Butt enhancement surgery is way more popular than you thought

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Butt Implants Are the Latest Plastic Surgery Craze

You've probably heard butt implants mentioned on the news and figured it's just a procedure a small group of women, somewhere are having done. But new data reveals more women than you'd think are going under the knife to give their butts a boost.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently released statistics on the top cosmetic surgery procedures of 2015, and butt enhancement surgery is clearly on the rise. According to the ASPS, butt implants were the fastest growing type of plastic surgery last year, but buttock augmentation with fat grafting and buttock lifts are still the most popular butt procedures performed—and there are a lot of them being done.

"Overall, there was a buttock procedure every 30 minutes of every day, on average," the organization said in a press release.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., of New York's Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery, isn't shocked by the findings. "Over the last couple of years, we've seen a huge increase in the number of requests for buttock enhancement surgery," he says. "I do many, many of these a week."

Matthew Schulman, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York City attributes it to the "Kardashian Effect." "Buttock implants have been more commonly requested over the past several years," he says.

But while many patients request butt implants, doctors are steering them more toward butt augmentation with fat grafting surgery, aka the "Brazilian Butt Lift." Why? "Patients who have implants can experience pain and infection, and have trouble sitting on their butts for a long period of time," says Greenberg. "I stopped doing butt implants because the complication rate is too high."

Board-certified plastic surgeon Gary Breslow, M.D., CEO of Zwivel, an online platform for cosmetic consultations, echoes the sentiment. He says his company has seen a number of requests for butt implants even though "buttock augmentation with fat grafting is safer and more common—patients don't realize this."

What does butt enhancement surgery involve, exactly?

For butt implant surgery, implants are placed beneath the gluteal muscle through an incision in the buttock cheeks, explains Schulman. The surgery takes about two to three hours and patients are typically out of work for two weeks. Patients also can't sit directly on the implants for three weeks. "This is because pressure on the buttock implants can cause them to shift out of the desired position," explains Schulman.

Butt lifts typically involve making an incision at the top of the butt area and pulling up extra skin. "It's not as common because it can potentially cause a scar," says Greenberg. He typically advises patients to take five to six days off from work after having the procedure done.

Butt augmentation with fat grafting, on the other hand, is a two-step process. First, fat is liposuctioned out of the patient's abdomen, hips, or thighs. It's then cleaned and separated, and injected into the patient's butt. This one-hour procedure allows people to work a little more with the shape they end up with and where the extra curves go, says Greenberg.

Recovery is also better with butt augmentation surgery. Greenberg says patients can usually return to work and normal activity in 24 hours. However, they're going to feel sore and swollen for a while, and he advises his patients to avoid sitting on the butt directly for about a week after having surgery.

Experts say butt augmentation surgery with fat grafting is by far the most popular butt enhancement procedure they perform, but it can cost you: Butt procedures range in price from $3,500 to about $10,000 depending on what you want and how much of an enhancement you're looking for.

Will this trend of butt enhancement continue to be popular? Greenberg thinks so, with some tweaks. "People are becoming more moderate with what they want to do," he says. "They want more shapely butts but aren't going crazy."

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