Gluteoplasty (Butt lift)
Loss of skin elasticity in the buttock and upper outer thigh is a problem that can be seen with increasing age or after significant weight loss. It is very common after massive weight loss following bariatric surgery. Patients with collagen-elastic disease states may also have abnormal laxity in the perigluteal region.
The primary method to tighten the skin of the perigluteal regions by lifting and excising redundant tissue is called a Gluteoplasty or Butt Lift. A Gluteoplasty can describe several procedures including gluteal implant placement, a Brazilian butt lift with fat grafting, as well as a standard butt lift of sagging tissues.
The most common way this is performed is by an incision that extends across the entire lower back from hip bone to hip bone. This technique allows for removal of excess skin and fat below this level while simultaneously lifting the sagging tissues in the lower buttocks and upper outer thigh. There are variants of this technique that use a less extensive incision but will give less dramatic results. One called a butterfly butt lift involves slightly shorter incisions placed more toward the center of the buttock and along the intergluteal crease. Your cosmetic surgeon will review your situation and recommend the appropriate incision type for you.
Who is a Candidate
- Men and women with moderate to severe skin laxity of the buttock and upper outer thigh.
- Men and women who are post massive weight loss from bariatric surgery or dieting.
- Men and women who are in good health.
- Improved contour and aesthetic appearance of the buttock and upper outer thigh.
- Decreased skin laxity of the perigluteal skin.
- Butt lifting is usually performed in an accredited office facility, outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital.
- The surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia but may be performed under local anesthesia with conscious sedation.
- Liposuction may be performed above the incision in the hip region if excess fat is present but is typically not performed in the buttock during the lift.
- The surgeon usually makes an incision across the low back from hip bone to hip bone. A less involved reduction may have a shorter incision.
- Hanging skin and fat in the buttock is undermined and elevated to a new position using internal sutures.
- Excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with sutures.
- Drains are often used to decrease the chance for fluid collection beneath the elevated tissue.
- An elastic compression garment is often placed immediately following surgery.
- This is usually worn for 3-4 weeks.
Recuperation and Healing
- Recovery may be at home with a responsible adult, in a recovery facility or overnight in the hospital.
- A compression garment (girdle) may be worn off and on for approximately 2-4 weeks.
- Bruising and swelling are normal and may take several weeks to resolve.
- Many surgeons may require lying on your stomach rather than your back for the first several weeks.
- Areas of numbness of the outer buttock and thigh are normal and usually resolve within 8-12 months
- External sutures or staples, if used, are removed within two weeks.
- Drains are usually removed within 7 days following the procedure.
- The incisions can be treated with scar creams and ointments.
- The scar will take 8 -12 months to look its best.
- Liposuction of the perigluteal area if the skin tone and elasticity are good
- Limited incision gluteal lifts such as the butterfly lift.
- Brazilian butt lift using a combination of liposuction of the hips and fat grafting to the buttock, assuming minimal skin laxity exists.
- Placement of gluteal implants in cases of a very small or a flat buttock with minimal to only slight skin laxity.
The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications such as leg weakness and severe infection are rare. Problems such as significant asymmetric pain, swelling, redness, or major bruising should be brought to your surgeon’s attention immediately.
Buttock Augmentation with Fat Grafting
Buttock augmentation with fat transfer involves two steps. First, the patient’s own fat is collected through liposuction. The most popular areas for liposuction before buttock augmentation are the lower back, waist, flanks (love handles), thighs and stomach. This not only provides the raw material for buttock enhancement, it also contours the areas around the butt for a more dramatic result. The liposuctioned fat is then purified in a special process so that the best fat is ready to be reintroduced to the body.
In the second step, the donor fat is added to the buttocks with hundreds of tiny injections at different depths to ensure an even, attractive augmentation. This method of fat injection lends a shapely contour to the buttocks that lasts a long time. Special attention is given to the upper buttocks so the entire rear looks youthfully and naturally lifted.