BBL vs. Butt Implants

A BBL, or a Brazilian butt lift is a minimally invasive approach to augmenting the size and shape of the buttocks. Surgeons first find a donor area with excess fatty tissue and make a tiny liposuction incision to collect it using suction pressure, sculpting the area and creating more flattering contours. Then, they strategically re-inject the fat into several areas of the buttocks to form a more shapely, youthful, and lifted appearance. For those with good skin elasticity, this can translate to improved roundness and create an attractive waist-to-hip ratio.

In recent years, the BBL has grown immensely in popularity for several reasons. One main reason is that it involves autologous tissue grafting– meaning that it only incorporates your own tissue, so there is no risk of toxicity or an allergic reaction. Patients can also enjoy the look and feel of this all-natural approach that lasts for several years, so long as they work to maintain a stable weight. With the advanced techniques and new safety protocols of the BBL, many surgeons no longer perform buttock augmentation with implants.

If you are interested in getting to know more about the advantages of the BBL and how it can radically improve your feminine curves, consider booking your consultation at New York Surgical Arts in NYC and Garden City. Our team is headed by Dr. Gordon Andan, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon with involvement in the latest research and surgical conferences, helping support the highest standards of care for his patients.

To get in touch with Dr. Andan and his team, call (516) 746-0155 or inquire about a consultation with our online contact form. We will ensure that you have a welcoming and informative experience at our establishment. 

Before and After Photos

About the BBL

BBLs are within the top 5 most popular aesthetic procedures today; in the last 10 years, the number of these procedures has risen by roughly 61%. (1) For a BBL, patients can not only increase the volume of their buttocks, but they can effectively slim down areas of stubborn fat in the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and lower back at the same time.

After the surgeon collects the fat via suction with an instrument called a cannula, they utilize purification techniques to ensure that any contaminants are removed. The entire process is called fat transfer or fat grafting. Once the surgeon grafts the fat into the subcutaneous layer, patients will need to take extra precautions and aftercare steps to promote fat cell survival, but the final results can remain permanently.

With the application of VASER (vibration amplification of sound energy at resonance) technology, surgeons, including Dr. Andan, can more precisely liquefy fat deposits and even sculpt muscular-looking contours in the donor area. Several other advancements continue to attract new patients to the benefits of this procedure.

How Safe Are BBLs?

Since its rise in popularity, many people have shown skepticism about the safety of the BBL. Luckily, recent surgical guidelines have reduced complications significantly. An organization known as the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) has been proactive in its efforts to continually improve these guidelines, providing BBL surgeons with the most up-to-date information.

For example, ASERF asserted that using a certain diameter for the cannula and inserting it under the skin at a specific angle makes the fat extraction process much easier and safer. They also provided surgeons with recommendations regarding the depth and speed of extraction. (2)

Knowledgeable surgeons like Dr. Andan work hard to stay informed with the latest news concerning BBLs to help put patients at ease and promote the best results possible.

BBL Advantages Over Buttock Implants

When compared to buttock implants, a BBL offers a means of amplifying contours without the associated health risks of implants and the problem of unnatural texture and/or feel. 

  • You can achieve a more sculpted appearance in the fat donor areas, like the midsection or love handles
  • You can request for Dr. Andan to perform VASER liposuction, which promotes a faster recovery and less bruising during the recovery period. (3)
  • Dr. Andan does not need to suture the 1 to 1.5 cm incisions required to harvest fat through liposuction. On the other hand, buttock implants often require 2 to 3-inch incisions that leave more noticeable scarring.
  • Buttock implants are made of silicone and can pose serious medical issues after insertion. Studies find that about 9.6% experience wound dehiscence (wound opening or improper healing), and the overall complication rate is 21.6%. (4) There is also a higher risk of fluid buildup (seroma), infection, and capsular contracture, a condition in which too much scar tissue develops and hardens around each implant. In the most severe cases, the implant and the hardened capsule can cause sagging and distortion.
  • With physical implants, they are subject to malpositioning and creating asymmetries. Meanwhile, BBLs incorporate evenly distributed, living fat that will graft more naturally.
  • Buttock implants can last about 10 years, whereas the results of a BBL may last a lifetime with weight maintenance.
  • Dr. Andan performs BBLs using ultrasound guidance, giving him better visualization of the subcutaneous tissue and allowing him to transfer fat into the correct plane. This added practice also mitigates the risk of injecting fat into a blood vessel or a muscle.

Personal Consultation

During a consultation with Dr. Andan, he will happily answer any questions you may have about the BBL and how it compares to the buttock implant procedure. During this meeting, he will give you further information regarding what you need to do to prepare, how the procedure will go, and the required aftercare. He will evaluate the current contours of your buttocks and get an accurate idea of what results you would like to attain. He will also assess prospective donor areas of your body to harvest fat. The results of your BBL are highly dependent on how well you take care of your body post-procedure, so he will be sure to emphasize these vital steps. Most importantly, he will ensure that you are in good overall health and able to undergo such a procedure without being at high risk for developing complications.

To get started today, call our New York City or Garden City locations at (516) 746-0155 or use our contact form, and our team will help you find a consultation date that is most convenient for you. 

How to Prepare for a BBL

Preparing for your Brazilian butt lift procedure is crucial to promote optimal results and a smooth recovery. Before undergoing surgery:

  • Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay the healing process. It is important to stop smoking prior to your procedure and avoid nicotine entirely during your recovery.
  • Avoid certain medications: Dr. Andan will provide you with a list of medications and supplements to avoid before your surgery, as they may increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with anesthesia.
  • Arrange transportation: Regardless of whether you receive general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, you will require someone to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Stock up on recovery items: You may want to buy over-the-counter medications (approved by Dr. Andan), extra pillows for buttock support, and loose clothing that will be easy to take off with minimal effort. You will want to plan easy meals for the first couple of days- when you will be most tender and focused on resting.

BBL Procedure

Dr. Andan will begin by administering the most appropriate anesthesia to ensure you are completely comfortable for the duration of the entire procedure. Then, he will inject tumescent fluid into the chosen donor area- usually the abdomen, love handles, or hips. He will discuss this aspect of the surgery with you during your consultation appointment. This fluid contains compounds that will separate the fat deposits away from connective tissues and prevent bleeding. If you choose to have a VASER BBL, he will use the VASER probe to administer ultrasound energy throughout the region, breaking up bonds between fat cells. For a more muscular-looking tone, he can perform a distinct VASER Hi-Def liposuction approach. VASER Hi-Def involves the removal of fat directly overlying muscle and strategically leaving behind thin layers of fat to create a more defined appearance.

After the tumescent fluid settles in, he will use the same tiny incision to insert the cannula and suction away pockets of fat using back-and-forth motions. Once he collects enough, he will purify it with centrifugation, a mechanism that mechanically separates the fat from other contents retrieved during liposuction. Next, he will load individual syringes and strategically inject them into areas of the buttocks that lack volume and projection, ensuring that it creates an even, balanced appearance. After closing the incisions, Dr. Andan will apply the appropriate dressings around the donor area and the buttocks. Within a 2-hour timespan, the procedure is complete. He will provide you with more information about how to properly use a compression garment to prevent excess swelling and allow the areas to heal.

Cost of a BBL in NYC

The cost of your BBL with Dr. Andan will depend on anesthesia fees, follow-up appointments, the extent of the procedure, whether or not he utilizes VASER technology and other surgical fees. He will give you the total cost after accounting for these factors at the time of your consultation.

At New York Surgical Arts, we want to make our procedures as affordable as possible, and we invite you to consider applying for one of our financing options, if interested.

The BBL can be an incredibly transformative experience and a confidence-boosting procedure if you are looking to look and feel great in your body. Call our NYC or Garden City office today, or inquire about an appointment with Dr. Andan via our contact form, and we will guide you to the next steps today. To get familiar with our other procedures, browse through our blog.


  1. O’Neill RC, Abu-Ghname A, Davis MJ, Chamata E, Rammos CK, Winocour SJ. The Role of Fat Grafting in Buttock Augmentation. Semin Plast Surg. 2020;34(1):38-46. doi:10.1055/s-0039-3401038
  2. Villanueva, Nathaniel L. M.D.; Del Vecchio, Daniel A. M.D.; Afrooz, Paul N. M.D.; Carboy, Jourdan A. B.S.; Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.. Staying Safe during Gluteal Fat Transplantation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 141(1):p 79-86, January 2018. | DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003934 
  3. Ruff PG, Garcia O, Nykiel M, Galanis CJ. Consensus-based Recommendations for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction. Plastic and reconstructive surgery Global open. 2023;11(7):e5110-e5110. doi: 
  4. Sinno S, Chang JB, Brownstone ND, Saadeh PB, Wall S. Determining the Safety and Efficacy of Gluteal Augmentation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016;137(4):1151-1156. doi: 
  5. Swanson E. Prospective Controlled Study of Buttock Fat Transfer Using Ultrasound and Photographic Measurements. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open. 2016;4(5):e697. doi: 
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