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What is Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) Surgery & Why is it So Popular?

One common result of ageing is sagging buttocks or saggy thighs. There are many surgical options and non-surgical alternatives to consider.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Date: 16th January 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 16th January 2024

What is BBL surgery and how does it work?

BBL stands for Brazilian Butt Lift. This surgical procedure was invented by Dr Ivo Pitanguy, a Brazilian cosmetic surgeon who first wrote about surgery to correct saggy buttocks in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive surgery in 1964. Initially these surgeries involved using silicone buttock implant, but this developed into fat grafting techniques in the 1980s. 

The procedure involves removing excess, stubborn fat from areas of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, and flanks before treating it to remove any impurities and reinjecting it into the buttocks to increase volume and lift. This also enhances the contours of the waist and the thighs to create an hourglass shape. By using fat from the body, rather than implants, the recovery tends to be easier, and the results are more natural and successful. 

Why have Brazilian Butt Lifts become so popular?

Brazilian Butt Lift surgery has increased in popularity in the last ten years partly because of several popular, young celebrities have reportedly had this procedure. Very few celebrities have spoken openly about having this procedure, but the results are often quite dramatic, making it easy to speculate about the possibility they have undergone BBL. The most famous name that has led to speculation is Kim Kardashian, who has the tell-tale wide hips, large buttocks and very small (snatched) waist. 

The rise in celebrities reportedly having this procedure has created more public awareness about BBL surgery. This has led to more people realising they are able to have this surgery to address their own individual concerns. Surgeons have also shown that they are able to create bespoke results, and that not every BBL needs to have the dramatic results which many people associate with the BBL procedure. 

Awareness is growing

Much of the conversation around Brazilian Butt Lift has been around the risks of BBL and some of the tragic deaths related to this procedure. For a long time, guidelines in the UK suggested not doing the BBL as there were questions about the safety. Cadogan Clinic’s surgeons have helped to develop the BAAPS guidelines for safe, high quality Brazilian Butt Lift surgery. Cadogan Clinic’s founder, Mr Bryan Mayou introduced Liposuction into the UK and has led development on fat transfer surgery ever since. Our surgical team is one of the most highly trusted in the UK, meaning you are in safe hands and will be cared for with the highest quality standards. 

Words from our clients:


Having a BBL procedure in the UK vs going abroad

It can be very tempting to consider the option of going abroad for Brazilian Butt Lift surgery, especially when comparing the prices. Countries like Turkey have very high demand for BBL surgery, but it is difficult to guarantee safety standards or regulation. By opting to have your BBL procedure in the UK, you can be confident that the surgeon you are working with is fully qualified and committed to the highest surgical standards in safety. 

How has the surgery changed over time?

When Dr Ivo Pitanguy first wrote about surgery to volumize and enhance the buttocks, he and his colleagues were referring to the use of silicone implants. Although some surgeons do still use this technique, it has become less popular as the results are rarely natural and realistic and there are more safety risks involved (including implant rupture and a higher risk of infection).  
 
Instead, surgeons are much more likely to use fat grafting techniques, using Liposuction to remove excess, stubborn fat from areas of the body before injecting it into the buttocks. As well as being safer to use the body’s own fat reserves (the risk of infection is much lower than with implants) to achieve the desired results, this has the added benefit of enhancing the contours in other areas of the body, not just the buttocks.  
 
As well as being safer, by using fat transfer in BBL surgery, your surgeon can achieve a much more natural, bespoke result. Whereas implants come in standard sizes with a few shapes to choose from, your surgeon can inject fat into very specific areas, creating an individual and flattering result that suits your body’s proportions perfectly. This leads to higher patient satisfaction as your desired results are much more achievable. 

The unexpected benefits of BBL surgery

Although the main benefits of BBL surgery are usually seen as the increased size and enhanced lift of the buttocks, as well as heightened self-confidence, BBL surgery can also treat other concerns in the abdomen, hip and thigh areas. Issues such as hip-dips - where the body’s contour curves inwards below the hips, which some people find makes it difficult to wear certain clothing - can be treated very effectively as part of a BBL procedure. 
 
As BBL surgery with fat transfer involves Liposuction, the body’s shape and contours can be enhanced very effectively beyond just the shape and position of the buttocks. Your surgeon can treat any areas of concern you have, not just around the central areas of the BBL - abdomen, thighs, flanks, and hips. Some patients opt to have Liposuction to areas such as their arms or lower legs in combination with their BBL procedure. 

 

What does the future hold? Will BBLs still be popular in 10 years?

There is often a lot of discussion about BBL being a trend led surgery. As we have seen, interest has increased dramatically in the last 10 years and currently shows no signs of stopping. So, what happens when this body shape is no longer popular, or seen as fashionable?

When you are considering cosmetic surgery, it is important that you make sure you are undergoing the procedure for the right reasons and that you are not simply following a trend. Although it is likely that dramatic BBL results will become less popular over time, thanks to the bespoke nature of BBL surgery, it will always be suited for patients who are looking to address concerns of smaller or sagging buttocks, with natural and flattering results. 
 
Surgical techniques are constantly developing, and we can expect to see BBL surgery continue to be popular, but also with continually better results. 

 

If you are interested in a Brazilian Butt Lift, our dedicated surgical advisors can organise a consultation with an expert to put your mind at ease over any concerns that you may have about a surgical procedure. Our flexible payment options on offer mean surgeries are accessible to anyone. 


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