The shape of the buttocks can be altered by liposuction, implants, fat injections, and lifts. Buttock lifts are reserved for those cases in which the buttocks sag, with skin overhanging the lower buttock crease. This condition is most common today after significant weight loss after bariatric surgery. In the past, buttock lifts were synonymous with the term, ‘fanny tuck’, which implied the cut out of skin along the lower buttock crease.
Today, buttock lifts are of two types, upper and lower buttock lifting. An upper buttock lift is really part of a circumferential body lift, which is now commonly performed in bariatric surgery patients who have had a lot of weight loss. In severe weight loss, the buttocks sag considerably and a circumferential body lift is like pulling up one’s pants after cutting out a lot of skin along the lower back. The back cutout is only half of the 360 degree cutout which includes a frontal tummytuck as well. This leaves a scar along the lower back and does do a tremendous job of lifting severely sagging buttocks. It will not, however, provide any volume to the buttocks which will remain quite flat. In some cases, the skin and fat from the back is rotated on a vascular pedicle to add volume to the upper buttocks as the lower buttock skin is lifted over top of it.
The lower buttock lift is done along the lower buttock crease which is at the junction of the buttocks and back of the leg. An elliptical cutout of skin and fat along this crease does remove any skin overhang and ‘hides’ the scar in this crease area. It will not, however, add any volume or add any rounder shape to the buttocks.
While lower buttocks were the only option in the past, upper buttock lifts today are done as often, if not more so, than lower buttock lifts. Either way, buttock reshaping is done more often by liposuction, fat injections, or implants than excision and lifting procedures. Buttock lifts are just one option of many in buttock sculpting options.
Dr. Barry Eppley