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Does This Surgery Make My Butt Look Big?

Plastic Surgeons Discuss What's Behind Uptick in Butt Enhancement Procedures

WebMD Health News

April 28, 2010 (Washington, D.C.) -- First there was J. Lo. Then Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian started strutting their stuff on stage and on screen. As a result, plastic surgeons’ phones began to ring off the hook with women looking to put a little more junk in their trunks.

In a year where cosmetic surgery procedures decreased, buttock augmentation and butt lifts were on the rise, according to the latest statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). In fact, butt augmentation jumped by 37.3% from 2008 to 2009 and butt lifts increased by 24.6% that year.

The reasons for the uptick include more curvaceous role models as well as new options for buttock enhancements, say experts speaking at the ASAPS annual meeting. The new options include fat grafting, which involves taking fat from places where it is plentiful -- such as your thighs -- and injecting it into areas where it is not -- such as your buttocks.

“Part of the reason is that we are starting to get better at them,” says Felmont F. Eaves III, MD, ASAPS president and a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, N.C. “We now have several ways that we can enhance buttock shape and more tools to customize the procedure and get a good result.”

Buttock augmentation can be performed using fat injections, solid silicone implants, a lift, or some combination thereof. Another option involves creating a tissue flap from the buttock region to use as an implant. Basically, surgeons move tissue from a part of the buttocks where you don't need it, and secure it in an area where it will enhance your derriere.

“This field is advancing very rapidly and we are making a lot of progress figuring out which patients do best with what procedures,” Eaves tells WebMD.

Who’s Behind the Uptick?

“Buttock enhancement may be an ethnically desired trait,” Eaves says. It is also popular among women of South or Central American descent and women who have lost massive amounts of weight, such as after bariatric surgery.

“Some people can lose weight and end up with zero bottom, so adding volume back is helpful and can make them feel more normal and comfortable when sitting down,” he says.

“We can credit J-Lo as having influenced this category,” says Wendy Lewis, a New York City-based plastic surgery consultant and author of several books, including Plastic Makes Perfect.

“There is a new focus on body-shaping procedures among consumers, and buttock augmentation is definitely on the rise with the advent of better methods for fat grafting,” she tells WebMD. By contrast, buttock implants are less desirable and their results are not as predictable, she says.

“Most consumers prefer the idea of using their own fat to create a soft and natural shape and contour to the buttock region,” she says. What’s more, “many people want some of the fat removed from their thighs or tummies during liposuction, transferred to where they need volume -- such as the buttocks, breast, and face.”

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