Ideas about what the perfect body looks like have been constantly evolving over hundreds of years. In the 1920s, women strove for boyish looks and flattened their curves; in the 1950s, curvaceousness became a huge trend, with skinnier women turning to weight gain supplements; and the 1990s saw the era of the ‘supermodel butt’, sported by waifish women with pert behinds. 

Nowadays, contemporary media and pop culture is saturated with images of voluptuous woman flaunting their behind – the ultra-thin runway model look is out, and curves are in. In a bid to emulate these designer butts and celebrate shapeliness, many woman are turning to surgery. 

A Brazilian butt lift, known in plastic surgery circles as an SSBA (Safe Subcateneous Buttock Augmentation) and in mainstream culture as a BBL, is less of a physical lift and more a two-step process of liposuction and augmentation. The end result reveals a lower body transformation; slimmed down thighs and abdomen, and a rounder, fuller behind.

Before undergoing surgery, the patient and surgeon typically work together to formulate a sense of the desired outcome. The patient’s wishes will be taken into account and developed alongside medical advice, in order to achieve a (usually) natural-looking result that enhances the body’s current curves and proportions. 

What happens during the procedure? 

Before the plastic surgery operation, the patient is put under general anaesthesia, the areas for designated fat grafting will be marked out. The surgeon will have decided in the preceding weeks whether this involves fat from the thighs, abdomen, hips, lower back, or even all four. 

First, excess fat is removed from these areas using a cannula – this is a thin tube attached to a vacuum that sucks out the fat. 

The extracted fat is then purified for injection into pre-marked areas of the buttocks. Sometimes the surgeon will adjust these places to accommodate the patient’s desired shape, adapting the amounts of fat used as necessary.

Fortunately, the procedure requires very few incisions, which means that pain is kept to a minimum.

What’s the recovery like? 

Although there shouldn’t be too much pain, the initial recovery period can be challenging. Patients aren’t allowed to sit, lie, or put any pressure on the backside for at least two weeks, having to sleep on their front wearing a compression garment. The surgeon might prescribe pain medication, as well as offer guidance on what forms of movement can be done, and when. 

Most of the swelling will have gone down within 6 weeks or so, and the ability to sit and sleep as normal should also have been restored. By this point it will be possible to admire the change in the body – and show it off! 

With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, a Brazilian butt lift should last decades, if not a lifetime. Thanks to scientific innovation, it can also be enhanced or reversed – so results are not considered permanent. 

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