Synergistiq Wellness


What is a BBL, and How is it Performed?

  • What’s the difference between a Brazilian butt lift and a standard butt lift? 
  • What makes Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) different from butt implants?
  • Are BBLs safe, and how are they performed?
  • What should I expect during a BBL procedure? 

If you are curious about butt augmentation, chances are you’ve asked some of these questions. The BBL, or “buttock augmentation with fat grafting,” is a unique procedure that stands apart from other butt augmentation surgeries.

The BBL is technically not Brazilian (though its inventor was) and isn’t a traditional “lift” because it doesn’t take care of sagging or excess skin like a traditional facelift or butt lift.

A BBL is unique because it’s actually two procedures in one—liposuction and fat transfer. 

There are no silicone implants or extensive and invasive cutting in a Brazilian butt lift. Though complex in practice, the idea behind BBLs is simple: you have unwanted fat in some parts of your body, so why not take that fat and enhance your backside?

In this post, Synergistiq Wellness explores this unique and increasingly popular procedure to help you decide if a butt lift is right for you. We’ll cover what happens during the process, how you should prepare for it, and what you should do post-procedure to maximize the results.

Synergistiq Wellness specializes in body contouring procedures that smooth out, reshape, or remove your body’s fat to get you closer to your aesthetic goals. If you are curious about BBLs, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Dayal today.

What a BBL Isn’t

It’s important to discuss what a BBL isn’t so that you have solid expectations for the procedure. There are three main types of butt augmentation available in the US:

  • Brazilian butt lifts (or a gluteal fat transfer)
  • Butt lifts
  • Butt Implants

A BBL is Not a Butt Lift

Butt lifts, like face lifts or breast lifts, are intended to reduce excess, wrinkly skin. When people age, their skin produces less and less collagen and elastin. Without the structural support of collagen and elastin, the skin develops a wrinkly, drooping, or sagging appearance.

Traditional lifts, whether for the butt, face, or breast, remedy this by removing excess skin and tightening what’s left over. This procedure can help older people achieve a more youthful appearance. It can also help people remove excess skin after losing weight.

A buttock lift will not add more volume and may make the buttocks look smaller. It’s possible to combine a fat transfer procedure and a traditional butt lift to reduce sagging skin and naturally enhance the backside’s volume.

Butt lifts are considered more invasive than BBLs because they require a lot of cutting and suturing of tissue. Traditional butt lifts also leave behind scars where the skin was cut. 

A BBL is Not a Butt Implant

Butt implants, like breast implants, add volume to the targeted area. Butt implants are extremely customizable, coming in many shapes and sizes. However, the results won’t look or feel as natural as those of a BBL. 

Butt implants are made of a specially designed solid silicone material that can withstand the pressures of moving, sitting, running, and lying down. It might be a good option for people who do not have enough fat in other areas of the body to contribute to the backside. 

Butt implant surgeries are considered invasive and require longer recovery time than BBLs.    

BBL Procedure Overview: Using Your Own Fat To Reshape Your Buttocks

Now that we’ve discussed what a Brazilian butt lift isn’t, we can explore the BBL procedure in greater detail. BBLs can be traced back to the 1960s when Ivo Pitanguy, a Brazilian plastic surgeon, first developed the predecessor to the techniques used today. 

The BBL technique has evolved over the 60 years since its creation and wasn’t without controversy. However, in 2022, the technique is considered very safe, having a mortality rate on par with the tummy tuck procedure (around 1 in every 15,000 patients). 

In fact, an alternative name for the BBL cosmetic procedure is “safe subcutaneous buttock augmentation.”

The procedure is heavily regulated by a dedicated, international safety task force to ensure all board-certified cosmetic surgeons follow the latest and safest surgical techniques.

Also, the BBL offers patients the most natural-looking results because you aren’t using artificial buttock implants to enhance your backside. Instead, your cosmetic surgeon uses your own transferred fat cells.

What Happens During a Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure?

The BBL comprises two procedures—liposcupting and gluteal fat grafting—and a fat purification stage. 

  1. The first stage of the BBL procedure involves removing excess body fat from one or more areas of the body, usually the abdomen, flanks, thighs, or upper arms. This is performed through liposuction, where the board-certified plastic surgeon uses a tool called a cannula and negative pressure to suck up excess fat.
  2. The excess fat is then purified to remove other biological materials. This helps improve the success of the fat transfer because the fat cells are more likely to survive the graft.
  3. After the excess fat has been purified, it is injected into the buttocks. This part of the procedure requires an artistic touch from the cosmetic surgeon, as maintaining symmetry and matching the realistic desires of the patient are a priority.

Preparing For a BBL Procedure

Now that we’ve covered an overview of the Brazilian butt lift surgery, let’s explore some of the questions you should consider before going ahead with a BBL. As you’ll see, it’s vitally important that you do due diligence when searching for a cosmetic surgeon, explore the costs and financing methods of a Brazilian butt lift surgery, and understand the risks involved in the procedure.  

Knowing the Risks of a BBL Procedure

All surgeries have risks. From a simple dental procedure to open heart surgery, a doctor’s ethical duty is to inform you of the risks before going ahead with an operation or procedure. Though considered safe and approved by the FDA, the BBL, like other surgeries, comes with certain risks.


Surgeries involving cutting and manipulating body tissues always carry a risk of infection. You must follow the medical advice of your doctor before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of infection.

Fat Embolisms and Blood Clots

Before the international BBL task force, there wasn’t enforcement of safety procedures designed to reduce the risk of fat embolism and blood clots. A fat embolism occurs when fat is accidentally injected into a vein and travels to the lungs. When fat is accidentally injected into the veins, it can block important arteries and lead to cardiac complications.

Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safe?

Yes, now that the safety measures of the BBL task force are standardized, the risks of pulmonary and cardiovascular complications are much lower. Still, you want to always choose your plastic surgeon based on experience and results—not price.

Other Risks

Other risks you need to understand before receiving a BBL are:

  • Bruising
  • Blood Loss
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Stretch marks
  • Fat and tissue necrosis

Explore BBL Before and After Photos

Anyone considering a Brazilian butt lift surgery needs to check out many before-and-after photos. Not only does this help you set realistic expectations for the procedure, but it also introduces you to a plastic surgeon’s portfolio.

Choosing a highly experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon is extremely important because cosmetic surgery is an expensive investment in yourself. Like any self-investment, you get what you pay for. 

Getting a certification from a sketchy, unaccredited college might be cheaper. However, that certification will be less effective in helping you secure your dream job. Selecting a Brazilian butt lift surgeon on price rather than on their track record, testimonials, and before-and-after photos is a recipe for wasted money and disappointment.  

Knowing Who’s a Good Candidate For a Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure

You must also understand who’s a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift. There are several factors you need to consider when exploring your options. Consider asking:

  • Do you have enough excess body fat to undergo a fat transfer?
  • Are you in good physical health?
  • Have you maintained a stable weight?
  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Are you within 25 to 30 lbs of your ideal body weight?
  • Is your body finished developing?
  • Have you been unsuccessful at enhancing your backside through exercise?
  • Do you have realistic expectations?
  • Do you understand that a BBL will not improve saggy, wrinkly skin?

How Much Does a BBL Procedure Cost?

To learn more about what goes into pricing a BBL procedure, check out our blog post on pricing a BBL in Florida.

Several factors determine the cost of a BBL procedure. This explains why there is such a large price range for the procedure—a BBL can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000+ in the US.

Factors that influence the cost of a BBL are:

  • The location of the plastic surgeon—urban areas are more expensive to run a business in and have more competition than less populated rural areas.
  • The experience and prestige of the plastic surgeon—remember, when it comes to cosmetic surgery, you often get what you pay for. Experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have a higher surgeon fee than less experienced plastic surgeons.
  • Anesthesia fees—The type of anesthesia you receive affects the cost. General anesthesia is more expensive than local anesthesia with IV sedation.
  • The amount of work you are getting done—If you have liposuction on multiple donor sites and plan to have a large amount of fat transferred, it will cost more than a smaller-scale BBL.
  • The number of pre-op tests you need before surgery—before undergoing surgery, your plastic surgeon will require various health tests to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery.
  • Post-op and recovery care—You’ll need to factor in other expenses such as prescription medications, in-home care, follow-up appointments, special compression garments, and lymphatic drainage massages.

Best Ways To Pay For a BBL Procedure

Cosmetic surgery is an expensive self-investment. You need to know exactly how you are going to pay for it. Luckily there are several ways you can finance a BBL procedure.

  • Some plastic surgery clinics offer special low or no-interest payment plans that make these procedures more affordable.
  • Special lines of credit are available with low-interest rates to help afford plastic surgeries. 
  • Some plastic surgery clinics offer discounts or deals for people who pay for the procedures upfront in cash.  

What To Expect Before, During, and After a BBL Procedure

Though we’ve discussed what happens during a Brazilian butt lift surgery, let’s walk through the experience from the patient’s perspective so you can get a better idea of what to expect.

Brazilian butt lift procedures are outpatient procedures. You can expect to be at the plastic surgery center for about five hours, give or take a few. Expect about three to four hours for the cosmetic procedure itself. The remaining time is spent prepping you for anesthesia and bringing you out of anesthesia after the surgery is complete, if a general anesthesia is used.

To refresh, the outpatient procedure involves three steps:

  1. Liposuction of target areas; extra fat is removed
  2. Extracted fat is purified and processed
  3. Cosmetic surgeon employs fat transfer techniques; purified fat injected into the buttocks

You will not be able to drive yourself home after your fat transfer procedure. Make sure you have a designated driver. 

Post-Op Care For BBL Procedures

The success of a BBL depends not only on the plastic surgeon’s skill but also on the willingness of the patient to follow post-op instructions. It’s important to wear your compression garment until the surgeon says you don’t have to. 

In the days following the procedure, expect the following post-operative symptoms:

  • Pain in your buttocks 
  • Pain in the areas that received liposuction 
  • Bruising 
  • Swelling
  • Some numbness
  • Fluid drainage 
  • Small amounts of bleeding
  • Soreness throughout your body
  • Confusion and exhaustion (if you received general anesthesia)

Make sure you follow the post-op instructions: 

  • Do not sit or sleep on your back for several weeks after the procedure. Sleep on your stomach or side instead.
  • Do not stretch, engage in rigorous physical activity, or engage in load-bearing activities
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until cleared by your doctor
  • Avoid swimming or using hot tubs until cleared by your doctor
  • Avoid smoking

However, there are things you should do after your Brazilian butt lift surgery:

  • Walk regularly
  • Eat healthily and take medications as prescribed
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear your compression garment until your plastic surgeon says you no longer need it

Special Garments For BBL Recovery—Padding is Your BBL BFF

Let’s talk about the compression garments you’ll need. These padded compression garments help reduce swelling and prevent the formation of seromas, which are pockets of lymphatic fluid that can form when certain procedures or trauma leave behind body cavities.

The cannula, the tool used in liposuction, leaves behind tiny cavities that can fill with lymphatic fluid if you do not wear your compression garment. While not dangerous, seromas can compromise the aesthetic results of your BBL procedure. 

That’s why you must wear your compression garment until your plastic surgeon says you no longer need it.

When Can I Return To Work After a BBL?

Many people return to work after one week, but you will not be able to sit normally for about two weeks. If you work a desk job, consider asking for special accommodations or taking off more than one week to recover fully. 

Remember, the procedure’s success also depends on how well you follow the post-op instructions. If you follow your post-operative instructions, then after several weeks, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your new body shape.

Discover What a BBL Can Do For You With Our Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our two highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons in Tampa to learn more about your viability for a BBL. Synergistiq Wellness specializes in liposculpture, which is equal parts liposuction and artistry.

Our experienced plastic surgeons, Dr. Dayal will help you decide which butt augmentation procedure is best for you.