Buttock augmentation is a procedure used to enhance the buttock area by enlarging, lifting and shaping the buttocks. The procedure can make a person look curvier and more shapely and balance the figure for those who feel they are naturally top-heavy. Buttock augmentation is sometimes referred to as gluteal augmentation.

Fast Facts

  • Unlike a lot of areas of the body, the buttocks are difficult to enlarge or shape through weight training, diet or other exercise alone.
  • Buttock augmentation can be performed by using implants or by a technique called fat transfer.
  • The downside to fat transfer is that the fat is sometimes reabsorbed.
  • Most people opt for a single incision hidden in the buttock crease.
  • A liposuction and fat transfer procedure typically takes between 2 and 3 hours.
  • The placement of implants usually takes between 1 and 2 hours.

This procedure is increasing in popularity among both men and women.

Reasons for choosing to have buttock augmentation

You are a good candidate for buttock augmentation if your buttocks have sagged, often as a result of ageing; you lack fat in the buttock area; or you have underdeveloped gluteal muscles, which make up the bulk of the buttocks.

Unlike a lot of areas of the body, the buttocks are difficult to enlarge or shape through weight training, diet or other exercise alone. Augmentation offers a solution for people who want to improve the way their buttocks look. A few months after augmentation your butt should feel firm and natural looking.

People choosing this procedure range in age from 19 to 60.

Things to consider once you’ve decided to have buttock augmentation

Buttock augmentation can be performed by using implants or by a technique called a fat transfer.

Buttock implants are made of a soft but strong silicone, usually placed in the buttocks through a single incision made in the crease between the bottom and thighs.

The alternative is to use fat harvested from another part of the body. Excess fat, usually from the abdomen, thighs, lower back, and hips, is removed through liposuction, purified and reinserted into the buttocks to sculpt them into a more desirable shape. A single small incision is made which the surgeon uses to put droplets of fat throughout the layers of muscle, placing them in such a way as to ensure that each fat cell has a good supply of blood. A fat transfer is difficult for very lean people who tend not to have any fat to spare.

Once you’ve decided to have a buttock augmentation, you will have to make a number of choices about the procedure.

Implants or fat transfer?

This is, to a certain extent, a matter of choice. Your surgeon will help you make the decision best suited to your body and that meets your expectations and requirements. In some cases it may be necessary to supplement the implants with your own harvested fat, especially if you have a lot of fat in other areas.

The downside to fat transfer is that the fat is sometimes reabsorbed. Your surgeon will be able to advise you how successful your fat transfer is likely to be.

Selecting an implant

Implants come in various shapes and sizes. The two main shapes are round or oval. They come in both smooth and textured surfaces and can be made of solid silicone or cohesive silicone gel. Solid silicone is the more popular option because the implants usually do not rupture or deflate over time. Your surgeon may have preferences based on previous experience and will explain the differences and the reason for those choices.

Incision location?

Most people opt for a single incision hidden in the buttock crease. Scars made from this incision are not easily visible. Other locations include the upper buttocks and below the buttocks where they meet the thigh. Both of these options require two incisions and are likely to leave a more visible scar.

Implants inserted above or below the gluteal muscles?

Implants can be placed in either position and both yield good results. This is something best discussed with your surgeon, after examining your anatomy and understanding your expectations. 

What to expect

A liposuction and fat transfer procedure typically takes between 2 and 3 hours. The placement of implants usually takes between 1 and 2 hours. The procedure normally takes place on an outpatient basis, making it possible for you to leave after the effects of anaesthetic have worn off.

You will feel sore for a few days. There will also be some level of pain and discomfort in the augmented area after surgery.

Immediately following surgery you will be able to see how the contours of your figure have changed. You should expect to see some swelling and bruising, which will diminish over time. Swelling usually completely subsides after about 2 weeks. The stitches holding the incisions together will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery. Your muscles and implants will still be settling into place during this period of time. You can expect to see and feel the final results within about a month.

Before and after surgery

There are things you can do leading up to any kind of surgery to improve the experience. There are also a number of things you can do following any surgery.

Compared with other types of cosmetic surgery, recovery from buttock augmentation is the least comfortable. You are unable to sit on your bottom for quite some time following surgery. You even need to be careful sitting on the toilet.

In addition to following the general steps that can speed up the healing process after surgery, there are important things you must do to ensure success following your buttock augmentation:

  • Avoid sitting or placing weight on your back and bottom for the first two weeks following implant surgery. You will be advised to sleep and rest on your tummy. You may find this uncomfortable for the first few days.
  • You will need to wear a compression garment in order to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.
  • You can resume full activity about four weeks after surgery. Until then, it is best to avoid things like workouts, cycling and running.

Possible risks and complications

As with any surgery, there are risks involved in buttock augmentation. You should be fully aware of these before you elect to have the procedure.

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.

The best way to reduce risk is to find a fully qualified surgeon with formal training in buttock augmentation who has performed the procedure many times.

Specific complications that may occur after a buttock augmentation:

  • Breaking of implants. Implants are made to survive a lot of stress and pressure, but they occasionally break or rupture. If your implant does, you may require a replacement.
  • You may feel that the implants are not symmetrical on both sides. Sometimes the edge of the implant is visible through the skin. These complications occur less often when the implant is placed under the muscle. If either of these things happen to you, a revision procedure to correct the visible problems may be necessary.
  • Fat absorption. In fat transfer augmentation the main complication, which happens about 30% of the time, is absorption by the body of the introduced fat.

Just as you would discuss potential benefits before surgery, it is always advisable to ask your surgeon to address the potential risks as they apply to you.

Rough costs involved

The cost of a buttock augmentation depends largely on whether you are opting for implants or for a fat transfer. Once that is decided, costs will also vary depending on the surgeon and the facilities used. Your surgeon will help you estimate potential costs.

A fat transfer can cost between $11,000 and $14,000 (AUD). This includes the surgeon and anaesthetist’s fees and the cost of the hospital. Implant augmentation costs about $18,000 (AUD).

Some Australian private health insurers may help pay for the hospital bed and theatre fees. Getting a doctor’s referral will enable you to make a claim on these costs.

You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined procedures at the same time.

This information is correct as of 2019.

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