If you feel like you’ve been hearing a lot about butt enhancement surgery, it’s not your imagination. Over the last few years, it’s become one of the fastest-growing types of cosmetic surgery in America.
Butt enhancement surgery is sort of an umbrella term that covers three separate procedures: buttock augmentation with fat grafting, buttock implants, and buttock lifts. When butt enhancement burst onto the scene, butt implants grabbed most of the headlines. They’ve since tailed off over the last couple of years (more on that in a moment), but the growing interest in butt lifts and augmentations has remained constant.
Last year, there were over 4,800 butt lifts done in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and nearly 24,100 butt augmentations (also referred to as the “Brazilian butt lift”). In the case of the latter, that’s a 59% increase over just five years earlier.
What is butt augmentation, exactly?
Because butt implants have garnered so much attention, they’re often what patients request when they want butt enhancement surgery. But more and more plastic surgeons are steering them toward butt augmentations instead because it’s a safer procedure. The implants can cause pain and infection, and, not insignificantly, patients can have trouble sitting on their butts for a long time.
The augmentation is basically a two-step process. First, fat is liposuctioned out of the patient’s abdomen, hips, or thighs. It’s then cleaned and separated and injected into the patient’s butt. The whole thing can typically be done in about an hour, and patients often return to work within a day or two. Though, they’ll need to avoid sitting directly on their butt for about a week.
It’s important to enter into the procedure with realistic expectations. For one, about three-quarters of the grafted fat will survive. It can also shrink just like anywhere else on your body. So it’s common for patients to need a touch-up at some point in the future.
Butt augmentation is also more of a subtle enhancement of your natural figure. You’ll certainly notice a difference, but you won’t emerge as Kim Kardashian’s long lost sister.
Butt augmentation isn’t the only option for a perkier booty. One alternative to consider is Sculptra Aesthetic, an off-the-label injectable that helps boost your body’s natural collagen. It’s FDA-approved for increasing volume in the face, but it can be used on other parts of the body, too.
The procedure, however, can be cost-prohibitive because, to gain a noticeable result in the butt, it would require a lot of Sculptra. A more affordable and completely noninvasive alternative is CoolSculpting, which freezes and kills the fat cells under your butt, which can improve your butt’s contour and help it to appear perkier.