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Bringing up the Rear

Low-riding junk in the trunk? Here’s how to jack it up.

Blame it on Jennifer Lopez. She’s almost as famous for her rear assets as she is for her singing and acting. And her prominent derrière has a lot of women (and some men) considering plastic surgery to get the same higher, rounder look with a butt lift.

Dr. Jeffrey M. Hartog, director of the Bougainvillea Clinique in Winter Park and a board-certified plastic surgeon, explains that “the new or modern concept of a butt lift is not your mother’s butt lift.” A traditional butt lift, sometimes called a lower body lift because it involves the thighs, is a complex
surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia and surgically removing excess skin to lift and tighten the buttocks.

“This, of course, was a big procedure with significant recovery and scarring,” he says. “The modern concept of a butt lift, or ‘Brazilian butt lift,’ essentially involves reshaping the buttocks using a combination of liposuction and reinjecting the fat as a fat graft to the buttocks to selectively enlarge the buttock and reshape it.”

This approach can be performed with tiny punctures that may require only a single dissolving stitch. The procedure can be done under either local or general anesthesia, and the back-to-work recovery time is typically one week or less. The two-part procedure includes liposuction to reshape the buttocks, thighs and hips, then fat is injected as needed into targeted areas of the buttocks.

Only part of the injected fat—approximately 30 to 50 percent—becomes a permanent part of the reshaped rear, says Hartog. Ideal candidates for a Brazilian butt lift are patients with good skin tone who desire only a moderate enhancement, not a dramatic enlargement. Those who want a noticeable badonkadonk may want to have implants surgically inserted, and patients with loose

or sagging skin on the buttocks may require the traditional surgery-and-sutures operation, both of which ratchet up the recovery time, risk and complication rate.
The cost of the updated butt lift approach can vary depending on the amount of liposuction. Locally, patients can expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000, according to Hartog; the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery puts the national range at $8,000 to $10,000. Hartog has seen an increase in the procedure’s popularity, thanks in part to certain booty-blessed celebrities like J.Lo and Kim Kardashian and the styles they set. “Fashion dictates a fuller, rounder and more shapely buttock,” he says.

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