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Should you choose butt injections vs BBL to improve your butt?

Should you choose butt intections vs BBL to enhance your buttocks?

Are you considering going through a butt enhancement, but can’t choose between the traditional BBL vs butt injections? We’re here to guide you through and compare both types of procedures so you can make the best decision for yourself. 

Here we will talk all about both procedures, their types, and what you should avoid first. Then, we will dive into the similarities and differences between them to see the contrast between them. By the time you are done reading our article, you’ll be fully able to understand which procedure, or which type of filler is the best for your needs.

Table of Contents

In summary: Butt injections vs BBL

Before we dive into the details, let’s quickly go over some points as a preview. 

Dermal fillersBrazilian Butt Lift
Minimally invasiveInvasive
Performed with local or topical anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia will be given mostly
Results are subtle and look naturalResults are dramatic, and may not look natural if high amounts of fat are injected
Temporary results that last for a year or twoPermanent results
Focuses on buttocks onlyContours the whole body and improves the butt
Expensive, may need to pay for extra sessions in futureExpensive, but no extra procedures will be required later 
Don’t need to have enough fat or any medical clearance

Need enough fat and have to be healthy enough for the surgery 

No extended preparation

The preparation starts almost a month before

No recovery period

Two months of no sitting on the butt directly

No severe post-op complications

Possible complications if not delicate during the healing time

Long in short, if you want to have dramatic, long-lasting results and think that all these efforts will be worth going through, getting a BBL is the most optimal choice. Also, for being a one-time procedure, BBL will save you from additional butt enhancement procedures in the future.

However, if you don’t want to go under a knife for such augmentation or can’t fulfill the requirements of BBL but still want a contoured butt, dermal fillers are waiting for you. Even though the changes can be lesser than BBL, buttock fillers will still give you an attractive butt. But, constant series of injections can be exhausting for patients’ pockets.

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?

Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure that utilized patients’ own body fat to improve both the shape of the body and butt. The main goal of BBL is to make the patient reach the hourglass body shape by thinning the waist and adding the patient’s own fat to the buttocks. It is the easiest cosmetic procedure for patients to reach their dream body type.

Procedure of BBL

The procedure starts with giving general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation depending on the case. When the patient is settled, small incisions will be made in the areas where fat will be harvested. Then, tumescent fluid will be injected to make the fat deposit loose for easier removal.

The cannula (long, thin tube) will be used for harvesting the fat. After that, the harvested fat cells will be purified from the injected fluid and blood. Finally, purified fat will be injected into the buttocks and the surgery will be completed. The whole procedure takes around 2-4 hours.

Types of BBL surgery

There are numerous types of BBL surgery for patients with different characteristics. Regardless of their height, weight, or expectations, eligibility for surgery can get flexible and change according to the patient. Here are all the types of BBL surgery you should be aware of before considering other types of surgeries, as one of these types may be more suitable for your goals:

  • Traditional BBL: The regular procedure for fat grafting.

  • Mini BBL: Less fat is grafted, thus the changes will be subtle.

  • Skinny BBL: Focuses on patients who have a BMI of between 18 and 21.

  • Plus size BBL: Focuses on patients who are above a BMI of 30.

  • Petite BBL: Focuses on patients who are under 5’4″ or 160 cm in height.

  • Hybrid BBL: Combines butt implants and fat grafting for maximum results.

What are dermal injections?

Dermal injections are minimally invasive procedures to stimulate natural collagen production. The increase in collagen production accelerates tissue growth in the area, which will result in a fuller appearance gradually. Generally, the injections are done in the face, hands, and buttocks to regain the lost tissues and fix wrinkles. This way, patients can enhance their buttocks without having surgery.

The procedure of dermal fillers

The procedure starts with an application of local or topical anesthesia to minimize the discomfort. In terms of BBL injections, your doctor will open tiny incisions in your butt for the procedure. After that, the surgeon will insert the syringe full of the cosmetic filler from the tiny holes in your butt. The filler will be injected below the outer skin layer, the dermis and the amount will depend on the case (1). The whole process can take 15 minutes or an hour. Finally, injection areas will be cleaned and you’ll be discharged.

Approved BBL injection types

There were numerous types of dermal injections in the past. Everything started with Vaseline and paraffin, then silicone became mainstream. However, all resulted in adverse effects on patients which led researchers to look for alternatives. Plus, none of them were officially FDA-approved injectables. For approval, the injectables should be absorbable by the body. Now, there are only a few BBL injections acknowledged by FDA. Let’s see what are they in detail.

Sculptra

Sculptra contains poly-L-lactic acid to enhance your natural production of collagen. Stimulated collagen production accelerates new tissue creation which results in a volume increase gradually. Sculptra is FDA-approved and clinics perform the procedure under the Sculptra Butt Lift name.

For Sculptra BBL, the cosmetic surgeon will use a 26 G needle which can be 15 to 25mm in length. The injection amount will be 9 to 18 ml depending on the patient’s desire and each session takes around 45 to 60 minutes. After three sessions of Sculptra, the results will be noticeable and it will last for at least two years.

Radiesse

Radiesse is a thick calcium hydroxyapatite (CaHA) gel that boosts collagen production for up to a year. In contrast to Sculptra, its results are immediately noticeable as soon as the injection is done. As time passes, the gel breaks down and forms collagen fibers which will increase the volume of the area. Radiesse is also an FDA-approved dermal filler injection.

For the procedure, a 25 to 27 G needle will be used, which can be around 12 to 15mm in length. The injection amount can be between 0.3 to 1.3 cc depending on the patient’s expectations. The whole procedure will take around 30 minutes and one session will be enough. However, the final results will be seen after six weeks as the gel breaks down in the area. The results can last at least a year.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar type that can be found in our body tissues naturally. There are various fillers that contain hyaluronic acid. When injected deep into the skin, it enhances the volume and firmness by boosting collagen production.

The hyaluronic acid injection is also called liquid BBL. Generally, 150 ml injection of hyaluronic acid to each buttock will be enough for noticeable changes in shape. It will be done with an 18 G needle which is 40 mm long. Results can last up to two years as long as it is injected regularly.

BBL injections to avoid

There are three fillers that should be avoided for butt augmentation. One of them is totally banned by FDA while two of them are not suitable for butt enhancement. Without knowing which injections they are, patients can be deceived by a chop shop doctor who can ruin their appearance easily.

Silicone injections

Liquid silicone is the worst thing that could be injected into your body. It is permanent and can cause serious complications. For example, it can cause injuries, infections, permanent disfigurements, and even death by blocking the blood flow. FDA warns that silicone injections are not appropriate for any kind of body contouring.

Botox

Even though Botox is approved by FDA, it doesn’t act as a non-surgical Brazilian Butt Lift. The reason is, Botox blocks the nerve signals in muscles which makes them relax. This way, the relaxation smoothens the skin and fixes wrinkles. So, Botox is not suitable for butt contouring.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

Polymethyl Methacrylate is an injectable gel that boosts collagen boost. It is semi-permanent because after the gel breaks down, the only way to remove PMMA microspheres is by cutting them out (2). Also, the only FDA-approved PMMA filler is Bellafill, which can only be used for facial rejuvenation.

Similarities between butt injections vs BBL

Now it’s time to start our comparison as we have explained what are both BBL and dermal fillers in a detailed way. Starting with similarities between butt injections vs BBL, let’s see what both procedures have in common. 

Both improve butt volume

As previously mentioned, both BBL and butt injections have the same goal: to enhance the volume of the patient’s butt. Regardless of their different approaches, after the procedure is done, the buttocks will be bigger, rounder, and fuller.

Both will give you a natural shape

Adequate amounts of buttock injections give the patients a natural volume increase. The same goes for BBL as well. As long as the amount of fat injection is not excessive, the buttock shape will appear natural. However, the main factor in this situation is all about the patient’s preference. If they want to have enormous buttocks that won’t match their proportions, looking natural won’t be the case.

They are invasive procedures

It is true that dermal fillers are accepted as non-surgical BBL. However, an invasive procedure is defined as something that is injected or inserted into the body. For your information, drawing blood is the most common invasive procedure in health care.

BBL injection procedure is a minimally invasive surgery which means there are smaller incisions and minimal recovery time. In contrast, BBL is an invasive surgery for performing in a wider area and requires a longer recovery period.

They can be pricey

Both procedure is not pocket-friendly. BBL can cost between 4,000$ to 15,000$. A Sculptra session costs around 4,000$ to 6,000$ but it requires several sessions which can be more expensive than a BBL. Hyaluronic acid requires regular injections so it’s not pocket-friendly in the long run as well. Radiesse, on the other hand, costs the same as Sculptra but it requires one session so it is not competing in this league.

Differences between butt injections vs BBL

To complete our butt injections vs BBL comparison, we should also explain their differences. This is where you decide which one is better and will be more beneficial for you in all aspects. Let’s start exploring how they differ from each other already.

BBL focuses on more areas

Dermal fillers will focus the buttocks only with collagen-stimulating injections. There isn’t any step to contour any part of the body except the butt. The only solution is to get another treatment while having the injections.

BBL focuses on your whole body. During BBL, the patient’s body proportions will be improved by suction of excess body fat from the waist, back, thighs, and even arms. By injecting that fat into the buttocks, the patient’s body will look like an hourglass.

For that reason, patients who want to get rid of the excess fat all over their bodies and take advantage of it to enhance their butts should go for BBL. However, BBL shots will be better if the patient is happy with their body and just need buttock augmentation.

Fillers need extra sessions

Except Radiesse, Sculptra and Hyaluronic acid requires more than one session for their effects to show or stay. You will need 2-3 sessions of Sculptra to see the results and additional procedures in the near future. Hyaluronic acid requires injections on a regular basis.

BBL is a one-time surgery and that’s it. You won’t need another extra treatment if you are satisfied with the final results. So, if you don’t want to deal with multiple appointments or periodical injections to maintain your butt shape, getting a BBL is the best choice you would ever make.

They use different types of anesthesia

Most of the time, the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure can’t be done without general anesthesia. During the surgery, anesthesia will decrease your blood pressure as well as your heart rate, slowing down your whole system in short.

As injectable fillers are done with topical or local anesthesia, you won’t have such a pause in your system and will be able to walk out of the clinic as soon as the procedure is over.

If you can’t have any surgery with general anesthesia or just don’t want to deal with its side effects, butt injections will be better and safer for you.

You need to have enough fat to get a BBL

To get a BBL, patients are required to have enough fat for transfer. If a patient doesn’t have adequate body fat, the plastic surgeon may ask them to gain weight and come back in a while.

Buttock fillers don’t require any fat to enhance your buttocks. All you have to do is have a consultation and discuss your expectations with your doctor. Then, you decide what to do. That’s why BBL injections are an excellent option for patients who don’t have excess fat

Getting fillers don't require labs or medical clearance

Dermal fillers have no extra requirements provided that the patient doesn’t have an allergy or bleeding disorder. There won’t be any labs or medical clearance as well.

On the other hand, BBL candidates shouldn’t have any medical history such as heart, lung, or neurological conditions if they want to have a BBL. However, patients who suffer from diabetes or hypertension can have surgery as long as they are under control. This is why patients need to get medical clearance for any type of elective surgery, to show that they are healthy enough

Patients who have such risks shouldn’t go for the BBL procedure as their safety can’t be guaranteed. Instead, they can easily make an appointment for BBL injections and start their sessions immediately.

BBL downtime is longer

As with any surgery, BBL has its own recovery time which requires you to avoid sitting directly on your butt for at least a month. If the surgery was performed in a wide area, there will be more incisions to take care of. Also, you will have instructions to follow such as not drinking any alcohol or smoking for a while as well.

Dermal fillers don’t have such healing time. As soon as the injections were made, you’re free to go and continue your daily activities without any restriction.

BBL injections are the best when it comes to this, imagine your buttocks getting contoured naturally without entering into any kind of recovery phase.

Fillers have mild risks

There are numerous potential post-op BBL complications that can be bothersome to deal with. If neglected, they can easily develop faster and even require surgical interventions. In addition, although rare, general anesthesia has its own risks as well. Inadequately prepared patients are most likely to have complications after BBL.

The best advantage of getting BBL shots is the post-op complications being mild. You might feel mild pain and swelling in the injection sites but they don’t last for long. The worst complication a patient could experience after BBL injections is an infection that can be treated easily with prescriptions.

So, if you don’t want to deal with or worry about such potential risks, fillers are one step ahead of Brazilian Butt Lift surgery.

Their results & longevity

Generally, dermal fillers last for a year or two. The reason is simple, the injected components will boost your tissues in the area and your body will absorb them eventually. Also, some BBL injections don’t work immediately and require time to show their effects. Production of new tissues can’t happen in a day, that’s why it takes several weeks to see the fruits. However, The stimulation of collagen growth may not be sufficient for every patient if they expect a voluminous butt.

BBL can last up to 10 years and the patients see the results immediately. After patients woke up from anesthesia, the fat transfer would be done already. The changes are dramatic but swelling should be gone to see the final results. In terms of the longevity of the results, weight fluctuations and age can cause results to fade.

For these reasons, BBL is the most popular cosmetic surgery when it comes to outcomes. They are long-lasting, remarkable, and immediate, and don’t require any touchup treatment after years.

  • Abboud, Marwan et al. “Improving the Female Silhouette and Gluteal Projection: An Anatomy-Based, Safe, and Harmonious Approach Through Liposuction, Suspension Loops, and Moderate Lipofilling.” Aesthetic surgery journal vol. 41,4 (2021): 474-489. doi:10.1093/asj/sjaa157
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