Gluteoplasty (buttock augmentation)
The first person you think of when you hear the words 'buttock augmentation' is Kim Kardashian. It was she who made the procedure so popular and coveted by many. Gluteoplasty is the correction of the shape of the buttocks using implants. Its purpose is to correct congenital and acquired changes to the buttocks and, of course, to improve aesthetic appeal.
Silicone implants can shape, contour and enlarge the buttocks. They are similar to the silicone implants used in breast augmentation, but the silicone in them is more durable (as you will be sitting on them).
Gluteoplasty can be combined with a 'Brazilian Buttock Lift (BBL)' or buttock lipo-modeling, where fat is removed from another area by liposuction and transferred to the buttocks and thighs (a technique also known as lipofilling, fat grafting, fat transfer or fat injection). A silicone implant placed in the intermuscular space gives the buttocks a more rounded appearance, while lipofilling adds softness around the implant for a more natural result. Liposuction also reduces your waist, tummy and flanks, giving your body an hourglass shape.
IMPORTANT. Lipofilling of the buttocks can be a very risky procedure, so implants are considered a safer alternative.
What types of implants are available?
Buttock implants come in different sizes and shapes. Patients can choose between oval (anatomical) or round implants. The right shape and size is determined by a physical examination that measures the length and width of the muscle. The type of implant that is right for you will depend on the density of your muscles. In 95% of cases, an anatomical implant is the right choice.
How the operation is done
Gluteoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic. I make an incision directly between the buttocks (to avoid visible scars) and then create a space (pocket) in the buttock muscle where the implant is placed. Once the implants are in place, I will sew up all the layers of the wound and apply a cosmetic suture. Thin surgical drainage tubes may be placed to reduce fluid build-up during healing, and a compression garment may be prescribed to reduce swelling.
You will stay in hospital for 1-2 days after the operation.
IMPORTANT.Smoking can increase the risk of complications during the operation and slow down the recovery process, so you will need to stop smoking at least two weeks before and three weeks after the operation.
Pros and cons of buttock implants
- Implants can create a more rounded contour of the buttocks with a large projection.
- This option is suitable for those who don't have enough extra fat to lipomodel their buttocks or who want a less risky procedure.
- The volume created by the implants is permanent, whereas up to 40% of the fat transferred during liposuction may not survive for several months.
- You will need 2 weeks to recover from the operation.
- If you have lost a lot of weight and your buttocks are sagging, you may need a traditional buttock lift.
- Gluteal implants may not look as natural as buttock liposuction, especially if the wrong shape or size of implant is chosen or the implant is not positioned correctly.
- Risks include suture migration, infection, seroma (fluid collection), capsular contracture from scar tissue and pain that lasts longer than the typical two week recovery period.
Can implants rupture during active exercise?
There is no need to worry about rupture because the silicone in gluteal implants is semi-solid, not gel. There are athletes who have had gluteoplasty and have continued to exercise successfully. The most important thing is not to overexert yourself in the first period after the operation.
Will I have scars after the operation?
The operation can be performed in two ways: with a single midline incision or with two curved incisions along each buttock. Both incisions are well hidden in the crease, so they will not be noticeable.
Will I feel the implants when I sit down?
According to one of my patients, sitting on implants can be uncomfortable at first, like sitting on a large, rigid bladder. Once they have fully healed and the tissue around the implant has softened, this sensation will disappear. After a month or two they will become part of your body and most people forget they are there.
What is the rehabilitation after the implants?
You will need to take two weeks off work to recover. There may be bruising, swelling and pain in the buttocks area for a few weeks, with discomfort spreading from the glutes to the thighs.
"It is similar to deep muscle ache after a long workout," say patients.
You should avoid sitting on your buttocks for the first two weeks after surgery to allow the wound to heal. This also helps the implants to 'settle' so they are less likely to move. Patients can sleep on their backs, stand, walk and kneel during the first two weeks.
The only time they are allowed to sit is to go to the toilet. You are advised not to drive during the first few weeks.
If temporary drains are placed, they will be removed within a few days of the operation.
You may need to wear a compression garment for a while to reduce swelling and make your rehabilitation more comfortable.
When you return to work, you may still need to sit on a special cushion ("donut").