Why Fat Grafting is No Match for Non-Lipo BBL (PART I)

Overnight Buttocks Projection Boost; No Surgery, No Liposuction, No Fat Grafting

One of the most performed cosmetic surgery procedures is undoubtedly the Brazilian Butt Lift or BBL. Brazilian butt lift is a surgical procedure that involves using patient’s own fat taken from other parts of the body and injecting it into the gluteal area to make it more prominent and plump; this is also known as fat grafting or autologous fat transfer. So one may think that the Brazilian Butt Lift solves the problem; well, it is not that simple.

It is not clear if BBL originated in Brazil but it was introduced during the 90’s as an alternative to silicone buttock prosthesis, mainly due to their poor aesthetic results and relatively high failure rate, as they are prone to displacement, rotation, hardness, infections, rejection or simply because buttock implants usually end up being too noticeable leaving the surrounding areas empty; once the body naturally encapsulates the implants, they tend to become outrageously obvious with quite unsightly indentations and this is especially true for slim patients, causing too much embarrassment and shame.

Quite often after the postoperative period of a BBL, even when it has been performed by a highly trained medical professional, patients feel dissatisfied and think that their expectations have not been fulfilled.

So what’s happening with these BBL surgical procedures where at first glance and immediately after the surgery, the buttocks look symmetrical and well projected but after the swelling from the surgical trauma goes down, the patient has the impression that the procedure was practically useless?

From our experience with people who have undergone BBL, the reasons for the dissatisfaction invariably tend to be the scarce volume and lack of lateral contour obtained. By “volume” we should mean the firmness and projection of the buttocks while by “lateral contour”, the roundness and curved shape of the sides (hips).

The crux of the matter is that despite the hype, fat does not make a good dermal filler. There are several reasons for this: on the one hand not many people have fat of sufficient quality and consistency for the purpose and even then, never enough of it is extracted to make a real difference. Then there is the issue that in order to be transplanted, the fat must first be purified to remove the blood and the tumescent solution used during liposuction; this means using centrifugation or filtering and washing the fat which puts the adipocytes (fat cells) under a lot of stress with consequent destruction of a good percentage of them. Finally, the adipocytes that eventually reach the gluteal tissue that manage to adapt to the new environment and survive only represent a relatively small fraction of the total number of transplanted cells. In the end, the transplanted fat cells undergo a process called resorption, which means that over time (usually less than a year) the injected fat literally disappears.

And all this without of course even mentioning the discomfort for the patient of having to undergo a traumatic surgical operation such as liposuction, even though a whole series of euphemisms have been invented to try and minimize this harsh reality, one of them being the much talked about laser Smartlipo which in reality does not work in this case because the laser heat destroys the adipocytes making this fat useless to be transplanted into the buttocks.

And after having exposed all the weaknesses that BBL has as an effective procedure for the enhancement and embellishment of the gluteal area, it is necessary to finish by saying that our adipose tissues are soft by nature and do not succeed in projecting lateral roundness so it is necessary to give contour to that part of the buttocks that is integrated to the sides achieving additional space, since we must not forget that the ensemble buttocks/sides must be joined together to look as a whole; otherwise the buttocks tend to look kind of longish. Or put another way, when the buttocks expand laterally, the entire area takes on a rounder shape.

Follow the link below to see how this interesting story ends:
Why Fat Grafting is No Match for Non-Lipo BBL (PART II)