Excess skin and fat from aging or after dramatic weight loss in the gluteal area can be dramatically improved with a buttock lift. Not to be confused with a “Brazilian butt lift,” which adds volume using fat transfer, this procedure involves removing skin and fat through a surgical excision and sometimes liposuction.
When to Consider a Buttock Lift
- If you have loose, drooping skin in your buttocks
- If you recently experienced significant weight loss and are now close to your ideal weight
- If you feel self-conscious
- If the excess skin makes you uncomfortable or cause mobility problems
- Your buttock area will look smoother and lifted.
- The results will be long lasting.
- Any discomfort caused by excess skin will be improved.
- Full recovery may take several months.
- Future weight fluctuations can affect the final result.
- The procedure could result in loss of volume in the buttocks.
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering a buttock lift. If you want to focus on those specifically unique to you, please consult with Dr. Jensen.
Am I a good candidate for a buttock lift?
Sagging skin and fat in the gluteal area can add bulk and frustrate your efforts to achieve a slimmer, more sculpted body through exercise and diet. If any of these conditions apply to you, then you might be a good candidate for buttock lift:
- You have undergone bariatric surgery or significant weight loss.
- Pregnancy and/or aging have left you with loose skin and cellulite on the buttocks.
- You have significant skin laxity, excess skin, and sagginess of the buttocks.
- The fat layer below your skin is relatively thin.
- You do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least four weeks before surgery.
- Your weight has been stable for at least a year, with no further weight loss expected. For ideal results, gluteoplasty should not be done for about two years following the start of any massive-weight-loss program.
- You are in good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body contouring procedures. You must obtain clearance for plastic surgery from your primary care physician.
- You have a healthy diet. Problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are a good candidate for this procedure.
How is a buttock lift procedure performed?
There are a couple of different techniques and approaches, but generally:
- Dr. Jensen will make an incision at the top of the buttocks, in the hips, around to the abdomen to remove excess skin and pull the remaining skin taut.
- Liposuction is typically used to further contour the buttock area or thighs to achieve a balanced look.
- Incisions are sutured and closed in layers to ensure that the skin remains tight with reduced scars.
- Drains and dressings are placed and usually a compression garment or girdle is worn to reduce swelling.
What are my options?
Depending on the quality of your skin, how much skin there is to remove, and your body shape, Dr. Jensen will determine which options are best for you. If there is a large amount of skin to remove, you may consider having a lower body lift, which would help remove skin around the stomach, buttock, thighs, and hips.
What will my buttock lift scars look like?
Incisions for a buttock lift typically include a large incision on the top of the buttocks in the back. If liposuction is involved, there will be smaller scars that will fade and be barely noticeable.
How do I prepare for a buttock lift procedure?
Dr. Jensen and his staff will provide you with preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your procedure, Dr. Jensen will ask you to:
- Stopping smoking before undergoing surgery.
- Avoid taking aspirin, all anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
- Hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Buttock lift is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for a reliable caregiver to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
What can I expect on the day of buttock-lift surgery?
Your buttock-lift surgery will be performed in our accredited office-based surgical suite. Most buttock lift procedures take at two hours to complete but may take longer.
You will receive medications to keep you comfortable during and after the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia combined with sedation may be an option but general anesthesia is more commonly used for this procedure. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will be present to administer sedatives or general anesthesia and assist in monitoring you during surgery. If you have a general anesthetic, a breathing tube will be placed in your mouth to ensure that your airway is secure during position changes involved in the procedure.
For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen and CO2 circulating in your blood.
Dr. Jensen will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery. Once the operation has begun, he may decide to combine various techniques or change a technique to ensure the best result. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust Dr. Jensen to make these decisions.
When you wake:
- Surgical drains will have been placed to remove fluid that accumulates under the skin.
- You will be wearing a compression garment, which controls swelling, supports the suspended tissues and flattens the skin. This garment may be placed at the time of surgery by our nursing staff.
After surgery, you will be taken to our recovery room, where you will continue to be closely monitored by a recovery room nurse.
You may go home on the day of surgery with a reliable caregiver. Under no circumstances will you be permitted to go home alone or stay home without another adult present. * * Follow Dr. Jensen’s recommendation in relation to this decision.
Before leaving for home, your caregiver should feel comfortable emptying and recording your drains.
Dr. Jensen will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care from the recovery room nurse, including information about:
- Normal symptoms that you should expect
- Any potential signs of complications
Immediately after your buttock lift
Typically, you can expect to be bandaged and wearing a compression garment, and you will have some surgical drains in place. Once you learn how to take care of your drains, feel comfortable walking and moving, and are comfortable with oral pain medications, you will be discharged home.
- When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some discomfort. If the pain is extreme or long lasting, contact our office. You will also have some bruising and swelling after the surgery. In some cases, the swelling will remain for weeks or even months. Contact our staff to determine if your pain, redness, and swelling is normal or a sign of a problem.
- Make sure you continue to have adequate help at home − this cannot be stressed enough. You'll be tempted to try to help around the house soon after surgery, but you should not do anything strenuous, including lifting, for four to six weeks. If you have small children, arrange for someone else to be totally in charge of their care for at least the first week and maybe longer.
- Ask our staff how to sit and sleep, including the use of pillows, to minimize the tension on your incisions, reduce pain, and facilitate a thinner scar.
- Drains, which also control swelling, are placed to remove blood and serum that accumulates under the incisions. Dr. Jensen will ask you to measure the amount of fluid in your drains twice daily. Once the output is low enough, a member of our staff will remove your drains. Drains typically remain in place from seven to ten days, but may be left longer.
Recovery time frame after a buttock lift
Buttock-lift surgery is quite extensive and will require two to three weeks of recovery before you can resume normal daily activities. Full healing will take up to six months. Being in good health, not smoking, and having help after surgery will increase the speed of healing, improve your results, and prevent complications.
Results from buttock lifts are very long lasting. As with most surgery, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and aging will take a toll on the body and the results of your gluteoplasty. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid significant weight gain, you can enjoy a youthful contour for a long time.
Maintain a relationship with Our Office: For safety, as well as the most youthful and healthy outcome, it's important to return to your our office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your buttock lift. Do not hesitate to contact the office when you have any questions or concerns.
Fortunately, significant complications from buttock-lift surgery are infrequent. Your specific risks will be discussed during your pre-operative consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma
- Infection or bleeding
- Loss of sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of our staff and Dr. Jensen, both before and after your buttock-lift surgery.