Implants vs. Fat Grafting for Butt Augmentation

Over the past several years, shapely curves have supplanted stick figures in our popular conception of beauty. Butt augmentation is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the United States, with fat grafting and implants being the most widespread methods. But which type of surgery provides the best results? Based on a study in the September issue of American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, it seems that patients may be more satisfied with implants compared to fat grafting.

Butt Augmentation 101

Many of my patients, when they think of butt implants, imagine something akin to breast implants: a silicon shell containing liquid. In fact, buttocks implants are made of solid silicone. They are tough, durable, and yet also soft – so that the results feel natural. During augmentation surgery, these implants can be carefully positioned to improve the contour of your buttocks.

Fat grafting is also used by many cosmetic surgeons to enhance natural curves. This procedure uses your own natural body fat, which can be extracted through liposuction or a large-bore needle. After the fat is treated, it can be injected at numerous sites.

Butt Implants vs. Fat Grafting

This new study compared butt implants and fat grafting to determine whether one technique was superior to the other in terms of complications, postoperative pain, and overall patient satisfaction. It involved 129 cases between 2008 and 2011. Thirty-three of the patients had undergone fat grafting, while 96 received buttocks implants.

The researchers found that patients who received implants were significantly more satisfied (76 percent) than those who received fat grafts (69.7 percent). Naturally, with these different types of procedures, there are different risks involved. Implant patients proved more likely to develop seromas, while fat-grafting patients were more likely develop lumps or dents.

What Does this Mean for You?

According to the researchers, the results of fat grafting “are not as consistent as those seen with buttock implant augmentation. This consistency of results is offset by the risk of capsular contracture and dehiscence, which are seen in implant surgery.” There are significant differences between the risks and rewards of these different approaches to buttocks augmentation. Before committing to either approach, it’s important that you consult with a fully qualified cosmetic surgeon, to find the technique that fits your needs.