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The desire for fuller and more uplifted buttocks is one of the most popular body contouring requests in the past few years. When it comes to the buttocks, the issues mainly consist of its size and shape as well as the texture of the overlying skin. Implants, fat injections, liposuction and cellulite treatments are available for the cosmetic improvement of the buttocks. But because of their relative newness of buttock enhancement procedures, there are many misconceptions and myths about them. Here are some of the most common butt myths.

Liposuction can help get rid of cellulite on the buttocks. The search for an effective cellulite treatment has been ongoing for years and to say that it is elusive is an understatement. The buttocks is a prime location for the cottage cheese look of the skin. Over the years such treatments as Endermologie and VelaShape have been promoted but their effects are short-term and any improvement requires regular maintenance treatments. Liposuction surgery, however, is exactly what you don’t want to do. Liposuction removes the superficial layer of fat and removes the support from the overlying skin…this has the high likelihood to make the appearance of cellulite even worse. The newest cellulite treatment, Cellulaze, may offer improvement of buttock cellulite on a more sustained basis but long-term results (years) remain to be reported.

Fat injections are a better option for buttock enlargement than implants. The most popular method today for increasing the size of the buttocks is fat injections. Known as the Brazilian Butt Lift, its popularity is because it requires simultaneous liposuction for the fat harvest and a a result one also gets some body contouring through  abdominal and flank reduction. (the largest sources of excess fat in most people) Fat injections also make the recovery from the surgery much easier as the real recovery is from the liposuction harvest sites not the buttocks. All of this makes fat injections so much more appealing than the intramuscular placement of implants which have a much longer recovery. With the exception of one thing…the survival of fat injections is unpredictable while implant produce a reliable and permanent means of buttock augmentation.

Sitting on buttocks that have been injected with fat will cause it to resorb. The take of fat injections into the buttocks depends on some of the fat getting an adequate blood supply (nutrition) and perhaps some of its stem cells that accompany it becoming fat cells themselves. This is a process that takes several weeks after surgery. But once the fat cells take, the y should be permanent provided one takes does lose a lot of weight later. But sitting on the buttocks over time is not going to cause the fat to resorb anymore than one’s natural fat there would. But it is important in the first few weeks after surgery to avoid prolonged sitting so as to not induce pressure on the newly implanted fat which may have a negative effect on its survival.

The buttocks can be enlarged and lifted by exercise. The gluteus muscles (maximus and minimus) are large-sized and occupy a significant part of the buttocks depending upon their natural size. Like any muscle, it can be toned and enlarged. So to say that exercise can make your buttocks bigger is true…but only by a minimal amount. Strengthening and toning of the gluteal muscles can definitely be done and this may provide a degree of a ‘buttock lift’ but not actual enlargement of the buttocks.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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