When can you sit after a Brazilian butt lift (BBL)? We explain the answer here along with other key facts about the BBL recovery process.
May 18, 2022
5 min read
It’s not like you need a statistic to confirm what you probably already suspect. Still, did you know that according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were well over five million butt enhancement surgeries and procedures that were performed back in 2019? And one of the more popular procedures was the Brazilian butt lift (which is also known as a BBL).
BBLs are so popular, in fact, that The New York Times reported that it was a top Google search, getting around 200,000 hits during the first three months of 2020. From celebs to people who work 9-to-5s, there are countless individuals who are getting what they perceive to be the perfect derriere.
Let’s look into what a BBL is. Let’s also explore what your recovery will be like should you decide to get one. Especially when it comes to when you’ll be able to sit on your backside again.
What Exactly Is a Brazilian Butt Lift, Anyway?
Before going any deeper, it should go on record that there are many ways to enhance the side of your butt. For instance, when it comes to BBLs, oftentimes they are confused with butt injections (which is what R&B singer K. Michelle got a lot of press about a few years ago). However, the difference is while “butt injections” consist of hydrogel and silicone being injected into your buttocks, BBLs take fat from another part of your body. Then that (your own fat) is injected into your butt.
Of the two options, most health professionals consider BBLs to be safer. That’s because the substance in butt injections has the potential to shift to other parts of your body. Sometimes, that can even prove to be fatal.
On the other hand, a Brazilian butt lift consists of you being put under anesthesia. Then your surgeon performs liposuction in order to remove fat from areas like your thighs, stomach and hips. After the fat is taken out (via small incisions), it’s prepared in a way that makes it injectable.
After that, three to five tiny incisions are made into various areas of your butt, the fat is transferred and then stitches are used to close your incisions. The process typically takes a couple of hours.
What Should You Expect After Getting a BBL?
Although the BBL procedure sounds relatively black and white, recovering from a Brazilian butt lift can be a bit more complex. For starters, you can usually go home the same day of the procedure. However, it’s common to notice some immediate bruising, swelling and extreme tenderness. Many medical professionals say that this is normal during the first couple of weeks of recovery.
As far as pain management goes, usually an over-the-counter inflammatory (like Tylenol or Advil) can help to reduce the swelling and ease the discomfort. For the first couple of days, it may be difficult to walk and there might be a bit of fluid that drains from your healing incisions.
Something else that your doctor will probably recommend is wearing a compression garment for eight weeks in order to reduce swelling and lessen the amount of pain that you might feel.
The greatest challenge, though, will probably be sitting and sleeping until you fully recover.
When Can You Sit on Your New Brazilian Butt Lift?
It’s kind of ironic that after getting a BBL, one of the main things that you can’t do is sit or sleep directly on your backside. The reason why you should hold off on doing either is because sitting (or lying) on your butt during the healing process can hinder blood flow to that area of your body. When that happens, there’s an increased chance that newly transferred fat cells in your butt will be destroyed.
So, how long do you have to go without sitting on your butt? How many nights do you have to spend sleeping on your side? To avoid as much pain and discomfort as possible, the first two weeks of not sitting or lying on your back are completely non-negotiable.
Following that, many surgeons advise that you spend around eight weeks avoiding both activities. Even after that, you should still sit on a cushion and refrain from sleeping on your back for a few more weeks, if at all possible.
What Else Should You Know About Recovering from a Brazilian Butt Lift?
If any procedure brings new meaning to “one day at a time”, a BBL would have to be it. During the first week of recovery, strenuous activity is a definite no-no. This includes cooking, vacuuming or any chores around the house. And you absolutely should not exercise.
As far as work is concerned, returning after 14 days is standard. As you’re recovering, it’s a good idea to have someone on-call to assist you. It’s also wise to avoid scheduling your procedure during the holidays or a time of the year when you know there’s going to be an elevated amount of stress.
Are There Complications That You Should Be Aware Of?
There is no way around the fact that BBLs have been fatal for some people. Many times, it’s because the procedures were performed by untrained and unlicensed individuals. That’s why it’s important to seek out a reputable surgeon to perform your BBL. Make sure they are board certified and have solid reviews.
Other complications to consider is the risk of infection, bleeding, nerve damage, skin discoloration, scarring and possible asymmetry on your backside.
What you can do to decrease your chances of experiencing any of this is:
- Wear your compression garments
- Always wash your hands before touching your butt or your dressings
- Don’t take blood thinning meds (like aspirin) without speaking with your doctor first
- Keep lotions and powders away from your butt until your incisions heal
stick to sponge baths until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to shower or bathe
- Do not go swimming
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, berries and salmon to reduce inflammation
- Wait a month before resuming light exercises like walking
- Lie on your stomach with a pregnancy ball (to avoid sitting)
- Sleep with a pregnancy pillow (it can help you to stay on your side)
What Can You Expect Your BBL Results to Look Like?
After going through all of this, you probably think that you’re going to have the perfect butt that you’ve always dreamed of, right? When it comes to this, it’s important to remember that it takes two to three weeks for you to get a vague idea of what your final results will look like.
Even so, it’s common for 20% to 40% of the transferred fat cells to not take. Taking all of this into account, a good month after your Brazilian butt lift will give you an indication of what your butt will look like, long-term. It could take as much as six months for you to get the full effect, though.
What Should You Consider Before Getting a Brazilian Butt Lift?
Now that you know more about what comes with the actual BBL procedure, let’s briefly discuss what you should personally consider first. It’s important that you are a non-smoker. It’s important that your doctor says that you are a healthy weight (you need some “fat on you” in order to take some out).
Please do not schedule a BBL if you’re recently recovering from a surgery-related infection. Also, if you’ve got a lot of sagging skin around your butt, your doctor may recommend removing that before the procedure. And finally, it’s important to not assume that a BBL (or any cosmetic surgery) will automatically boost your self-esteem. Some studies say that there are no guarantees.
BBLs can enhance your body but you should not rely on it to make you feel great about yourself. It’s important to feel that way before signing up for any type of cosmetic procedure.
Consult with a Reputable Plastic Surgery Office Before Making Any Commitments
Deciding to get a Brazilian butt lift is a pretty serious decision. That’s why it’s imperative that you book a consultation with a plastic surgery office that you can trust. You can start this process by:
- Making sure that they are board-certified
- Asking them about what kind of experience they have in the type of procedure that you want
- Going through their “before and after” photos of previous patients
- Taking a tour of their operating facility
- Going with your gut about how they make you feel