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Body contour surgery has been increasing in popularity year on year and surgery for buttock augmentation is no exception. Possibly due to Covid-19, many cosmetic surgery procedures did see a drop in the number of patients from 2019 – 2020, however the figures are expected to start rising again now the COVID pandemic has eased. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) almost 26,000 butt augmentation procedures were carried out by their members alone in 2020. Although buttock augmentation is extremely fashionable nowadays, numbers of procedures are still relatively low when compared to the likes of rhinoplasty, face lifts and breast augmentation.
Buttock augmentation surgery is also known as gluteal augmentation. This name arises from the gluteal muscles (or glutes) which make up the buttock region. There are three muscles – gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the body and the outermost gluteal muscle) which is generally responsible for the shape of the buttock, gluteus medius which helps with the movement of the hips and gluteus minimus which acts as a hip stabiliser.
There are actually several different methods which are used.
So, although it does involve invasive surgery and a subsequent one month recovery period, butt implants are the only true way of guaranteeing additional volume and significant gluteal augmentation. Silicone implants have been used for a long time in different branches of cosmetic plastic surgery and are deemed to be completely safe.
Sometimes, during plastic surgery for bigger buttocks, liposuction is also used. This helps to contour and shape the buttock implant or fat grafting/filler. It is often carried out when the patient has an excessive amount of fat in the butt due to ageing or weight loss. This ensures that the final shape of the buttock implants is as per the patient’s expectations.
For those thinking about buttock augmentation with implants, this article aims to give as much information as possible so that a considered decision can be made.
Buttock augmentation with solid silicone implants is a safe and satisfying procedure for both patient and surgeon.
Reasons for any cosmetic surgery, buttock implants included, are often quite personal to the person involved. Ageing, losing weight and lack of physical exercise can all cause a buttock shape which is not aesthetically pleasing to the owner. For anybody asking the following questions, maybe a butt implant is for you:
Small flat buttocks will benefit from butt implants.
Targeted exercise will go a long way in toning and shaping the buttocks, however this may well take a considerable amount of time. For those people with a small butt or flat butt it may be very difficult to achieve the desired result. For others it may be a feeling of an unproportional body which, in their eyes, does not match the beauty standard. Small buttocks or flat buttocks will benefit from butt implants which means that candidates, not only get enhanced buttocks, but also get firm buttocks fast.
The butt implant procedure comprises the implantation of a solid silicone implant. Although soft to the touch these implants cannot change shape, unlike, for example, a breast silicone implant which is much softer and is designed to change shape as the body tissues compress it. With butt implants, the patient can select the specific size and shape they require.
The surgeon will usually place the implants above or below the muscle, which means either within the muscle or below it. Both locations have their advantages and disadvantages. Placing implants within the gluteus muscles lessens the chances of damage to the sciatic nerve. A damaged sciatica nerve can lead to chronic neuropathic pain, and problems with the back and thigh muscles. However, placing the implant inside the muscle means that it is not embedded deeply in the buttock and therefore may stick out more. Where the implant is placed below the muscle, the buttock has a more natural shape. However, because the surgeon must cut into the muscle, there is a higher risk of nerve damage which can lead to paralysis in the area, muscle shrinkage and, sometimes, the buttocks will look uneven.
In order to provide the expected final result the buttock implant procedure may also include one of the other butt augmentation procedures:
With butt implants, the patient can select the specific size and shape they require.
Butt implant surgery will not only increase butt size but also improve the shape. It can tone up the muscles so the buttock becomes more rounded. In addition, it may mean that lumps or pimples may be eradicated and the skin becomes less saggy as the underlying tissues are expanded by the implant.
Of course, probably the biggest benefit is the speed with which the body contour can be changed. The fast result of the procedure means that an elusive, and now very fashionable, hour-glass figure may be within grasp. As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, often the benefit is not always physical but more psychological. For some people, including those who perceive that their buttocks are asymmetrical for example, this procedure can bring improved confidence.
As already mentioned, it is not unusual for a surgeon to use a couple of different procedures to obtain the expected result of a butt lift. On the other hand these alternatives can sometimes be used by themselves as a less invasive method of changing the shape and contours of the buttocks. Let’s look at each of them in more detail and how they will affect the shape of the buttocks.
First of all, it is important to remember that implantation is a surgical procedure so it is vital that candidates are in good physical condition, do not smoke and have a stable weight. No surgeon will agree to operate on a patient who is not in good health.
What issues may a butt lift help to solve? Here are some possibilities:
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to have realistic expectations. This is why it is so important to discuss everything with the surgeon before the operation so everybody is clear what a successful outcome will be. With very small buttocks, for example, a surgeon may be able to significantly enhance then but there will be limitations. Setting realistic expectations means everybody will be happy with the outcome. So, the ideal candidate is somebody who wishes to change or enhance the shape of their butt, is in good physical condition and who has realistic expectations of what can be achieved.
The ideal candidate for butt implants is somebody who wishes to change or enhance the shape of their butt, is in good physical condition and who has realistic expectations of what can be achieved.
Usual contraindications for any surgical procedure include potential candidates who are overweight, who smoke, who are in poor health, who have had recent drastic weight changes, particularly a rapid weight loss. Recovery can be seriously affected for a smoker or a diabetic. In addition, the problem of excess skin or loose skin after weight loss may not be satisfactorily resolved. Although the implant will plump out the buttocks it will not be able to ‘tone’ sagging skin. Other contraindications as recommended to cosmetic surgeons include any general or local infection, diabetes, psychological instability, an inadequate amount of soft tissue and a patient’s unrealistic expectations.
The preparation for butt implant surgery is similar to any medical procedure.
The preparation for butt implant surgery is similar to any medical procedure. Initially the expected butt size and butt shape should be discussed with the surgeon. When talking through the best butt shape the doctor will also need to assess the patient’s activity level as this may have an impact on the final shape and size. The surgeon will also take a full medical history from the patient and may also perform a physical examination including a blood test. There may also be a skin quality assessment to check the condition of the skin and to establish if any loose or saggy skin can be tightened during the surgery.
As already mentioned, this is a good time to stop smoking, preferably at least six weeks before the surgery. Maintaining a high level of hydration and eating a healthy diet prior to the procedure will help with the recovery process. After the initial consultation the surgeon may give the patient pre-operative instructions.
Before the surgery, the surgeon will furnish the patient with a treatment plan which will take into account the medical history form and the skin quality. It is important to discuss any medication, including herbal supplements, that is currently being taken as these too may have an adverse effect on the recovery. For example, taking blood thinners like aspirin, may have to stop for a short while.
No food or drink should be consumed for at least six hours before the surgery, however clear fluids such as still water, black tea or black coffee, may be allowed in small sips up to a couple of hours before admission to the clinic/hospital.
The buttock implants procedure usually takes around 2-3 hours.
On the day of the surgery, preparation for the buttock augmentation procedure will include a final check on blood pressure and other relevant vitals. The surgeon will measure the buttocks and thighs and establish how much skin and/or fat should be removed. The skin will then be marked up with the necessary surgical incision lines.
The buttock implants procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes around 2-3 hours. Under anaesthesia, an incision is made between the buttocks so they are bisected and the surgeon begins the implantation. The implant placement is either subfascial i.e. the implant is positioned under the fascia or membrane which covers the gluteus maximus muscle or it is intramuscular i.e. it is positioned inside the gluteus maximus muscle. As previously discussed both these methods have their advantages and disadvantages and may produce slightly different results. A subfascial implant means the contour of the implant is much more prominent, whereas with an intramuscular implant a more natural contour can be achieved.
The surgical wound will be closed with sutures. These surgical stitches may need to be subsequently removed or they may be the dissolvable type of stitches which will disappear of their own accord. Where necessary surgery drains may also be fitted. These drains are small plastic tubes which are placed inside the body during surgery and connect to a small plastic bag or bottle outside the body. This means that any air or fluid can be safely ‘drained’ out of the body. They are not always needed and, if they are, they are usually taken out after a few days.
After the procedure, the buttocks will be bandaged so that bruising is minimised. Immediately afterwards there may be some discomfort from the buttocks’ muscles or on bending the legs or moving the spine. Bruising will last about three weeks. A compression garment must be worn for up to six weeks after the surgery – the surgeon will give precise indications of how long.
Any additional contouring and shaping with liposuction, fat grafting or fat transfer and butt fillers will be carried out at the same time as the butt implant. Where these minimally invasive procedures are used as a standalone treatment a compression garment will also sometimes be required. The surgeon will indicate the necessary post-treatment precautions.
Buttock implants recovery time varies greatly from person to person
After the anaesthetic wears off there may be some discomfort, however this should be fairly easily managed with over-the-counter or specifically prescribed after surgery painkillers. On occasions, the doctor may also prescribe a course of antibiotics, particularly if drains are required. Although there should be an immediate change to the overall contour of the butt, this will probably not be the final shape as there will be some bruising and swelling after the operation. Sometimes, post-op swelling can last weeks or even months. Wearing the compression garment for the appropriate recommended length of time should help. Lymphatic massage may also reduce the swelling and encourage better drainage from the wound.
The bandage and drains will probably be removed fairly quickly. The compression garment must be worn 24 hours a day for at least two weeks – after that the surgeon may suggest the possibility of only wearing it for a proportion of the day. However, it is essential to follow the exact post-operative instructions of the surgeon as everyone’s healing process proceeds at a different rate. Non-compliance with these post-surgical instructions could result in serious complications.
Buttock augmentation recovery time tends to be a little longer and more painful than for other surgeries because this area of the body is used for many activities such as walking, running and standing. Generally, patients are encouraged to get up and walk around two days after the operation.
Usually patients are encouraged not to sit or sleep on their buttocks for up to 14 days after the procedure. So, for example, when leaving the hospital/clinic it is best to lie face down on the back seat of the car. Pressure on the buttocks must be avoided wherever possible so a sleeping position should be adopted lying on the stomach or side. Indeed, this position applies to any activity – watching TV, reading etc. In addition, post-op care instructions for a smooth recovery also include:
Longer term, patients are encouraged to always sit on a cushion for at least eight weeks, which will help take direct pressure off the buttocks. Other aftercare instructions, which applies generally to any surgical wound healing include making sure that there is the opportunity to get rest and get nutrition (a good post-operative diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables). It also helps to have a positive attitude and avoid stress.
Overall, getting back to normal after buttock augmentation recovery will probably take two months. The patient’s physical activity level should be back to normal at this time and unless there are wound complications, exercise and gym programmes can be resumed at this time as well.
As previously mentioned, however, this suggested buttock implants recovery time will vary greatly from person to person, depending on the body’s own recovery needs and time, the extent of the surgery and whether or not there are any complications with the wound healing.
The eventual result of the butt implant surgery may not be visible for a few months. Swelling will obscure the final result and it may take some time for this to subside. With fillers and fat grafting the final shape is also dependent on the body producing extra collagen and this too will take time. The general rule seems to be that patients should wait about three months before they treat themselves to some new clothes!
So what are the pros of having butt implant surgery? Possibly the most important is that it offers a fast result. Similar results may be obtainable from strenuous and regular targeted exercises, however this will take some time. A butt implant is the quick and relatively easy way to a potentially ideal body shape. It’s true that the 100% perfect body shape may not always be feasible, but firm buttocks and a pert round butt will go a long way to ensuring a near perfect body shape. Firmer and rounder buttocks mean that clothes may fit better, the butt will appear more curvaceous and youthful and the overall body shape will appear to be more proportionate. For those who yearn for the classic hourglass body shape, fat grafting will allow a surgeon to sculpt both the abdomen and buttock area to create the necessary body contour.
In summary, butt implants enable the patient to get firm buttocks fast which means that that hour-glass figure or, at least, a proportional body is easily attainable. Moreover, if looked after a butt lift is permanent (although silicone implants may have to be renewed every 10-12 years).
What are the cons, then, of having buttock augmentation? Many of these drawbacks are those associated with any surgical intervention. Surgery will nearly always cause some discomfort as the body heals itself both inside and outside. Post-surgical complications can include fluid accumulation which is manifested, at least, in part by the swelling experienced after an operation. Even though surgeons will always try to place an incision so that it is difficult to see, any invasive surgery will leave a scar. This will fade over time, although it will never completely disappear. There may also be slight bleeding, either from the external site of the wound or from the internal ‘wound’ – hence the placement of the surgical drains.
Despite the fact that we talk about a butt lift being instant, it is important to remember that the final result may not manifest itself for anything up to six months. More serious complications discussed in the next section include the implants moving inside the body, skin numbness and sciatic nerve damage.
Any surgical intervention will inevitably carry a small risk of complications. Here are some of the most common surgery risks:
Other complications and risks are more specifically buttock augmentation risks. One such complication is the risk of sciatic nerve damage. Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica radiates down the leg because of pressure on the sciatic nerve. It is often caused because the buttock implant is pressing on the nerve either because the implant is too big or because it has been inserted too deeply into the gluteus maximus muscle. Another one of the plastic surgery risks is the problem of asymmetry. After the procedure it may transpire that the two buttocks are not an identical shape and/or size. There is a chance that this may be rectified with fat grafting or fillers but it may also mean a secondary surgical procedure. A similar problem may occur later if one of the implants moves or flips.
As the implant is placed near or in the muscle there is also the risk of muscle dysfunction and pain. Another possible risk is fat necrosis where an area a specific area of body tissue lacks the correct blood supply and dies. Hard, round lumps will form under the skin or the skin may appear to be dimpled or uneven. Sometimes these lumps will disappear of their own accord, but sometimes it will need to be treated with needles. In exceptional cases, a further operation may be required.
Another one of the buttock implants complications is the possible silicone implants side effects. Although silicone implants have been used very safely and for many years both in buttock and breast augmentation, they are an alien body as far as the body is concerned. It is a rare occurrence, but some people may find that they have an allergic reaction to the implants.
The complications and risks of butt implants are slightly higher than other plastic surgery risks and complications. A medical review paper published in 2016 estimated that the percentage overall post-surgical complications for butt lifts using fat grafting was 9.9% and for butt implants 21.6%. For fat grafting the most common complication was a seroma (a build-up of clear fluid) which may be painful but is fairly easily resolved. For butt implants the most common complication was open wounds (9.6%) which occurred post surgery. Usually this is treated with antibiotics and special dressings although in very exceptional circumstances further surgery may be necessary.
The complications and risks of butt implants subsume to general plastic surgery and silicone implants complications and risks.
Cosmetic surgery is not available on the NHS and this includes buttock augmentation. It is not considered necessary medical treatment. This situation is unlikely to change, particularly with the problems posed with the aftermath of the COVID pandemic and the subsequent very long waiting lists for treatment for urgent, and in some cases, life-threatening conditions. Butt lifts can only be obtained in the private health sector.
In addition to not being funded by the NHS, the butt implants cost is also not one of the procedures which is normally covered by a private medical policy. For holders of such policies, it always worth checking that this is the case, but at the time of writing there was no private medical insurance company providing such a procedure free of charge under the terms of its policy. All of this means that potential patients for a butt lift must fund the treatment costs from their own pocket.
How much for butt implants? The buttock implants cost varies considerably in different regions of the country and also depends on exactly which procedures are required. When checking the costs of buttock implants, UK prices should be carefully checked to ascertain exactly which types of procedures are offered. Often a butt filler procedure is carried out by somebody trained only in the process rather than fully trained medical staff, which may be a problem especially if anything goes wrong during the procedure. As a very general rule of thumb the higher the buttock augmentation cost the more modern the clinic and the more experienced the surgeon.
The buttock augmentation cost with a Brazilian butt lift is around £4,000 – £5,000. The price of butt implants, using silicone implants is nearer £7,000-£8,000. These figures are meant as guides only, the buttock augmentation price will vary considerably around the country. In addition, in the current climate of increased inflation, there is no doubt that the cost of butt implants will increase, at least in the short-term. Additionally, there may be extra costs for initial consultations and the cost of visits post-surgery to the home.
Increasing numbers of people are realising the advantages of having buttock implants overseas. The savings can be around 50% of the buttock implants cost UK. These savings, however, do not translate into inferior facilities or less experienced surgeons. Frequently, the exact opposite is true.
How much are butt implants abroad? Below is the price of butt implants in a variety of different countries around the world. The cost of return flights plus any necessary hotel accommodation will normally be an additional cost.
Price in Pounds Sterling
As can be seen from this chart the buttock implants cost abroad is considerably cheaper than the butt implants price in the UK.
When considering having buttock augmentation at a UK establishment, it is important to check out the type of procedures offered by the clinic as well as the qualifications of the staff who will be administering it. The internet can be quite helpful in this respect although beware of seemingly independent opinions which are actually sponsored by a particular clinic. Personal recommendations are also a very good guide.
For any cosmetic surgery, including butt implants, UK clinics should be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). All cosmetic surgery providers in the UK must be registered with this association by law if they provide any surgery where an implant is involved, liposuction or thread lifting.
Any doctor practising in the UK should be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). Any physician who carries out cosmetic surgery, including buttock implants, UK-based should appear on the GMC’s List of Registered Practitioners. This register provides primary medical qualifications and specialist information. The surgeon should also be a ‘full member’ of The British Association of Plastic Reconstruction and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
When considering having buttock augmentation at a UK establishment, it is important to check out the type of procedures offered by the clinic as well as the qualifications of the staff who will be administering it.
When considering butt implants, London will tend to be the most expensive centre although, of course, many of the better surgeons are based here as well as in some of the other UK major cities. Wherever the patient decides to have the procedure done, it is important to check out the clinic and the surgeon. Many establishments will give an initial consultation free of charge, which is a great opportunity to see the actual premises and meet the staff. It is also very important to strike up some sort of rapport with the surgeon so there is no misunderstanding on exactly what is required.
For other cosmetic procedures e.g. fillers for buttock augmentation, UK laws are not so strict on who can and cannot offer these services. The CQC suggests that one way of judging if somebody is suitably trained and qualified is to check out an accredited register. Although accreditation is not compulsory, most reputable practitioners will take this step to register. This means that their qualifications and insurance details are available and the organisation which runs the register may be able to help with concerns or complaints against a member. It is very important to check out anybody who is going to be messing with your body!
Plastic surgery abroad is now a thriving commercial market. This means that there is more and more competition between countries and clinics for this business which can only be good for the consumer. On the other hand, it does mean that there are some charlatans who are jumping on the bandwagon and checking out the credentials of clinics and surgeons abroad is a little bit more difficult than in the UK. It is important to find out as much information as possible about the hospital/clinic and the qualifications of the surgeon involved. In this regard a booking agency is indispensable. Not only do they have experience in booking buttock implants but they also have good authenticated information about the medical staff and clinics. In some cases they may be able to put you in touch with other patients who have undergone the same surgery at the medical establishment.
However, providing certain safeguards are put in place, there is no doubt that plastic surgery abroad prices represent a huge saving on those in the UK. It should be stressed, however, that these lower prices do not represent inferior or less qualified surgeons. They are significantly lower purely because the cost of living in these countries is so much lower than in the UK. The best buttock augmentation surgeon in a country like Poland or Turkey will be paid a lower salary than in the UK and with the additional lower running costs of the clinic or hospital, it is easy to appreciate how some other countries can offer such astonishingly low prices. Often flight costs and additional hotel accommodation will need to be added to the base costs, although some companies offer all-inclusive plastic surgery abroad packages.
What should be taken into consideration when thinking about butt implants abroad? Language is very important as communication is crucial to obtaining a successful outcome. So, unless the patient can speak the local language fluent English-speaking medical staff is a pre-requisite. Travelling to the destination should also be straightforward – are there flights from the local airport to the destination and how long is the flight. Sitting on a long flight after butt surgery is not a pleasant experience.
In many ways, Poland can now compete with the the best that western Europe can offer and this includes private medical treatment. It is now one of the most popular destinations for plastic surgery, including buttock augmentation. Its well-equipped and modern private medical centres attract medical tourists from all over the world including Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Well-trained staff and highly-qualified surgeons speak excellent English. For plastic surgery, Poland has to be one of the top destinations.
The best clinics are accredited by the Polish Health Ministry. In addition, although this is not compulsory, many medical centres may also hold certification from other organisations such as ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), ESQH (The European Society for Quality in Healthcare) and TAS (The Treatment Abroad Scheme).
Air travel to Poland is relatively easy. Budget airlines offer well-priced tickets on frequent flights from many European and UK airports to the major centres of Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk in Poland. Flight times from the UK are around 2.5 hours depending on the route.
For plastic surgery in Poland, prices are often about 50% of those available in the private sector in the UK, with no compromise on quality. Our consultants can provide specific details on the clinics we represent together with testimonies from other patients.
Poland is now one of the most popular destinations for plastic surgery.
Despite the recent COVID epidemic, Turkey has been experiencing a boon in medical tourism and is now one of the countries most often visited for cosmetic surgery procedures. For those considering butt implants, Turkey should feature as a possible destination. It has positioned itself as one of the leading countries for cosmetic surgery with well-appointed medical centres and excellent medical staff. English is spoken in all the hospitals/clinics which market themselves in foreign countries.
When considering buttock implants, Turkey prices are considerably lower than in the UK. In addition, Turkey is a great country for a possible holiday either before or after the surgery. It has some great resorts along its Mediterranean coast, where some of the medical centres are located. What is more, Istanbul with its mix of European and Asian influences is an extremely interesting city. Flights from the UK to Turkey take about four hours and less expensive tour operators’ charter flights are sometimes available. Our consultants can provide specific details of clinics in Turkey which would best suit your butt implant personal needs!
For those considering butt implants, Turkey should feature as a possible destination.
Done by Marta Wilczynska-Staniul, in
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Buttock augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is currently becoming very popular. Butt implant surgery is a relatively fast way of achieving the buttock shape of one’s dreams. It is, however, one of the more riskier cosmetic procedures as the area is very close to the hips, spine and most importantly the sciatic nerve. Nevertheless, thousands of successful procedures are carried out every year, so it just pays to check out the medical centre and surgeons before deciding on the surgery.
Other procedures which may be used as standalone solutions or in tandem with butt implants include fat grafting, liposuction and fillers. Some of these procedures may be unregulated. Buttock augmentation is not available on the NHS – it must always be paid for privately. Our consultants are trained to find the best destination and clinic for each individual. Please give us a call!
ASPS Statistics for 2020: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2020.pdf
Healthline – Everything you need to know about butt implants: https://www.healthline.com/health/butt-implants#risks-and-precautions
Webmd – What to know about butt implants: https://www.healthline.com/health/butt-implants#risks-and-precautions
Buttock augmentation with solid silicone implants (2011): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21346141/
Aesthetic Surgery of the Buttocks Using Implants: Practice-Based Recommendations: https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/36/5/559/2584136
Determining the Safety and Efficacy of Gluteal Augmentation: A Systematic Review of Outcomes and Complications: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27018670/
NHS Surgical Fat Transfer advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/surgical-fat-transfer/
Care Quality Commission – https://www.cqc.org.uk/help-advice/help-choosing-care-services/choosing-cosmetic-surgery
In the UK Anne was a professionally qualified trainer with many years of experience in the training industry. She mainly worked in the travel, tourism and leisure industries (including Thomas Cook and British Airways) as well as in other sectors.
Since moving to Poland twelve years ago, Anne has become involved in other business sectors – teaching English as a foreign language and translating documents from Polish into English. She specialises particularly, in medical translations and works closely with dentists, cardiologists and neurologists in translating and preparing articles for publication. She has also trained as a practitioner in the field of neuro-linguistic programming and is a qualified hypnotherapist.
Any spare time is spent renovating the house in Poland which Anne bought some years ago.
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