What is a Buttock lift?

A buttock lift, or gluteoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the buttocks.

The aim of a buttock lift is to lift and reshape the buttock area, as well as reduce volume, to create a more shapely, firmer appearance in the buttock area. During a buttock lift, excess skin and fat are removed from the buttocks. The remaining skin is then repositioned to create a more toned and contoured look.

A buttock lift is commonly performed after dramatic weight loss where the buttock tissue has been stretched and 'sags' down from the buttocks and thighs.

It is commonly combined with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), Liposuction or thigh lift to contour the buttocks, groin, thighs and abdomen area.

Why have a buttock lift?

As we age the elasticity of our skin changes and becomes looser. This speed of this process can be increased if our weight fluctuates dramatically or we possess genetic factors that predispose us toward poor skin elasticity.
This process impacts many areas of the body, including the buttock area, and causes the skin tissue to stretch and sag.

Stretched skin is unlikely to shrink back naturally and typically cannot be tightened with diet and exercise. This is a common misconception, and surgical intervention may be the only way to deliver your desired results.

This sagging of the skin can cause people to become self-conscious of their body, preventing them from feeling comfortable in many clothes, particularly swimwear and sportswear.

To achieve a tighter, leaner look to your legs, a Buttock lift can be a highly effective solution, so you can feel confident in your body once more.

You might consider a buttock lift if you want:

  • A more shapely, contoured buttock and upper thigh area
  • A firmer, toned buttock and upper thigh area
  • To remove excess, loose ‘sagging’ skin 
  • Target stubborn areas of unwanted buttock fat 
  • To improve the overall appearance of the lower body 

A buttock lift is typically done in combination with other body contouring procedures.

The overall effect is to deliver a more sculpted, aesthetically pleasing buttock, firmer to the touch and with tightened, smooth overlying skin.

How does the buttock procedure lift work?

The buttock lift procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and takes between one and two hours.

The procedure can be targeted at a single area on the buttocks or thighs, or can be extended to cover the whole area. In some cases, the buttock lift may be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat over a wider area and free up the skin that needs to be lifted.

Typically, your surgeon will remove tissue at the junction of lower back and buttock. This allows for an elevation of the tissue and a reshaping of the buttocks, hips and the lower back. Buttock cosmetic surgery can also be performed in combination with liposuction of the hips. The removed fat is then transferred into the buttock area. This is ideal for patients with flatter buttocks and can restore their youthful curves.

There are four different buttock lift techniques:

  • Upper buttock lift - the most invasive method of surgery where an incision is made at the top of the buttocks, the excess underlying tissue removed and the buttock repositioned to improve its appearance and contour. This procedure can leave a long scar at the top of the buttocks but is a very effective means to lift the position of the buttocks
  • Lower buttock lift - a suitable option if you have moderate sagging only. An incision is made in the lower buttocks where there is a natural crease in the buttock fold. Excess tissue is removed from the lower side of the buttock resulting in a less visible scar, hidden in the natural crease line 
  • Butterfly buttock lift – this procedure gets its name from the shape of the incision which starts from the central crease and carries on upwards and outwards like the wings of a butterfly. This method is effective in tightening the skin, but it less effective for repositioning or lifting of the buttocks 
  • Lateral buttock lift – also suitable for moderate buttock sagging is a lateral approach to the buttock lift. An incision is made into the outer side of each buttock and is a good choice for people who do not have dramatic sagging or large amounts of excess fat and skin, and want to minimise scarring

What are the benefits of a Buttock lift?

The benefits of a Buttock lift are both cosmetic and psychological, and include:

  • Firmer, leaner buttocks and upper thigh area
  • More shapely buttocks and upper thigh area
  • Redefined, lower body figure and outline
  • Tightened buttock skin elasticity
  • Reduce appearance of a ‘saggy’ bottom 
  • Ability to wear tighter cut clothes/swimwear
  • Improved sense of emotional wellbeing 

What are some of the main aesthetic considerations for your surgeon?

Two key considerations are symmetry and scarring.

  • Surgical experience and careful planning are required to produce a symmetrical result. It is common to see patients who have had unequal amounts of skin and fat removed with unnaturally shaped buttocks and thighs, of unequal size. There are even occasions where patients have required to have skin put back, using skin grafts. This is a key consideration at the outset 
  • A skilled surgeon can minimise scarring and place them expertly in locations where they are not visible to the eye. Scars take some months to settle in, but your surgeon will try and confine the scarring to the buttock fold or groin areas

Who is suitable for Buttock lift?

Buttock lift surgery is a highly personal procedure and should only be undertaken if you feel strongly that you would benefit from either the skin / fat reduction and contouring properties of a Buttock lift

You may be a suitable candidate for Buttock lift surgery if:

  • You are in good psychological and physical medical health
  • You are at your ideal body weight
  • You have a positive outlook and realistic expectations of what can be achieved via surgery
  • You are seeking to remove excess skin in your buttocks and thighs 
  • You are seeking to remove excess fat deposits and cellulite in your buttocks and thighs
  • You are seeking to improve the shape and contours of your buttocks and thighs
  • You are looking for long lasting results 

What to expect


The first step for all of our Buttock lift patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation. At the consultation you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given your existing anatomy.

Your surgeon will take you through the options available to you, and which is the most preferential for you given your stated ambitions. Having established this, several key measurements will be made and standard clinical photography will be taken.

Some questions you may want to ask your surgeon include:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • Can I achieve the results I am asking for?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What scars will I be left with?
  • Will I be in pain after the surgery?
  • How soon after Buttock lift can I return to work?

Finally a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding what to expect in the post procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two week 'cooling off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.


If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure. Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of healing more slowly and complications (see FAQs)
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission


On the day of your procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

Before surgery, the surgeon will measure up the buttocks and thighs to assess how much fat and/or skin needs to be removed. The buttocks and thighs are then photographed, with the skin markings, in various positions, front and back. The procedure is carried out under our form of general anaesthesia called T.I.V.A. (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) and takes two hours.

The buttocks are bandaged after surgery to reduce bruising and you will feel stiff and mildly uncomfortable as you bend your legs or move your back. Most of the sutures used are dissolving to avoid stitch marks, but there may be a few to remove a week or so after surgery. Bruising lasts about 3 weeks.


You should not feel much pain during the procedure, but you may have some for a few days or weeks afterwards. You'll be given painkillers if you need them.

Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between two to three hours, dependent on the scale of the procedure. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.

Once home you will have access to our dedicated on-call nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.

We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 - 8 weeks for a final check up.

Why come to the Cadogan Clinic for a Buttock lift 

  • Hand – picked team of Buttock lift surgeons, trained under pioneer of procedure in the UK
  • Leading liposuction unit in the country, founded by first surgeon to perform liposuction in the UK 
  • Day case surgery, go home the same day 
  • Low infection risk, standalone specialist cosmetic unit 
  • Dedicated 24 / 7 nursing aftercare team to assist recovery  

What are the side effects and risks

Buttock lift surgery is a safe procedure, but it is common to experience:

  • bruising and swelling
  • temporary numbness
  • a small amount of scarring 

As with all surgical procedures, Buttock lift surgery carries some risk and it is possible that you might experience:

  • Nausea 
  • Bleeding or Infection 
  • Poor healing of incisions and scarring
  • Seroma 
  • a collection of blood underneath the skin (haematoma)
  • death of fat tissue (fat necrosis) or embolism

Your surgeon will discuss these risks comprehensively at your consultation and explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may be suitable for a Buttock lift if you have:

+ Loose sagging skin in/around your buttocks
+ Inelastic, lax buttock skin
+ Excess fat deposits in your buttocks
+ Unshapely, untoned buttock contours
+ Disproportionate buttocks relative to rest of figure

Loose sagging skin in the buttock area can be caused by a number of common factors:

+ Genetics, occurs naturally
+ Dramatic weight loss
+ Ageing

One of our highly trained, elite plastic surgeons will perform your Buttock lift.

All our Buttock lift and liposuction specialists have been hand picked by Mr Bryan Mayou, our founder, and the pioneer of liposuction in the UK.

Your consultation is designed to be perfect opportunity to ask all the pressing questions that you have to your consultant, ahead of making a decision on surgery. It is vital that you are fully informed before making your final decision, and the consultation is therefore a key part of the education and decision making process.

Some good examples of questions to ask, include:

+ Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
+ Do you think my goals are realistic given my existing anatomy?
+ Will I require a single surgery or multiple surgeries?
+ Can I see some before & after pictures of Buttock lift procedures you have done previously?
+ How long will my recovery take?
+ Is it true that Cadogan offers 24/7 on call nursing service?
+ What can I expect in terms of bruising, swelling and scarring?
+ What are my options if I am unhappy with my results?

No special preparation is required although it is generally advisable to do the following before any surgery

+ Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
+ Avoid certain medications. You'll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
+ Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.

Buttock lift surgery should take two hours.

You should start to see results in the days following surgery. These will fully start to appear from around the six week mark and improvements will be ongoing for the first 12 or so months.

Your results will be long lasting so long as you maintain your body weight following surgery.

The ageing process will however continue from your new post procedure point, and skin laxity will gradually increase over time. The ageing process will start from a far better point however, so it should be many years before this becomes noticeable again.

As you get older, however, you should expect to see the buttock skin begin to sag again, particularly if you gain weight

You will not feel any pain during the procedure as you will be under the influence of anaesethetic.

Immediately following surgery, you may experience discomfort but any pain should be tolerable. Your surgeon can provide painkillers for this and the majority of patients no longer need them a few days after buttock surgery.

Buttock lift surgery is straightforward, safe surgery although you should be aware of all the risks and complications before going ahead with surgery. Some are listed on this page, but your surgeon at your will go through these at length and in full at your consultation

Recovery time for this procedure will depend on the individual patient.

We usually advise that you take around two weeks off work following surgery as there will be bruising and swelling which may take around 10 days to subside. We also recommend you do not resume exercise for 4 – 6 weeks.

In the following few weeks, as you heal, smoother skin on the buttock and scars will start to heal.

Our expertise in scarring techniques along with our highly-experienced surgeons ensure a great result, and whilst a Buttock lift surgery is not an especially painful procedure, you may experience discomfort due to the tight sensation of the skin. Effective pain relief can be provided by your aftercare team should you required it.

If you have undergone Liposuction, you will feel a little bruised and stiff for a few days but there is no restriction on movement. Any dressings can be removed in a couple of days or when they come loose, and stitches removed in a week.

Yоu may соntіnuе tо experience ѕоmе mіld, реrіоdіс dіѕсоmfоrt and ѕwеllіng durіng thіѕ tіmе, but ѕuсh fееlіngѕ аrе nоrmаl. Sеvеrе pain, bleeding or swelling should bе reported tо your surgeon.

You will receive more detailed advice from your surgeon ahead of surgery.

You will need to wear a tight fitting body garment for the first few weeks to support the area. You should not engage in any strenuous activities until your surgeon releases you to do so.

Your scars will be permanent but will eventually fade. You should allow 9 - 12 months for your scars to flatten and lighten in colour.

Aside from liposuction, it's also possible to combine a Buttock lift surgery with a thigh lift or even a knee lift.

On the front of the knee, there are generally two bulges, just below the kneecap on the front on either side on which the fat can be removed if that is something you're concerned about for your over-all look. Buttock lift surgery is performed as a day case, meaning you will be able to return home after the surgery. You can expect to have reasonable mobility back after a few days, and a return to your full daily activities after 6-8 weeks.

A buttock lift isn't for everyone. Your doctor might caution against a buttock lift if you:

+ Have a severe chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes
+ Plan to lose a significant amount of weight
+ Have a body mass index that's greater than 32
+ Are a smoker
+ Have an unstable mental health condition

It is important that for at least two weeks after your surgery that you avoid sitting for a prolonged period of time. As a general rule, you should avoid putting direct pressure on the buttocks as much as possible after your surgery.

You can do this by using a pillow to raise your buttocks when you sit down. You should also try to sleep on your front or sides immediately after surgery. We recommend that you try and avoid sleeping on your back for the first three weeks as this also puts pressure on the buttocks.

For the first four weeks after your surgery, you will need to avoid all sport and strenuous exercise. During this time, we recommend going on gentle walks to keep active, which in turn will help with your recovery.

After week four, you will be able to start doing some exercise again. However, you should still avoid strenuous activity and contact sports. After six to eight weeks you should be able to resume all sports and exercise. This includes contact sports and weightlifting.

You should ask your surgeon for specific timeframes of when you will be able to return to sport and exercise.

The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a controversial fat grafting procedure that involves the transfer of large amount of harvested fat into the buttock area in order to add volume to the buttock region and improve the body contour.

This highly controversial procedure has been banned in the UK, however, given the incidence of potentially fatal fat embolism associated with this procedure in other countries.

A buttock lift involves the removal of fat from the buttock area, not the grafting of additional fat, and is a completely safe, alternative contouring procedure.


To enquire about a consultation with a Buttock Lift specialist, please complete the form below.

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