Brazilian Butt Lift Recovery: Tips + What To Expect

By Chuma Chike-Obi, MD October 15, 2018 No Comments

brazillian butt lift recovery

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) continues to increase in popularity, with over 20,000 procedures performed in the U.S. in 2017.  The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure uses the patient’s own fat to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks. Unwanted fat is removed from other areas of the body, frequently from the abdomen or thighs, via liposuction. The fat is then carefully injected into targeted areas of the buttocks to provide a lift and contouring result.

This article addresses topics of frequently asked questions regarding Brazilian Butt Lift treatments.

Pain & Discomfort

Immediately following surgery many patients will experience a moderate level of pain and tenderness in the “harvest areas” where fat was removed via liposuction. The severity of pain you experience depends upon your tolerance for pain and the surgical technique used. Bruising and swelling around the injection sites along the buttock is also common. Any pain can be managed through over-the-counter or prescription medication provided by your surgeon. Most patients will find that their pain dramatically subsides over the first week.

Fluid Draining

Most Brazilian Butt Lift patients may notice fluid that is tinged with blood flowing from incisions in their harvest area. Don’t be alarmed! The draining of excess fluid from these incision points is normal and may continue for a few days after the procedure.

Sitting & Sleeping

The most important aspect of recovering from a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure is the avoidance of pressure on the buttocks before it’s fully healed. Any pressure applied to the recipient area of the fat graft will limit blood circulation which could injure the fat grafts before they incorporate and become stable. This could affect healing and have a negative effect on the final result of your procedure.

I ask my patients to avoid sitting or sleeping on their buttocks following their procedure. Instead, patients should remain standing or rest by lying on their sides or stomach. If the patient absolutely must sit they should do so with the help of a ‘BBL pillow,’ a specialized pillow that shifts weight away from the buttocks onto the back of the thighs.

Compression Garments

Following the procedure your surgeon will likely recommend the wearing of a compression garment (or girdle) around the areas where liposuction was performed. This is necessary to ensure that the harvest areas heal properly. The use of compression garments can speed up the healing process and lessen swelling and discomfort.  I like to apply compression to the harvest areas, but not to the buttocks

Returning to Work

Patients should plan to be out of work for at least 2 to 3 weeks following a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. We recommend being cleared by your surgeon before heading back into the office. Since sitting is not recommended, patients should consider using a standing desk until they are fully recovered.


Patients should refrain from all types of high impact physical activity until cleared to do so by their surgeon. Undertaking strenuous exercise before being fully healed could compromise the transferred fat. Most patients will be able to return to light exercise, such as fast-paced walking, within 2-3 weeks of the procedure. At about 6 weeks following the procedure the transferred fat cells should be stable enough to withstand more vigorous forms of exercise like running and cycling.

Tips: Recovering from Brazilian Butt Lifts

  • Follow all post-surgery instructions you receive from your surgeon.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up office appointments.
  • Avoid pools and hot tubs until fully healed.
  • Stretch your legs frequently in order to encourage healing and prevent blood clots.
  • Wear your compression garment as often as possible.
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest.
  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated with plenty of water during recovery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.

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