BBL surgery, also referred to as Brazilian butt lift or butt augmentation via fat injection, is a two-step body contouring surgery. Doctors first perform liposuction on multiple donor sites (e.g., lower back, flanks, bra rolls, and tummy) to collect large volume of fat, which is then processed and injected into the patient’s buttocks and hips.
While bruising is a normal part of recovery, leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says that all efforts are made to minimize this postop symptom to promote high survival rate of fat grafts.
Postop bruising happens when blood from ruptured capillaries or small blood vessels leaks out under the skin, resulting in a red or purplish mark that turns into green or yellow discoloration as the patient moves forward to her recovery.
In a recent Snapchat video, Dr. Smiley says that too much bruising causes “excessive pressure and tension, which is not good for the fat grafts.”
One way to control the amount of postop bruising and swelling, Dr. Smiley says, is to use gentle and correct fat injection technique; this also ensures high survival rate and smooth, natural contours of the buttocks and hips.
“It is important to inject fats in multiple layers of the muscle and subcutaneous tissue, and in a way that separate containers are being created. This technique results in less bruising and allows the buttocks to take more fats. About 70 percent is expected to survive long term, provided that fat injection is done in a highly meticulous manner,” Dr. Smiley says.
Aside from meticulous fat injection, the celebrity plastic surgeon highlights the importance of using medical grade compression garments, which are typically worn for eight weeks. The idea, he says, is to keep the swelling and bruising to a minimum, and ultimately to promote healing and smooth results.
The garments worn around the buttocks are designed to provide minimal compression, as too much pressure may “kill the fats” and lead to less than optimal results; however, the garments for the liposuction sites are usually tauter to control swelling and to prevent edema (fluid formation) beneath the skin.
While compression garments can aid in healing, Dr. Smiley says that most patients can see the final results about six months after surgery, as it takes a while for the skin to fully shrink-wrap to the new contour and the residual swelling from the tumescent fluids to subside completely.