What Is a Brazilian Butt Lift?

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 28, 2021

A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is a surgery where a doctor transfers fat from your abdomen, hips, lower back, or thighs to your buttocks. The result is more of an hourglass-shaped figure, with larger buttocks.

A BBL can also result in a smaller waist if the fat comes from your abdomen or lower back. Doctors remove the fat using liposuction. This is a cosmetic procedure in which fat is sucked out using a small plastic tube called a cannula. 

Who Can Get a BBL?

You may be a good candidate for a Brazilian butt lift if you:

  • Are in generally good health.
  • Have extra fat that can be transferred to the buttocks.
  • Want larger or more round appearing buttocks.
  • Can avoid sitting on your butt for 8 weeks after surgery.
  • Can avoid sleeping on your back for 8 weeks after surgery.

How Is a Brazilian Butt Lift Different From Buttock Implants?

A buttock implant is a silicone object placed in the area to enhance it. It is different from a BBL, which uses fat from your own body to make your buttocks look larger and more round.

Buttock implants may carry more risks than getting a BBL. You can get capsular contracture. This is when the scar tissue that forms around implants normally becomes too hard and starts to contract. In some cases, this can cause pain or problems with how the implant looks. 

Implants also have a higher risk of infection after surgery. However, buttock implants might be a good option for people who don't have enough extra fat to transfer for a successful Brazilian butt lift. 

Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery

After getting a BBL, it is important to follow the recovery instructions from your doctor closely. If you don't, you risk killing the transferred fat cells. This reduces the likelihood of you getting the results you want from the surgery.

Directly after surgery. You can expect bruising and swelling in the area where fat was removed with liposuction. It may be hard to move around for the first few days after the surgery, but it's important to get up and walk around. This will help with the overall recovery process. It will also help to prevent constipation that can be caused by some narcotic painkillers.

You may also notice some bloody fluid leaking from your incision points. This is normal.

Your compression garment. For 8 weeks after the surgery, you will likely need to wear a compression garment over the areas you had liposuction. This helps with the healing process. Any garment your surgeon gives you will typically have a cut-out for the buttocks. This prevents pressure on the newly inserted fat cells.

No sitting. After getting a BBL, it's very important to avoid sitting on your butt for at least 8 weeks. Sitting on your butt can kill the fat cells or leave indentations, leading to a less than desirable outcome. 

If you do have to sit down, you must use a special pillow. Your doctor may provide one, or recommend one to get. After the first 8 weeks, you should only sit on the pillow. You'll want to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

Sleep on your side or stomach. You should also sleep on your stomach or side for the first 8 weeks after surgery to avoid killing fat cells.

Your activity levels. For the first month after surgery, you shouldn't do much. You should particularly avoid any activity that involves bouncing. After a month, you can then begin lower-impact activities like walking. 

After 2 months, you can usually resume any activities you enjoy, including high-impact ones. Always check in with your doctor before starting to add in activity.

Is It Safe to Get a BBL?

Any surgery comes with risk. The risks of Brazilian butt lift include fat being injected too deeply leading to fat embolization. This is a condition where fat gets into your bloodstream and travels to your heart or lungs, blocking arteries or veins. Some other risks are:

  • Injecting too much fat, also leading to fat embolization
  • Infection after surgery
  • Changes to skin sensation including numbness
  • Loose skin, particularly where liposuction was performed
  • Scarring

You can lower the risk of complications after a Brazilian butt lift by researching doctors thoroughly. Choose a board-certified surgeon who has done many successful BBLs. Ask for before and after pictures from your surgeon. Make sure the surgery will happen at an accredited surgery center or hospital.

Show Sources


American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery: "Brazilian Butt Lift."

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery:  "Are Brazilian Butt Lifts Safe?," "Brazilian Butt Lift." 

American Society of Plastic Surgeons: "Buttock Enhancement Gluteal Augmentation and Lift," "Recovering from a Brazilian butt lift," "What are the risks of buttock enhancement?," "What is capsular contracture and how can it be treated?" 

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