WebMD Medical News
Laura J. Martin, MD
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
“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.”
Justin Yovino, MD, a plastic surgeon in private practice in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., says people have been calling his office to inquire about buttock
enhancement procedures. He spent some of his time at the recent ASAPS meeting
taking courses on how to perform buttock enhancement.
“South Florida has a heavy Latin flavor and is really a gateway to South
America, where the culture is to have a little more junk in the trunk,” he
says. “Curvy and shapely bodies are more in than the rail thin, straight-line
look,” he says.
Yovino plans to begin offering fat injections to the butt. “I think it’s
safe and allows us to mold better than we could using a single implant,” he
Safety should always come first. There are some charlatans out there who
will inject just about anything -- including the industrial silicone used to
caulk bathtubs -- into behinds.
“It costs $3 a tube, and it’s just tragedy because these things are not
tissue compatible,” Eaves says.
In general, off-the-shelf fillers such as collagen and hyaluronic acid do
not have a place in butt augmentation, Eaves says. These fillers could be used
off-label for butt augmentation, but it would be so expensive for the volume
needed to augment the butt.
“These are surgical procedures and there is no evidence that non-invasive
technology has a place in butt augmentation,” he says.
Protect yourself by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon and asking to
see and read the package of the product the surgeon is recommending, he
“We are seeing disasters,” says Renato Saltz, MD, immediate past president
of the ASAPS and a plastic surgeon in Salt Lake City. “You need to identify
somebody with experience, as this is a very specialized procedure. Look for a
surgeon who does a lot of body contouring.”
SOURCES:Renato Saltz, MD, immediate past president, American Society for Aesthetic
Plastic Surgery.Justin Yovino, MD, plastic surgeon, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Felmont F. Eaves III, MD, president, president, American Society for
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.Wendy Lewis, plastic surgery consultant, New York.American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery annual meeting, Washington,
D.C., April 23-27, 2010.
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