Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer versus implants

Aug 10, 2022

MeTime - Brazilian butt lift with fat transfer versus implants

If you’re unhappy with the shape and size of your buttocks, you might have considered undergoing a buttock enhancement procedure. When you start researching your options, you'll come across two types of procedures – a fat transfer procedure (commonly called a Brazilian butt lift or BBL) and buttock implants. So, what’s the difference between these two types of plastic surgery? Which of the two gives the best results? And more importantly, which butt augmentation procedure is right for you?

If these are some of the questions on your mind, read on. I'm going to tell you all about butt augmentation surgery today. Join me as we discover some of the key differences between fat transfer (Brazilian butt lift surgery) and buttock implants.

What is a Brazilian butt lift surgery?

A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) procedure is one of the most popular butt augmentation procedures performed by plastic surgeons worldwide. It is a type of fat transfer or fat grafting procedure which involves removal of unwanted fat from one part of the body and injection of the fat into your butt to create more fullness and roundness in your derrière.

A Brazilian butt lift uses your own fat to augment your buttocks. If you have unwanted fat on your abdomen, flanks, thighs, or back, a plastic surgeon can transfer this fat to your buttock region. This is accomplished via a liposuction procedure to harvest the fat, followed by a fat transfer to the butt after the fatty tissue has been purified and processed. A BBL is therefore a natural method of butt augmentation that does not involve any foreign substances. What's more, it can give you a natural looking, well-rounded backside.

The BBL procedure can be done under local anesthesia. Your surgeon will make 3-5 small incisions to remove the fat with liposuction and place it in specific areas of your buttocks for a fuller, rounder, more shapely appearance.

You'll have stitches that may be self-dissolving or may need to be removed about 7 days after the BBL procedure. Recovery from a Brazilian butt lift takes around 4-6 weeks in total, although most people can return to work after about 2 weeks. You will need to follow all the aftercare instructions from your board certified plastic surgeon carefully to ensure survival of the newly transferred fat.

What is butt augmentation with implants?

To perform a butt enhancement with implants, plastic surgeons place artificial devices called silicone butt implants in your buttocks to add volume to your backside. The implants are placed over or under your buttock muscles through incisions that are hidden between your butt cheeks.

Some folks prefer this type of plastic surgery over a Brazilian butt lift because implants can add a great deal more volume. In other words, you can achieve more dramatic butt enhancement with implants - something that may not be possible with fat grafting alone. Just like breast implants, butt implants come in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that appeals to you most.

Also, implants are a preferred method of buttock enhancement in people are lean or slim and simply don't have enough excess fat for a fat transfer technique such as a Brazilian butt lift.

Buttock implants are placed under general anesthesia, so the surgery carries additional risks. Another thing to keep in mind is that buttock implants will eventually require replacement at some point in the future. Lastly, implants can look less natural than a fat transfer or Brazilian butt lift.

What about silicone injections in the butt?

Just a quick warning here. The US FDA and other leading plastic surgery organizations around the world have not approved or endorsed any kind of injections for butt enhancement purposes. This includes silicone injections and hydrogel injections. These types of procedures can lead to serious complications like infection, scarring, disfigurement, stroke, and even death.

Some plastic surgeons offer Sculptra dermal filler placement in the butt for augmentation. But given the size of the buttocks, this type of procedure only works to correct small imperfections. Dermal fillers cannot add dramatic volume to your butt. Also, remember that the use of dermal fillers is off-label in the buttocks.

Which is better: Fat transfer or implants?

Both cosmetic surgery procedures are effective ways to achieve a bigger, rounder, fuller, and more shapely butt. One is not better than the other. The choice between Brazilian butt lift vs butt implants will come down to your individual body shape, aesthetic goals, and other factors that your plastic surgeon will take into consideration. Nonetheless, I'm going to list out the pros and cons of each of these butt enhancement procedures.

Is a Brazilian butt lift better than implants?

Many plastic surgeons recommend Brazilian butt lifts over buttock implants. There are several reasons for this.

Natural results

First, the final result from a Brazilian butt lift surgery (fat transfer procedure) look and feel far more natural than the results from butt implants.

Removal of excess fat

Second, a fat transfer procedure involves removal of excess fat from areas of the body where it's unwanted, such the abdomen, flanks, and thighs. Now, that's good news!

Customized results

Third, while an implant has to be placed in one piece in each butt cheek, a fat transfer can be customized. Your surgeon can give you an overall more shapely butt by carefully placing the fat injections in various locations in your buttocks. A Brazilian butt lift technique can also lift sagging tissues to give you a perkier, more youthful shape.

Fewer risks

Next, a fat transfer (BBL technique) is not associated with risks such as implant rupture. Additionally, buttock implants can migrate out of place, leaving you with lopsided buttocks, which will need tobe repaired surgically. The risk of infection is also lower with a fat transfer technique compared to silicone implants. Moreover, buttock implants are associated with a risk of allergic reaction because a foreign object is being placed in the body.

Permanent results

Last but not least, a Brazilian butt lift is permanent and there's no need for any future surgeries once you have the shape and size you want. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are not permanent. The implants will need to be surgically removed and replaced at some point in the future.

Is a BBL safer than butt implants?

Despite all the above-mentioned advantages, Brazilian butt lifts do not come without risks. Indeed, there have been reports that BBLs are some of the most dangerous cosmetic surgery procedures of all time with a fatality rate of 1 in 3,000. This is because it takes a great deal of skill and technique to perform a Brazilian butt lift correctly. If the fat is injected into a vein in the buttocks by mistake, a piece of fat can travel via the bloodstream to the heart or lungs and block blood supply. This is called fat embolism and it can be fatal.

A BBL butt enhancement procedure also carries other risks such as infection, scarring, pain, asymmetry, and a lumpy appearance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all the fat transferred during a Brazilian butt lift survives. In fact, up to 30% of the fat graft can undergo fat necrosis (the fat cells die and are reabsorbed by the body). This can occur over a period of 6-12 months after the fat transfer. Any grafted fat that survives after this time is permanent. Plastic surgeons are aware of the issue of fat survival after fat transfer and tend to overfill slightly to compensate for it. However, it's possible you may need 1-2 additional procedures to get the desired results from a BBL fat transfer, so that's definitely something worth noting.

Brazilian butt lift vs Buttock implants: Which one is right for me?

If you're still with me, I'm hoping by now you're leaning toward one or the other butt augmentation surgery - Brazilian butt lift (fat transfer) vs butt implants. If you're still not sure, here are some of the key points you might want to consider when deciding between these two cosmetic surgery procedures:


In general, the risks associated with butt implants are higher, especially if you're going in for larger sized butt implants. Also, keep in mind that while your body won't reject a BBL (it's your own fat that's used), it can reject an implant which is a foreign object.


Issues like migration, dropping, wrinkling, and rupture can arise with butt implants. This can impact the appearance of your buttocks significantly, to the point that you'll need another surgery to fix it. Another potential complication is capsular contracture (formation of scar tissue around the implant). In severe cases, the scar can tighten and place intense pressure on the implant, requiring removal.

Future surgeries

If you get buttock implants, you should know that the implants will need to come out at some point. This will require a further surgical procedure. A Brazilian butt lift, on the other hand, is permanent without the need for any further surgery.


The big booties that were in vogue some time back are no longer on trend. A Brazilian butt lift (fat transfer technique) will give a more natural look and feel to your buttocks compared to butt implants.

Availability of adequate fat

The one reason I'd choose butt implants is if I was lean and didn't have any extra natural fat for a fat transfer (BBL).

Wrapping up

So, now you know the difference between body contouring with Brazilian butt lifts vs butt implants. I'm hoping it will help you in the decision making process. You should be all set to ask some important questions when you see your cosmetic surgeon in consultation.

If you're not sure where to start looking for a cosmetic surgeon, I highly recommend the MeTime app. It's a great way to connect with top-rated butt augmentation specialists in your area. You can chat with experts, share photos, get quotes, and so much more.

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