What is butt augmentation?
Time can be unkind to the body, especially the buttocks – the only body part we sit on. Furthermore, many people just don’t have the round shapely butt they want because of genetics, fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, or poor tissue elasticity. Either way, those who wish to sport rounder, fuller buttocks may want to consider butt augmentation surgery with implants. Gluteal augmentation, also known as “buttock augmentation” may be done in several ways:
- Gluteal fat grafting (Brazilian Butt Lifts) – where fat is removed from one part of the body and implanted into the buttocks (see fat injections).
- Gluteoplasty (buttocks lift) – where excess skin and fat are removed from the buttocks, and the remaining tissue is adjusted and contoured
- Filler injections – filler (such as Sculptra) are injected into the buttocks area to provide temporary fullness
- Buttocks implants – silicone prostheses are surgically placed into the buttocks
In this article, we’ll discuss buttock augmentation with implants as a way of increasing the size and improving the shape of the buttocks through surgery. Used in a similar manner as implants during breast augmentation to increase the size of the chest, artificial butt implants are inserted into the buttocks for an improvement in size, shape, and contour. The procedure may be done on its own, or with other buttocks enhancement procedures, such as gluteal fat grafting (Brazilian Butt Lift), filler injections, or a gluteoplasty (butt lift).
The ideal candidate for buttocks augmentation using an implant is of healthy weight (BMI 30 or less), in good general health, and has enough soft tissue (skin and underlying fat and muscle) to accommodate an implant. (1) Surgeons look for the following concerns with the buttocks that can be corrected or improved by this surgery: (1)
- Lack of volume
- Lack of projection
- Asymmetry between the buttocks
- Contour irregularities or deformities
- Limited fat for transfer
The following problems are concerns that may make individuals poor candidates for buttocks augmentation: (1)
- BMI greater than 30
- Prior buttocks injections
- Autoimmune disease (such as lupus or vasculitis)
- Prior history of radiation treatments to the buttocks area
The following are contraindications to this surgery: (1)
- Local infection
- Psychological problems
- Inadequate soft tissue to accommodate an implant
- Unrealistic expectations from the surgery
There are two basic approaches to implant placement: (2)
- Intramuscular – the implant is placed in a pocket formed within the gluteal muscles
- Subfascial – the implant is placed between the muscle and the skin, just under the thin layer of connective tissue that covers the muscles (the fascia).
There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you, and the choice depends on your anatomy, your preferences, and your goals for the surgery. (1) Butt augmentation uses solid implants made of silicone elastomer, a strong artificial material. (3) Implants placed in the buttocks tend to be denser than those used for breast augmentation as they must be able to withstand the pressure of sitting. They are closer to a solid than to a liquid, and provide a feeling similar to that of well-toned muscle. The following provides an overview of what occurs in a typical butt augmentation procedure using implants: (3)
- The surgeon will mark the area to indicate where the implants will be placed.
- You are given either a general or an epidural anesthetic.
- The surgeon makes an incision (about 7 cm) in each buttock and forms a pocket for the implant.
- Once the surgeon is satisfied with the proper positioning of the implants, the incisions are closed with sutures.
As with any surgery, buttocks augmentation with implants includes a risk of complications. A comprehensive review of the professional plastic surgery literature showed the following complication rates (above 1% occurrence): (4)
- Wound re-opening or not healing properly (dehiscence): 8.1%
- Seroma (fluid collection under the skin at the surgical site): 4.4%
- Infection: 3.2%
- Implant revision (most commonly required to change size, shape, or positioning of the implant): 3.1%
- Prolonged pain: 2.4%
- Implant removal: 1.9%
- Ability to feel the implant: 1.7%
- Asymmetry: 1.3%
- Implant moving or rotating: 1%
- Excess scarring: 1%
As well, there are risks related to the anesthetic during the surgery. Nerve damage during the surgery is rare but possible, and could lead to numbness or changes in skin sensation. Before your surgery, your surgeon will have a detailed discussion with you to make sure you understand the risks involved with the anesthetic and the procedure.
To reduce the risk of complications, patients are usually advised to avoid sitting or sleeping on their back for three weeks. (1) Although remaining in the prone position immediately after the surgery is advised, getting up walking as soon as possible is encouraged. Exercise should not be attempted for eight weeks. (1) It is normal to experience some soreness, pain, redness, swelling, and bruising after the procedure. Some individuals may require a small drainage tube to be left in until swelling abates. Some surgeons may ask you to wear an elastic compression garment to limit swelling and help the tissues heal in their new contours. Your surgeon may suggest that you sit on a soft cushion to protect the implant area until it has healed. While most patients return to work in about a week, those whose jobs include strenuous activities or long periods of sitting may need more time to recover.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average surgeon’s fee for a buttocks augmentation using implants in 2019 was $5,004. (5) This cost can vary depending on the surgeon and the details of the surgery. Expenses for anesthesia, the surgical facility, and medical tests are not included in this amount; these additional items tend to bring the total cost for butt implants to between $5,000 and $8,000. As well, additional expenses may be necessary for post-surgery compression garments, special pillows, and medications. Because it is an elective procedure, buttocks augmentation is not covered by health insurance, leaving you responsible for 100% of the cost. Most surgeons have payment plans available, allowing you to spread out the cost of the procedure.