Buttock Lift

1 What is a Buttock Lift?

A buttock lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that can be done to improve the appearance of the buttocks.

It is done as part of a belt lipectomy or lower body lift to contour the buttocks, groin, thighs and abdomen.

During a buttock lift, excess skin and fat are removed from the buttock. The remaining is repositioned to create a more toned appearance.

You might choose to have a buttock lift if your buttocks appear saggy due to weight loss, ageing or genetics. A buttock lift can also boost your body image.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for a buttock lift procedure is aging, your skin changes and becomes looser. In addition to aging, sun damage, fluctuations in weight and genetic factors can contribute to poor skin elasticity.

This can cause your buttocks, and other parts of your body to sag. A buttock lift is typically done with other body contouring procedures.

You might consider a buttock lift for the following reasons:

  • If you have lost a significant amount of weight.
  • Are overweight and have not been able to lose a significant amount of work through physical activities and changes in your diet.
  • If you have a normal weight but want a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your lower body.
  • If you have a normal weight but your skin will not contract after liposuction due to poor elasticity related to aging.

A buttock lift is not a procedure for everyone.

You doctor may caution against a buttock lift in the following cases:

  • If you have a severe chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes.
  • If you plan to lose a significant amount of weight.
  • If you have a body mass index that is greater than 32.
  • If you are a smoker.
  • If you have an unstable mental health condition.

3 Potential Risks

The following potential risks are associated with a buttock lift:

  • Fluid accumulation beneath the skin (seroma). Drainage tubes left in place after surgery can help reduce the risk of seroma. Your doctor might also remove fluid after surgery using a needle and syringe.
  • Poor wound healing. Sometimes areas along the incision line heal poorly or start to separate. You might be given antibiotics if you have a wound healing problem.
  • Scarring. Incision scars from a buttock lift are permanent but are locate in areas that are not easily visible.
  • Changes in skin sensation. During a buttock lift, the repositioning of your tissues can affect superficial sensory nerves. You will likely feel a decrease in sensation or numbness. This numbness usually diminishes in the months to years following the procedure.

Like any after major surgery, a buttock lift is accompanied by risks of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In order to prepare for the procedure, you will initially talk to a plastic surgeon about a buttock lift.

Your plastic surgeon will likely do the following during your first visit:

  • Review your medical history. You must be prepared to answer questions about any current and past medical conditions.
  • Talk to about any medications you are taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries that you have had. 
  • If the reason for your buttock lift is related to weight loss, your doctor will likely ask detailed questions about your weight gain and loss, as well as your diet.
  • Do a physical exam. In order to determine your treatment options, the doctor will perform blood tests and examine your buttocks, skin, and lower body.
  • The doctor might also take pictures of your buttocks for you medical record.
  • Discuss expectations. Explain the reason why you want the buttock lift performed and what your hopes are in terms of appearance after the surgery. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks including scarring.

You might also need to do the following before a buttock lift:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking lowers blood flow to the skin and can slow down the healing process. Smoking can also increase your risk of complications, such as delayed wound healing, wound separation and infection. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop doing so prior to surgery and during recovery.
  • Avoid certain medications. You will likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
  • Maintain a stable weight. Ideally, you maintain a stable weight for a period of at least three months before having a buttock lift. If you are severely overweight, your doctor will recommend that you lose weight before your procedure. Significant weight loss after the procedure can diminish your results.
  • Take medications to prevent complications. Shortly before your buttock lift, you might need to start taking an anticoagulant to prevent blood clotting.
  • Arrange for assistance during recovery.  Make plans for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you as you begin to recover.

5 What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your buttock lift procedure.

A buttock lift is performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. You will be comfortable with the aid of general anesthesia during this procedure, as it renders you unconscious. 

A tube (catheter) will then be inserted into your bladder to collect urine. Your legs will be placed in devices known as sequential compression boots, these devices are used to prevent blood clotting during and after the surgery.

During the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will create an incision along the lower back, from hip to hip. The surplus skin below the incision is the pulled up, lifting the buttocks. The extra skin and fat are then removed. 

During the surgery, you will be given an antibiotic to lower the risks of infection. Special warming devices will also be utilized to help you maintain normal body temperature. This procedure usually takes two to three hours to complete.

After the procedure. Following a buttock lift, your incision will likely be covered with a surgical dressing. One or more drains are typically placed under the wound and close to the incision line to drain any excess blood or fluid.

Members or your health care team will help you walk as early as the day after the buttock lift, this is done to prevent the formation of blood clots. You will likely feel moderate pain, which will initially be controlled by intravenous pain medication. Drains might be left in place for one to three weeks after surgery.

Your doctor or a member of your health care team will guide you on how to empty and care for your drains. You might also need to continue taking an antibiotic and anticoagulant for 10 days after your buttock lift.

You will also wear a supportive garment for up to four weeks after your buttock lift. This will aid in preventing a buildup of fluid and provide support while you heal.

Your doctor will elaborate on how to care for your scar. Scar management might include the use of silicone sheeting, scar cream, and massage. The appearance of your scar will continue to improve with time.

For the first months after a buttock lift, you will need to take care when moving, increasing your activity level very slowly and avoiding positions that strain your incision line to prevent re-opening of the wound.

Your doctor will give you specific instructions. In addition, will need to schedule follow-up visits with your doctor over the course of the next year.

6 Procedure Results

By removing excess skin and fat from your buttocks, as a result, a buttock lift can give you a more toned look. Buttock lifts are usually long lasting.

You must always keep in mind that maintaining a stable weight is very important for retaining your results.