BBL Recovery - Top Recovery Q&A 2019*last update: August 08, 2019
- How long will BBL results last?
- How to make results last?
- How much fat will survive?
- How to wear the Compression Garment?
- When and How to sit after the surgery?
- When are Results visible?
- When can I resume my activities?
- When can I shower?
- Are massages recommended?
- What is a BBL Recovery Kit?
- What are the Do's and Don'ts?
- What symptoms are expected?
- What are the risks?
How long will BBL results last?
Enduring results become apparent after the recovery period. During recovery, some of the fat cells are reabsorbed by the body, and a new blood supply must form to supply the healthiest transferred fat cells. After this process is complete, the BBL results are mostly permanent.
The size of your buttocks will change if you gain or lose weight. If you gain weight, your buttocks will become larger because the fat cells in that part of the body will get bigger. If you lose weight, your buttocks will get smaller because the fat cell volume will decrease.
After surgery, some of the fat cells that are transferred to the buttocks get resorbed by the body. The healthiest fat cells remain and after a few months of recovery, become permanent.
Fat cells that are removed from the abdomen and transferred to the buttocks, behave as they did before the transfer.
Therefore, if you gain or lose weight in your abdomen, those abdominal fat cells that were transferred to your buttocks will gain or lose weight in the same fashion after the BBL as they did before the BBL. As such, a BBL can cause a dramatic, positive transformation in healthy patients and the results can be long-lasting.
Brazilian Butt Lift results can be long-lasting. Once the fat has revascularized, the fat is permanent.
How to make results last?
It’s important to remember that the transferred fat cells will behave much like the fat cells in the rest of your body. In other words, transplanted BBL fat cells will be susceptible to weight changes. To increase the odds that your results will be long-lasting, patients need to maintain and not lose weight after their procedure.
Maximizing Fat Survival (Whan you can do to make your Results Last)
- Don’t sit on your buttocks for the specified period of time recommended by your doctor (usually 2 to 8 weeks). If you need to sit, use a special BBL pillow (some popular choices include: Booty Buddy®, BBL Pillow®, Booty Mate®) or follow a special sitting position (see video). Only sit if you absolutely need to and only for short periods of time.
- Avoid putting pressure on the grafted areas. Rest on your stomach or sides and avoid placing stress on the areas where fat cells have been transplanted. If you had a tummy tuck with your BBL, resting on your stomach is not recommended.
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle - Don’t smoke and eat well-balanced, healthy meals. The results of your BBL can last for a long period of time if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Wear your compression garment all day, every day (24 x7) for the first 3 weeks. Make sure it fits properly and that it’s comfortable and does not squeeze the buttocks. If your compression garment leaves marks on your skin, it may be too tight. Report this problem to your doctor.
Don’t sit on your buttocks. Avoid putting pressure on the grafted areas. Wear your compression garment all day. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.
How much fat will survive?
The number of transferred fat cells that will survive transplantation is impossible to predict exactly, but it is normal for some of the fat cells to die and be reabsorbed by the body.
We consulted multiple cosmetic and plastic surgeons and the ISAPS (the International Society of Plastic Surgery) and discovered that typically between 50 - 80% of transferred fat cells remain after patients recover.
Some doctors over-inject fat cells to compensate for the projected fat cell loss and still achieve the desired results.
How to wear the Compression Garment?
Doctors usually recommend that patients wear the garment from 3 to 6 weeks.
For the first 2 to 3 weeks, patients should wear the compression garment 24 hours a day. It should only be removed for washing or when you are taking a shower.
After the first 2 to 3 weeks, patients will need to continue wearing the compression garment for 12 hours per day, either during daytime hours or at night.
To be effective, the garment should fit snugly and not be too tight as to cause a lot of pressure on the buttocks. Inspect your skin if you feel discomfort. The compression garment should not be so uncomfortable that it prevents you from sleeping. The tightness of your garment should feel like a bandage wrap that you might wear as a brace around your knee or an ankle. The garment should not cause indentations or puckering of the skin where the liposuction or fat grafting has been performed.
Wear your compression garment all day, every day (24 x7) for the first 3 weeks. The most important thing is to follow your surgeon’s advice.
When and How to sit after the surgery?
Doctors utilize different techniques to perform BBL surgery and therefore the different recommendations about sitting after a BBL. Some doctors recommend avoiding sitting at all during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Others recommend sitting only using a bbl cushion during the first 6 weeks of the recovery.
Newly injected fat cells initially do not have a blood supply. Until they develop a blood supply, it’s easy for these fat cells to get damaged by pressure if it is applied for a long period of time. The first 2 to 6 weeks after surgery are a critical time period for transplanted fat cells. Prolonged pressure caused by sitting on the fat cells will cause them to die.
During the first 6 weeks of the BBL recovery time, the body will generate a blood supply around the new fat cells. Once this blood supply is established, it is safe to sit without the BBL cushion.
If you must sit during these first weeks, do it only when absolutely necessary and always use the BBL pillow. Try to rest by laying on your stomach or legs.
Sitting is almost inevitable for most patients. When 16 Brazilian Butt Lift specialists were surveyed, 8 said it was okay to sit after 2 weeks, 6 said sitting was okay after 6 weeks, and 2 recommended that the patient wait for 8 weeks before sitting.
Our research shows that 6 weeks can be considered a safe period of time to avoid sitting after BBL surgery. We encourage patients to discuss the issue of sitting with their plastic surgeon.
How should I sit after a BBl surgery?
Try to minimize your sitting time. If you do sit during the critical 2 to 6 week recovery period, always use the BBL cushion. Especially during the first 2 weeks of recovery try sitting periods no longer than 5 minutes. Alternate sitting with standing up and stretching to stimulate blood circulation.
Elevated Butt Sitting:
Sit on the back part of your thighs, leaving your buttocks in the air. You can do this with the BBL pillow, or by using an elevated cushion underneath your thighs.
Edgy Backwards Chair Sitting:
Instead of sitting normally in the chair, turn the chair around and place legs on either side of the chair. Make sure to leave your buttocks out of the chair seat. You can rest your arms on the back of the chair.
When are Results visible?
Fat grafting is a delicate and unpredictable procedure. If patients don’t follow their surgeon’s recommendations precisely, they may not see the expected results.
Immediately after your procedure, you should see obvious results. Your buttocks will be bigger in size at this time. Throughout the recovery process, your buttocks may vary in size, which is normal and to be expected as the body heals.
Not all of the transferred fat cells you see at the beginning of your recovery period will survive. After the first 6 weeks of recovery, the results will be very close to what the end result will look like.
It may take 6 to 12 months in total to see the final, permanent results from the procedure.
When can I resume my activities?
Immediately following surgery, high impact, strenuous activities should be avoided. Any type of bouncing can damage to newly transplanted fat cells. After the first month of recovery, light activities such as fast-paced walking can be performed.
After the fat cells are fully established, the patient can resume more rigorous activities such as jogging or running. It is important to listen to all of the surgeon’s post-operative instruction to ensure good outcomes from the procedure.
Most patients can return to their normal daily routine within 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery, depending on their response during recovery.
When can I shower?
Like for the other recommendations, surgeon’s opinions differ for this one too.
Some doctors are very strict in recommending that patients wait at least 24 to 48 hours after the procedure to shower. Showers are preferred over baths and very hot water should be avoided.
As a general rule, BBL patients should avoid the beach, pools, baths, and hot tubs until the doctor approves them. This is to avoid infection and weakening of the incisions.
Wait at least 24 to 48 hours - this depends on what your surgeon recommends. Avoid hot baths.
Are massages recommended?
Here it is important do distinguish between massages for the lipo areas and massages for the buttocks.
Massages for the Lipo areas
Doctors disagree over whether post-surgical massages are beneficial or not following liposuction surgery. Some surgeons don’t see post-liposuction massage as necessary while others recommend massage to promote lymphatic drainage and aid in the removal and smoothing of lumps and bumps.
Your doctor may recommend lymphatic massage after your procedure (source). This type of massage is meant to be applied only to donor areas of the body, the areas that were treated with liposuction. Post lipo massages can aid in the healing process, improve skin smoothness, prevent or correct the formation of lumps, and stimulate the flow of blood to help drain excess fluids from the treated areas.
Massages for the Buttocks
Massages for the buttocks are NOT recommended because massage can cause pressure on the freshly transplanted fat cells. Most doctors agree that massaging the newly transplanted fat cells can disrupt the formation of a blood supply and cause damages that negatively impact the final result.
Massages on the BBL area should be avoided during the first 6 weeks of the recovery period.
What is a BBL Recovery Kit?
Prepare for your BBL recovery. Below is a list of all the essential gear that you’ll need during your recovery period:
- Compression Garment - This is usually provided by the doctor.
- Abdominal Lipo Board - This is a flat board made of foam that helps prevent creases from developing on the skin and flattens the skin in specific areas of the body. Some doctors may recommend that you use this to enhance the results of your procedure.
- Booty BBL Pillow - This is a special seat cushion that protects the newly transplanted fat cells from receiving too much pressure when the patient is seated. The pillow provides support for your weight on your thighs rather than on your buttocks.
- Compression Socks - These socks are recommended by some surgeons to minimize the risk of developing a dangerous blood clot in the legs.
- Female Urinal Set - This special kit was designed to allow women to pee in a standing position.
- Arnica Cream - Some doctors recommend using Arnica to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. Arnica has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Plastic Mattress Cover for the Bed - This is used to protect your mattress from staining by body fluids during the initial recovery period.
- Chuck Pads - Chuck pads are absorbent pads that add another layer of protection against post-op body fluid leakage.
- Gauze Pads
- Wet Wipes
- Pill Organizer - This is used to store the scheduled doses of medications that are recommended by your surgeon.
- Loose Clothing - Maxi dresses, sweaters, and button-down shirts are recommended during the recovery period.
What are the Do's and Don'ts?
This is what you should do after a bbl
- Walk. Stretch your legs. You need to keep moving to decreasing the risk of developing blood clots after surgery.
- Wear your compression garment at all times. Remove it only to take a shower. Then, put it back on.
- For the first 2 to 3 weeks, rest only on your stomach or on your legs. After that, you can use the BBL Pillow to sit.
- Drink fluids to stay hydrated.
- Take all medications prescribed by your doctor.
This is what you should NOT DO after a bbl
- Do not sit on your buttocks for the first weeks of recovery (2 to 8 weeks, depending on your doctor’s recommendation). Use the BBL Pillow to sit on the back of your thighs.
- Do not put any stress on the area of the buttocks that received fat transplants.
- Do not smoke. Avoid smoking for at least 2 months after the procedure. The use of cigarettes and drugs can seriously increase the risk of developing complications.
- Do not wear a compression garment that’s too tight. The garment should fit snugly, but it should not cover your buttocks.
What symptoms are expected?
- Buttock Size Changes:
Some surgeons say that patients often see a 20-30% loss of newly transplanted fat cells while other doctors say that patients could lose as many as 50% the fat cells. (source)
- Fluid Leakage:
Excess tumescent fluids may drain from the incisions during the initial days of recovery. There’s no reason to be alarmed if the fluid is tinged with blood. This is completely normal. A few days after surgery, the incisions will heal, and the fluid leakage will stop.
After liposuction surgery, it’s normal to experience swelling and bruising. Many patients also noticed reduced skin sensitivity as well, particularly during the first week of recovery.
It can take 6 to 8 weeks for general inflammation to improve. Inflammation in the areas of the body that were treated with liposuction could last several months.
Itching during the recovery period is a normal part of the healing process after liposuction surgery. Superficial nerves are slightly traumatized during the liposuction procedure and as they begin to heal and regenerate, patients often report a variety of strange skin sensations from pins and needles or numb tingling sensations to itching or pain.
What are the Risks?
The Brazilian Buttocks Lift/Micro Fat-Grafting procedure (as it is also known), is a very technically advanced plastic surgery procedure that should only be performed by an experienced, Board Certified plastic surgeon. When done well, the results are amazing!
All surgical procedures involve some risk of complications. These risks cannot be ignored, but there are things that patients can do to minimize the risk of complication. Patients who undergo BBL surgery receive both liposuction treatment as well as a treatment that involves fat grafting. The risks associated with the procedure pertain to these two surgical treatments.
Liposuction procedures in which more than 5 Liters of fluid is removed is considered a High-Volume Liposuction treatment. High-Volume Liposuction involves a significantly higher risk of complications than tumescent liposuction performed on a normal volume of fat. High-Volume Liposuction requires the careful monitoring of fluids in the body both during the procedure and through the recovery period.
Other risks associated with BBL include:
- Pulmonary embolism
- Fluid shifts
- Seroma (a collection of fluid between the skin and the muscles)
- Skin irregularities
- Fat embolism