A Brazilian butt lift or bbl as it is known is a fat transfer procedure which changes the shape of the buttocks by using excess fat cells from one area and transferring them, via an injection, to your butt. Essentially this is a surgical butt augmentation procedure and so there are some post op after care advice that not only aid your healing, but also the effect of your surgery. So what are the ins and outs of BBL post op care?

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

The process of taking fat from one area of your body e.g. thighs and repositioning this newly transplanted fat into another area e.g. buttocks is otherwise known as lipofilling, lipomodelling or fat grafting.

This procedure has been around since the nineties. However, it has hit the headlines in recent years for the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

Many people don’t even know that they will need some help to maintain a good finish to their surgery for a good few months post op. For some reason many surgeons will mention the compression garment that you will wear to help keep your fat cells in place in your buttocks, but they often fail to mention the manual lymphatic drainage which eases your recovery period. Until after surgery is complete that is. And then they slip that in. So if you’re unsure, ask.

How many weeks post op do I need to have MLD (manual lymphatic drainage massage) on the buttock?

First, it’s important to understand that your lymphatic system runs throughout your entire body draining toxins and excess fluid. When you have MLD it therefore won’t just be on the buttocks even though this is where you’ve had transplanted fat cells.

Your consultant will advise you on wearing your compression garment, and then also usually they’ll say that anything from one day to several weeks post op, you should get an MLD massage. Manual lymphatic drainage helps your body to cope with the trauma of the operation. Because although you’ve had the fat cells from one part of your body transferred to another, this is still surgery. And so, still invasive trauma that your system still struggles to cope with many weeks post op.

During this period your immune system will send fluid containing healing properties to your butt. And then this fluid will drain away waste. What can happen during this time is that your lymphatic system which is incredibly fine, can become overloaded.

This creates a backup.

And as this system works through movement (which post BBL you’re likely not doing a lot of) or from drinking water (which you’re also unlikely to be doing as much of as you should); then this is why you often run into problems of swelling and hard fatty deposits which sit under the skin’s surface.

Your compression garment will help with some of these BBL post op care issues. But it isn’t a fail-safe. Our body will need a little helping hand to ease and speed up the recovery period. Without this, your healing process may not be fast enough and you run the risk of not getting the best possible outcome after the surgery.

Why does newly transplanted fat create hard spots (fat necrosis)?

The hard round lumps or dimpling (unevenness) that patients regularly find under their skin following all kinds of cosmetic surgery, and in bbl post op care fat necrosisparticular Brazilian Butt Lifts are in fact dies off.

This process of fat dying is called necrosis and happens when an area doesn’t have the correct blood supply to feet it the nutrients it requires to continue to live. The area may even turn black.

As we said earlier MLD massage helps your body heal in the period of time following your operation. It allows the body the support it needs to feed nutrients to the newly located fat cells. And for debris to be removed.

This is of paramount importance for a great finish, but also to healthy post-op cells.

Fat necrosis is a well-known complication after the surgery for BBL so always discuss the risk of developing the condition with your doctor ahead of your surgery. You should specifically ask about BBL post-op care.

What happens during a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)?

The fat transfer procedure happens in three stages:

*Thin cannulas are used to remove the excess fat
*They then was and filter the fat cells
*You receive an injection of this fat back into your body, in this case, into your butt

It depends on the area and how much volume of fat you’re having transferred, but the BBL operation can happen under either a local or general anaesthetic. The procedure itself can take up to two hours.

How long does it take after the surgery for bbl for me to see results?

Many people think that the results will be visible within a few weeks.


Patients often need to wait up to six months to see the final results of their fat transfer procedure.

During this time you should be vigilant in checking that there is no necrosis. Also, at the time of writing, BBL is renowned for being the riskiest cosmetic surgery, even inducing death of patients. This is because fat has been mistakenly injected into arteries which travels to the heart. Choose your consultant wisely.

Will I experience pain during the Brazilian butt lift post op massage?

This is an incredibly gentle procedure so even if your have a lot of bruising, you will be surprised at the ease that you can deal with even your initial treatment. You’ll feel more pain from the compression garment than you will from an MLD massage.

During the procedure, we’ll work around how you can lie and plump you with soft pillows and bolsters if this makes you more comfortable. We’ll only work on your swelling once you are settled.

How long will it take for me to see results following the MLD?

This depends on the size of the swelling and how long you have left it post surgery to come along for your manual lymphatic drainage massage.

Some people see results straight away. They’ll get back in their compression garment they’re wearing and immediately feel like the swelling has gone down. However, this result will not be permanent. Your body is constantly fighting to heal incisions, scarring and tissue damage. And so, it needs constant support during this fragile time to aid your healing.

Long term results take up to six months to see the final finish. During this period, you will continue to have your MLD sessions, although by this time you should need them less regularly than when you first start. You’ll probably be down to a maintenance programme of every week or so.

All of the information in this article is from our knowledge as massage therapists. For medical advice, you must always speak to your specialist practitioner, surgeon or doctor.


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