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Christopher K. Patronella, Md, Facs, Fics

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Christopher K. Patronella - MD, FACS, FICS

Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery: Dr. Patronella’s Approach

Posted August 24, 2020 in Body Contouring, Brazilian Butt Lift, True Form Body Contouring®, True Form Tummy Tuck®

Dr. Patronella performed a True Form Tummy Tuck with liposuction and fat grafting to the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift) for this 36-year-old mother of four. He transferred the fat taken from her waist and flanks to fill in her “hip dips,” the lateral gluteal hollows, giving her more hourglass proportions.

By Sherri Roberts

The demand for shapely buttocks via fat grafting and implants skyrocketed by 90% from 2014 to 2019, according to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). While the procedure, better known as a “Brazilian Butt Lift,” may evoke images of a high-volume backside, top Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Chris Patronella has found fat to be an invaluable tool for more subtle sculpting beyond some of the common perceptions. So effective is fat grafting as a shaping technique, the surgeon now incorporates it in about 75% of the body contouring cases he performs.

“Making the buttocks disproportionately large is not my objective with buttocks fat grafting, but rather it’s to improve balance and proportion and to fill in the laxity of skin that often occurs with weight loss,” said Dr. Patronella. After having children, many women lose both volume and tone in their buttocks, which causes subtle sagging. “Restoring perkiness and roundness to the buttocks is the perfect complement to refinement of the abdomen and waist,” noted Dr. Patronella, who typically performs fat grafting in conjunction with his acclaimed True Form Tummy Tuck® to give the abdomen a toned, softly-contoured look.

To create the hourglass curves many of his patients request, Dr. Patronella trims away loose skin and removes excess fat where it’s undesired, such as the waistline. He may then use this fat to round out straight hips and fill in “hip dips”—the sunken area that many women have between the hips and outer thighs. This region, termed the “lateral gluteal hollow” in medical speak, tends to deepen after childbearing and weight gain followed by weight loss, and it often is accompanied by an overall loss of tone in the buttocks. Depending upon the degree of sagging and volume loss, Dr. Patronella may perform fat grafting alone or in conjunction with a buttock lift procedure to restore a shapely appearance to the buttocks.

What Happens During a Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure?

Fat for fat grafting can be harvested anywhere a person has diet and exercise-resistant fat, but Dr. Patronella most often takes it from the waist and abdomen during the True Form Tummy Tuck procedure and sometimes the thighs, as well. After the fat goes through the cannula, the thin tube through which fat is suctioned during liposuction, it is rinsed and decanted. The surgeon then transfers this fat into the targeted anatomical zones using an infusion system he and his surgical group developed. The efficiency of this approach—larger volumes of fat can be transferred more quickly compared to the older, more tedious syringe methods—and Dr. Patronella’s meticulous safety protocols were spotlighted in the distinguished Aesthetic Surgery Journal in June 2017 (he and his group’s article on safety in buttocks fat grafting was recognized as an “Editor’s Choice” article in 2018).

Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery

Most patients can return to work about one week after a Brazilian Butt Lift or two weeks if it is combined with a tummy tuck. In the recovery phase, it is best not to be seated on a hard surface and to limit sitting for no more than two hours on a cushioned surface. The ideal position is on a recliner where pressure is distributed equally over a broader area such as the back, buttocks and thighs. Typically about 50 to 70 percent of the fat stays after fat grafting, and as long as weight is maintained with healthy diet and exercise, most patients can enjoy their results for years to come.

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