A buttock lift is an operation to improve the appearance of the buttocks. The buttocks can drop and sag and this is often a result of weight loss or aging.
A buttock lift can be performed as a sole procedure, although it is normally performed as part of a lower body lift or circumferential abdominoplasty. In these operations, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is performed at the front and the incision is carried around onto the back to lift the buttocks and remove any loose skin in the flanks and love handles. It enables contouring of the buttocks, groin, thighs and abdomen.
What does the surgery involve?
I use liposuction to remove extra fat deposits and establish a plane. As the liposuction cannula passes into the tissue, it preserves the perforating blood vessels so that the skin is not completely undermined. By keeping these attachments, the definition of the waist is maintained. A buttock lift involves an incision from hip to hip, following the contour of the upper edge of the buttocks. If you already have a scar from a tummy tuck, or if you are having a tummy tuck at the same time, then I will continue the incision from this scar. This is so it is as seamless as possible. If patients desire a fuller buttock, then fat grafting can be performed at the same time to shape the buttocks or make them larger or rounder.
Buttock lift procedures are usually carried out under general anaesthetic (you will be fully unconscious) and take between two to three hours to perform. You are likely to stay in the hospital for two nights.
The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures that do not need to be removed. They are covered with a waterproof glue and tape dressing. You can wash as soon as you like and you do not need to have any dressings removed. I recommend that you wear a compression garment for 4 weeks following your surgery.
What are the risks and side effects of surgery?
Having cosmetic surgery should be a very positive experience. Complications are infrequent and usually minor. However, no surgery is without risk and it is important that you are aware of these potential problems.
Scar – tend to settle remarkably well, however some people heal with thick scars and this can make them more noticeable.
Bruising and swelling – is very common and may take several weeks to settle.
Haematoma – can happen if a bleed occurs under the skin, allowing a large blood clot to form. If this does occur, it is likely to happen within four to six hours of surgery. Any increase in swelling or pain should be reported immediately so that treatment can be given. Sometimes patients need to have this blood removed with another short operation.
Infection – is rare but you may require antibiotics if there are any concerns.
Seroma – is a collection of clear fluid under the skin, which sits in a pocket. This spontaneously reabsorbs over the course of a couple of weeks, although it can be drained with a needle if it feels tight. Vary rarely a surgical procedure may be required if it does not reabsorb.
Wound healing difficulties – can range from minor problems, such as small areas of wound separation, to major issues, such as skin loss. Although very rare, this situation may require a skin graft to close the wound, meaning more surgery. People who have diabetes, smoke, are obese or elderly are at an increased risk of delayed healing.
Dog-ears – are prominences of soft tissue found where the scar stops. In most cases these settle over the course of three months. However a small local anaesthetic procedure may be required to remove any excess that remains.
Numbness, reduced sensation or oversensitivity – can occur around the back and possibly upper thigh. This is usually temporary, but occasionally these changes can remain to some degree.
DVT/PE – following any surgical procedure it is possible to develop a blood clot in your legs, which could potentially break off and move to your lungs. If the blood clot is large enough it could prove fatal. To reduce any risks of this we give you special stockings to wear in bed and a blood thinning injection if you are not mobile.
All the risks will be discussed in detail at your consultation. However, if you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask. Decisions about cosmetic surgery should never be rushed.
What happens after the operation?
Your incisions will have dissolvable sutures with a glue and tape dressing.
A firm, supportive compression corset will be in place around your tummy and back. This should stay in place for the first 4 weeks but can be removed for washing. It should help to reduce any swelling and generally make you feel more comfortable.
Your back/buttocks will feel tight and fairly sore for the first few days. You will be given pain relieving medication to make you feel more comfortable.
You should expect to be in hospital for two nights.
Before you leave the hospital, you will be given a follow up appointment to see the nurses at a week to check your wounds. I would normally see you at four weeks or sooner should you have any problems.
What is the estimated time for recovery, absence from work and return to usual activities?
Recovery times vary from one person to another, but most patients return to work at 2 to 3 weeks. You can start driving at 2 weeks; commence gentle exercise at 4 weeks and return to sit-ups at 6 weeks.
How much does the surgery cost?
Buttock Lift Compression Garment (PDF)
Pre and Post-Operation Instructions (PDF)
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or require a little more information then please do not hesitate to contact me.