5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Surgeon for Your Brazilian Butt Lift

A Brazilian butt lift (BBL) is one of the most popular body contouring procedures for creating a shapely, well-proportioned silhouette. Personalized to each patient, a BBL uses a specialized fat transfer technique and is ideal for achieving a subtle boost to your backside or creating voluptuous curves that will look stellar from the beach to red carpet events.

To assist patients seeking a Brazilian butt lift in Santa Rosa, this post details 5 important safety questions that will help guide you to a qualified BBL surgeon and achieve the body contouring results you desire.

1. Is your surgeon highly experienced in safely performing BBL surgery?

Not all plastic and cosmetic surgeons receive the specialized training necessary to safely perform BBLs, so simply choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is not enough to ensure you will safely receive aesthetically pleasing results. With this procedure in particular, the surgeon’s experience in safely performing BBLs should be your top priority and first consideration when choosing a provider. Following, we get into why BBL surgery requires specialized knowledge and experience.

An overview of BBL surgery

A Brazilian butt lift is typically performed using general anesthesia or with IV sedation and a local anesthetic. The surgery consists of three primary steps:

Step 1: Using liposuction, fat is removed from the abdomen, lower back, hips, thighs, or other areas.

Step 2: The fat is placed in a special container to be purified and prepped for transfer.

Step 3: Purified fat is injected into specific points to add volume and enhance the shape of the buttocks.

The primary issue with BBL surgery occurs when surgeons inject fat into or below the gluteal muscle rather than the subcutaneous fat layer. Fat injected into the muscle is more likely to enter the bloodstream and may cause a fat blockage in an artery to the lungs called a pulmonary fat embolism (PFE). Blockages can cause serious side effects and may require medical intervention. BBL complication rates are much higher than in other surgical procedures, usually because surgeons inject the fat too deeply. A plastic surgeon Santa Rosa patients can trust to perform their BBL safely will have a thorough understanding of the body’s underlying musculature and how to avoid these safety issues. In addition, our surgeons utilize ultrasound to guide the placement of fat for maximal safety.

You should additionally confirm that your surgeon is fully aware of the ASERF task force’s Brazilian butt lift advisory recommendations and follows these steps to ensure your safety:

  • Only injects the fat into the fat layer just below the skin (subcutaneous plane)
  • Uses a blunt-tip cannula at least 4 mm thick to inject the fat
  • Angles the cannula either parallel to the spine or slightly upwards to avoid injecting into the muscle

However straightforward a BBL seems on the surface, it requires a very nuanced technique and critical eye to avoid potential adverse outcomes and achieve the results you desire.

2. Is your surgeon board-certified in plastic surgery?

While specific BBL experience is absolutely critical, the correct board certification is another important sign that a surgeon is well-trained, ethical, and follows best practices across the board—including when it comes to anesthesia and operating room safety. Physicians can voluntarily elect to become board-certified in a number of specialties; the surgeon you choose for your BBL or any Northern California plastic surgery procedure should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Candidates for ABPS board certification must meet specific criteria:

  • Graduated from an accredited medical school
  • Passed comprehensive oral and written exams covering all plastic surgery procedures
  • Completed a minimum of 6 years of additional training as a resident surgeon in an ACGME-accredited residency program, with 3 of those years devoted entirely to plastic surgery training
  • Complete continuous certification during their certification years to demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning and practice improvement

Choosing a plastic surgeon certified by the ABPS ensures you will be under the care of an expert who stays abreast of the latest research, surgical techniques and technologies, and strictly adheres to the highest patient safety standards to achieve outstanding results.

For your safety, avoid having a BBL outside the US

International medical tourism—when patients travel outside of the US to undergo cosmetic procedures—may entice you with low pricing, but the risks can easily cost you much more than you anticipated. It is much more difficult to vet international surgeons, including their medical facilities, qualifications, and experience. You are more likely to fall victim to unsafe practices—plus lack of continued follow-up care after you depart can further impact your overall health and/or results. You also won’t have a predictable home environment (pre-prepared in the way you wish for a comfortable recovery), or the necessary support of nearby family or friends in the days immediately following surgery.

Instead, we urge you to choose an experienced US-based BBL surgeon based on the criteria shared above. The good news is most reputable board-certified plastic surgeons have financing options to make plastic surgery more affordable!

3. Where will your procedure be performed?

Look for a surgeon who operates in an accredited surgical facility and has hospital privileges. While the specifics of the operating room may not be an obvious consideration in your search for the right surgeon to perform your Santa Rosa Brazilian butt lift, accrediting agencies verify that:

  • The facility is sanitary and follows key regulations such as having proper lighting, reliable electricity with backup if the power goes out, and other basic requirements to be “up to code” for a surgical facility.
  • The operating room is fully equipped with everything needed to respond to emergencies, with clear procedures and protocols for assisting staff to follow in case of an emergency.
  • The surgeon has a valid, unrestricted medical license, and the medical staff are licensed and qualified to assist in surgical procedures.
  • The facility complies with HIPAA laws when handling your medical records to protect your privacy.

Premier private plastic surgery practices often have on-site accredited surgical suites designed for your convenience, comfort, and privacy.

4. Do your surgeon’s before and after photos show the results you are looking for?

A picture’s worth a thousand words, and browsing potential surgeons’ BBL before and after galleries can quickly separate an average plastic surgeon from a great plastic surgeon. Look for patients with a similar shape to yours who achieved the type of enhancement you are looking for. While it’s likely that you’ll be able to view additional photos during your consultation, if you don’t see pleasing results on patients like yourself, the surgeon may not be the right one for you and your body goals.

Liposuction is performed as part of a BBL, so choose a surgeon with proven expertise in sculpting the waist, flanks, hips, thighs, and other areas since this will be a part of the fat transfer used to augment your buttocks. Your surgeon should use the liposuction step to complement your BBL results. An expert surgeon will ensure that the areas receiving liposuction remain proportionate and help highlight your new curves. It should be apparent where the fat was harvested in before and after photos, and that area should also be aesthetically pleasing.

This woman in her mid 20s before (left) and six months after (right) receiving BBL surgery. She received 980cc of fat to the right buttock and 1,115cc to the left buttock.

Additionally, an experienced plastic surgeon specializing in BBLs will take into consideration that a portion of the injected fat will not “take” in its new location and inject more fat than needed to ensure the final results most closely achieve your body contouring goals.

5. Does your surgeon offer additional procedures?

As a standalone procedure, a Brazilian butt lift can achieve a beautifully sculpted derriere that even years spent in the gym can’t compete with. Many patients seek BBL surgery after weight loss or pregnancy and find that including additional body-contouring procedures in their surgery plan achieves more complete results. Procedures that complement BBL surgery may include:

During your consultation, your surgeon should help you determine if you would benefit from a combination of procedures. For example, if you have lax skin on your buttocks, your surgeon may recommend including a surgical butt lift in your treatment plan to remove excess skin (simply adding volume to lax skin may worsen a saggy appearance).

Brazilian butt lift in Santa Rosa, CA
With these considerations in mind, book your Santa Rosa BBL consultation with one of our outstanding board-certified plastic surgeons. Dr. Heather Furnas, Dr. Francisco Canales, and Dr. Eric Culbertson are highly experienced in a range of body contouring procedures and are committed to safely achieving your body goals. We proudly serve Northern California patients and regularly welcome out-of-town patients to our practice. We would be pleased to meet with you, discuss your goals, and develop a treatment plan to achieve your aesthetic vision. We invite you to schedule a consultation online or call our practice at 707-537-2111 today!

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