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Brazilian Butt Lift: How to Reduce Risks & Complications

By: Austin-Weston


With the rise in popularity of the Brazilian Butt Lift, more patients come into our office asking for this procedure by name. The benefits are well known, but let’s talk about potential Brazilian Butt Lift risks. At Austin-Weston, we pride ourselves on addressing our patients’ concerns and doing all we can to minimize their risks.

Potential Risks of Surgery

The general risks associated with all surgical procedures include bleeding and infection. As long as you choose a reputable surgeon and a professional facility, however, your odds of experiencing these problems are low.

For this reason, it is important to choose a surgeon you trust and a surgical facility with an experienced staff for your Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. Your surgeon will fully discuss your risks prior to your signing consent forms. Remember to ask your surgeon to address any questions you have about your personal situation. We want you to be as relaxed and informed as possible about your surgery.

Brazilian Butt Lift Risks

To achieve the contour patients desire, we first have to harvest fat.  This often comes from the flank or abdominal areas using a special liposuction technique.  This fat is then transferred to the appropriate part area of the buttock.

The risks involved with this transfer include shape irregularity, the fat shifting away from the buttock area, or fat is injected into a vein or artery leading to a fat embolism. Let’s look at each of these risks in turn:

  • Irregularity: In some cases, fat injected into the buttocks can take better in some areas than others, which can cause an irregular shape. In many cases. this problem can be corrected with another smaller surgery to correct the imperfection,
  • Fat shifting: This complication occurs if a patient spends too much time sitting in the injected areas during the first 6 weeks of healing. Too much pressure might not only injure the fat, it might force it into areas of less pressure.  We will counsel you on ways to avoid this.
  • Fat embolism: This rare problem occurs if the injected fat finds its way into the bloodstream. The fat globule can travel to the lungs and cause inflammation. The best way to avoid this complication is to choose an experienced surgeon who knows the anatomy well.

What about implants? We do not typically recommend implants for buttock augmentation unless the patient is very thin and doesn’t have enough excess fat to draw from. The reason for this is both medical and aesthetic. Whenever a doctor places synthetic material into the body, the risk for infection rises. In addition, implants work best when they are placed on a hard surface, such as the chest or chin. Because there is not a hard, flat surface in the buttock area, implants can flip around or fold over leading to discomfort. We have removed implants for patients who have had the procedure done elsewhere and were unhappy with the results.

Other Potential Complications and Problems

Another possible complication that arises with a Brazilian Butt Lift involves thin patients who want a fuller, more contoured buttock area.

Patients in this situation have three options:

  1. Go through with the fat transfer. In our experience, there is almost always enough fat to see an improvement. Keep in mind that thinner people need less fat transferred in order to get results. You may not look like Kim Kardashian, but as long as your expectations are realistic, a Brazilian Butt Lift is still a good option.
  2. What about injecting other things? You may have seen online alternatives to injecting your own fat including medical-grade, synthetic filler substances such as Sculptra. At Austin-Weston, we don’t recommend this option because Sculptra comes in very small quantities (about 20ccs). It is typically used to add volume to the face. To see improvement in the buttocks, we usually add 1,000ccs or more. So Sculptra would be expensive, to say the least.
  3. Opt for implants. As mentioned above, we rarely suggest implants for sculpting the buttocks because it usually doesn’t make surgical sense. Whenever possible, we find the amount of fat we need from other areas of the body. Worse case scenario: we may ask a patient to gain some weight and come back for the surgery.

How We Minimize Patient Risk

In capable hands, the risks of a Brazilian Butt Lift are minimal. They can be further reduced if you choose a plastic surgeon with years of experience performing this specific type of surgery. Numbers count!  Ask your surgeon how often he performs this procedure and asks to see results.  At Austin-Weston, our track record with Brazilian Butt Lifts is impeccable—and that track record is not due to luck. We have carefully taken the time to implement the policies and procedures we know reduce complications for our patients.

A few of the precautions our surgeons take to reduce risks include:

  • We perform all surgeries in our sterile surgical facility. Our state-of-the-art, on-site surgical center is dedicated to plastic surgery. This means that there’s no chance that your Brazilian Butt Lift will follow an appendectomy, for instance, a policy that greatly reduces your risk of contracting an infection.
  • We use the right amount of anesthesia and keep the operating room warm. Our entire staff—everyone from the nurses to the anesthetists to the physicians’ assistants—is ACLS trained. We monitor our patients closely so that we can catch any problems early on and even stop surgery if anything appears to be out of the ordinary.
  • We use a clean technique for harvesting fat. Our Brazilian Butt Lift surgeons use a system, which was developed in our facility, to harvest fat in a special way. With our technique, the fat that is removed from the flank or abdomen is never exposed to the air before being injected back into the buttocks. We also add antibiotics to the fat to be extra safe. This greatly reduces your risk of infection. In fact, we’ve never had one!

That being said, with any surgical procedure there are risks involved. While policies and procedures can minimize your risks, no policies or procedures can reduce your risk to zero. Let’s discuss the potential complications that can arise.

To get a better idea of what will work well for you and your body type, take a look at our Brazilian Butt Lift before and after photos. We believe these shots speak for themselves.

While we are happy to discuss any concerns with patients during a personal consultation, the risks involved with a Brazilian Butt Lift are minimal for most healthy individuals. Again, there’s no substitute for choosing an experienced plastic surgeon who you trust.

If you are considering a plastic surgeon in the Northern Virginia or Washington DC area, you would be hard-pressed to find an office with more experienced surgeons than Austin-Weston. But even as experienced as they are, they are never too busy to sit down with their patients.

Are you ready to discuss your options? Complete this form to schedule a complimentary consultation or call our office at (703) 893-6168 to request an appointment.


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