BBL or Butt Implants: What’s the Difference?

bbl vs butt implants

Backside-enhancing surgeries have dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. The Brazilian butt lift is probably one of the more well-known options, but it’s not the only way to gain a rounder, bigger butt. Butt implants are also available and, while not as common, they can be a better option for some people.

Learn more about the differences, benefits, and risks of the Brazilian butt lift and buttock implants.

Understanding the Surgical Techniques

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

This procedure is not just about enhancing the buttocks but also involves sculpting other body areas. Fat is harvested from areas like the abdomen or thighs using liposuction, meticulously purified, and then strategically injected into the buttocks. This dual approach not only enhances the buttocks but also contours the donor sites, offering a more comprehensive body-reshaping solution.

Butt Implants

In contrast, butt implants involve the surgical insertion of biocompatible silicone implants. The procedure typically requires an incision either in the crease between the buttocks or below the buttock cheek. The implants can be placed above or within the gluteal muscle, depending on the desired outcome and patient’s body structure. This method is often chosen for its ability to provide a significant increase in buttock size and a more pronounced shape.

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What are the Benefits of BBL?

The Brazilian butt lift tends to be the procedure of choice among plastic surgeons, and for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest advantage BBL has over implants is that the results are more natural. Since the surgeon injects your own fat into the buttocks, the finished product feels more natural than implants do. The results also look more natural with BBL. With implants, it is rather common to be able to see the outline of the implant through the skin.

Another benefit of BBL is that it lets you combine a lift and body contouring in one procedure. The surgeon removes the fat from your body using liposuction at the start of the procedure. That means you can have extra, unwanted fat taken away from your tummy, hips or thighs, or wherever you might have a bit of extra fat.

What are the Benefits of Butt Implants?

Butt implants can be a better choice for some patients. If you are very slim and don’t have enough extra fat for transfer, buttock augmentation with implants is really your only option. Even if you do have some extra fat that can be used for BBL, you might prefer implants if you want to increase the size of your derriere dramatically.

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Long-Term Outcomes and Maintenance: BBL vs. Butt Implants

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Longevity:

  • Durability of Results: The longevity of BBL largely depends on how well the transferred fat integrates with the existing tissue. Generally, a significant portion of the transferred fat survives permanently. However, some of the fat (typically 30-50%) may be reabsorbed by the body within the first few months.
  • Maintenance Tips: To maintain the results of a BBL, patients should follow a stable, healthy lifestyle. Significant weight fluctuations can alter the appearance of the buttocks post-surgery. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are key to preserving the enhanced shape.

Butt Implants Longevity:

  • Implant Lifespan: Butt implants, made of durable silicone, are designed to last many years. However, they are not considered lifetime devices. Over time, due to aging, gravity, and potential weight changes, the shape of the buttocks may change, necessitating a revision or replacement of the implants.
  • Post-Surgical Care: Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the condition of the implants. Patients should be aware of any changes in shape or feel of the implants and report them to their surgeon. Avoiding extreme physical activities that put excessive pressure on the implants can also prolong their lifespan.

Revision Surgeries and Touch-Ups:

  • BBL Considerations: In some cases, patients may opt for a second BBL procedure to refine or enhance the initial results, especially if a significant amount of fat was reabsorbed.
  • Implant Revisions: For butt implants, revision surgeries might be necessary if the implants shift, become visible, or if the patient desires a different size or shape as their body changes over time.

Addressing Common Concerns: BBL and Butt Implants

Understanding the Procedures:

  • What Happens During a BBL? A Brazilian Butt Lift involves fat transfer, where fat is harvested from other body areas (like the abdomen or thighs) through liposuction, purified, and then injected into the buttocks. This enhances both the size and shape of the buttocks while contouring the donor areas.
  • How are Butt Implants Different? Butt implants involve surgically placing silicone implants in the buttocks. This procedure is typically chosen by individuals who do not have enough fat for a BBL or desire a more significant enhancement in size.

Addressing Safety Concerns:

  • Is BBL Safe? While BBL has been associated with certain risks, advancements in techniques have significantly improved its safety profile. The key is the careful injection of fat and avoiding deep muscle layers to prevent complications like fat embolism.
  • What About the Safety of Butt Implants? Implants carry risks such as displacement and capsular contracture. Choosing an experienced surgeon and following post-operative care instructions are crucial for minimizing these risks.

Recovery and Aftercare:

  • Post-BBL Care: After a BBL, patients are advised to avoid sitting directly on their buttocks for a few weeks to ensure optimal fat survival. Wearing a compression garment is also recommended to reduce swelling and support the new contours.
  • Caring for Butt Implants: Recovery from butt implant surgery may involve avoiding strenuous activities and direct pressure on the buttocks for several weeks. Regular follow-ups are essential to monitor the condition of the implants.

Realistic Expectations:

  • Long-Term Results of BBL: It’s important to understand that some of the transferred fat may be reabsorbed. The remaining fat will behave like normal body fat, so weight fluctuations can affect the results.
  • Durability of Butt Implants: While implants are designed for longevity, they may require replacement or adjustment over time, especially if there are significant changes in body weight or shape.

Dr. Paul Vitenas performs Brazilian butt lift procedures at his practice in Houston, Texas, but he doesn’t offer implants. To learn more about the BBL procedure and to see if it’s the right option for you, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.