat was of good quality and the technique was done meticulously and without rush. There is no such a thing as a 2-hour fat grafting BBL. My BBL takes 3,5 to 5 hours to perform efficiently, correctly, and safely. If you don’t have a lot of fat to give, this is not an ideal option for you.
Buttock implants are an option for those with less fat volume available. However, these can feel firm and can be associated with wound separation, seroma formation, asymmetry, and infection when the post-op instructions are not tightly followed. For this reason, many patients opt for non-surgical fillers.
Traditionally, Sculptra has been used for its collagen-triggering effect. Sculptra is 4% poly-L-lactic acid (a common dissolving component of our dissolving stitch material) and 96% liquid. The injection of Sculptra triggers collagen production, generating new added volume. This normally requires 3 treatments, 2 months apart each. Younger people will, on average, produce more collagen. Immunosuppressed patients, older patients or patients undergoing chemotherapy may not produce as much collagen. Because Sculptra is mostly liquid, there are no noticeable changes for several months, at which point collagen production becomes clinically evident.
It has been shown that all other fillers, such as our hyaluronic acid fillers, also trigger collagen generation following injection. The use of Juvederm VOLUMA® or Restylane VOLYME® has demonstrated a similar collagenesis (collagen synthesis) and therefore a similar volume augmentation in our patients, and this can be obtained with 1 or 2 procedures. The hyaluronic acid will dissipate over 15 to 18 months, but the collagen will remain.
The Experience and Cost
The non-surgical filler alternative does not require downtime. It is done in our office under topical anesthesia. I generally instruct patients not go to the gym for a few days. When using fillers, we recommend not lying on the buttocks for 3 to 5 days. Complications such as granuloma or vascular injury are very rare. Bruises are possible for 3 to 10 days, but rare with the use of the cannula technique.
The main issue with non-surgical options is cost, as butt enhancement requires a very large amount of either Sculptra, VOLUMA or VOLYME. Also, although the collagen will not dissipate, you may feel you are losing some volume once the hyaluronic acid has melted, so you may require a second augmentation 1,5 to 2 years later.
If you’re ready to learn more about Brazilian butt lifts or other buttock augmentation options in Toronto, please contact us to request a consultation using the online form. You can also call our plastic surgery office at (416) 929-9800 (Yorkville) to schedule an appointment.