Surgical BBL vs. Injectable BBL: The Pros & Cons of Each

Young woman in bikini at the beach

There’s no denying that a curvier, fuller backside is in vogue, and Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) procedures have helped thousands of patients enhance their derriere. But did you know there’s more than one way to achieve a better backside? 

Here, the expert team of plastic surgeons at the Swan Center for Plastic Surgery in Atlanta break down the differences between a surgical BBL and an injectable BBL and share their professional insight into the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision about which option is right for you.

What is a surgical BBL?

A surgical BBL is a two-part procedure that involves fat transfer. Your surgeon uses liposuction to harvest excess fat from other areas of your body, typically the waist, abdomen, or thighs. This fat is then carefully purified and strategically injected into your buttocks to enhance the size and shape. 

Pros of surgical BBLs:

  • Customizable body contouring. A 2-for-1 option is hard to pass up, especially when you consider the complementary benefits. Liposuction not only provides the fat you need to boost your buttocks, it also offers an opportunity for overall body reshaping by slimming other areas that are generally diet and exercise-resistant.
  • Noticeable enhancement. A surgical BBL can be tailored to achieve modest enhancements or provide some serious va-va-voom! Your surgeon will discuss your goals and assess your available fat stores to determine how much enhancement is possible.
  • Long-lasting results. The effects of a surgical BBL are generally permanent because a good portion of the fat transferred to your buttocks becomes a part of your body’s natural tissue. Most patients enjoy their new, shapely seat for many years!

Cons of surgical BBLs:

  • Requires surgery. Since it’s a surgical procedure, there are potential risks associated with anesthesia and surgery, plus possible complications related to fat transfer. (Choosing a plastic surgeon who specializes in surgical BBLs greatly reduces the chance that you’ll experience adverse effects and betters your chances of achieving beautiful BBL results.) 
  • Considerable recovery process: Post-operative recovery can be a bit daunting and may require a significant time investment for healing. This isn’t because a surgical BBL is particularly invasive, but rather to ensure optimal results; you’ll have restrictions on sitting and lying down for about 6 weeks to prevent the pressure of your body weight from negatively affecting the shape of your newly enhanced buttocks.
  • Initially tentative results: There’s no way to know for sure how much injected fat will stay where your surgeon places it; about 20-40% is reabsorbed by your body. Your surgeon will likely harvest and inject more fat than necessary to achieve your results to account for this factor. Diminishing fat stores may cause asymmetry or dents; some patients will want a secondary “touch up” BBL procedure to add more volume and smooth imperfections.

When performed by a BBL specialist, both a surgical and non-surgical BBL can safely achieve an alluring silhouette.   

What is an injectable BBL?

The injectable BBL is a non-surgical alternative to the traditional BBL that uses injectable fillers to enhance the shape and volume of the buttocks. Two popular products used in this procedure are Radiesse® and Sculptra®, which stimulate natural collagen production in your skin to gradually improve the size and shape of your buttocks over time. 

Pros of injectable BBLs:

  • No surgery or downtime required. An injectable BBL avoids the scars and potential risks associated with surgery. You can typically resume your normal activities immediately after the procedure; most appointments take under an hour! 
  • Conservative results. The increased collagen stores will add subtle volume over several weeks, mimicking the booty-boosting effects that you might experience with exercise. This means it will not be evident you’ve just had a procedure to help sculpt a rounder, fuller buttocks. 
  • No minimum body fat requirement. There’s a chance that if you lack volume in your buttocks, you may not have much to spare elsewhere on your body. The good news is an injectable BBL can help naturally thin patients add natural-looking curvature to their bottom half!

Cons of injectable BBLs:

  • Temporary results. The results of an injectable BBL typically last between one to two years. Your individual results will depend on the product used and your body’s response.
  • Multiple treatments. Most patients need 2 or more treatments to achieve optimal results, and you’ll need to schedule regular touch-up injections to maintain them. 

So, which one is right for you?

The first step in deciding which gluteal enhancement option is right for you is to have an in-depth consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced in both procedures. They will consider your personal goals, anatomy, and lifestyle to guide you in the decision-making process and develop a personalized treatment plan to achieve the level of enhancement you’re looking for.

Schedule your BBL consultation at the Swan Center for Plastic Surgery in Atlanta

Whether you’re leaning towards a surgical BBL or considering an injectable BBL, our practice offers both options, and our board-certified plastic surgeons and fabulous patient support team will work to ensure your personalized procedure is performed correctly and safely. To learn more about your body contouring options and which procedure you are a good candidate for, schedule your consultation by calling 770-667-0904 or fill out our online form to receive a call back from our team—we’ve got your back! 

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