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.

In order to help the fat you’ve had transferred into your buttocks alive after transfer, you may also want to think about having iPRF treatment into the area during your lymphatic drainage massages. We offer a highly discounted price on the normally expensive treatment, if you have this during the same session.

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.

In addition to MLD, when you’ve had a fat transfer, we advise you to have PRF treatments. You don’t need these at every session, but they will help avoid so much fat dying (necrosis) as we explain about below.

Do not confuse the fact that the BBL is called Brazilian, with that then automatically meaning you then need Brazilian Lymphatic Massage. You don’t. This works against everything your surgeon has done and will create inflammation and fibrosis rather than helping it to heal and move through your system as fast as possible.

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. The principles are broadly the same as what we describe in this video. But, don’t forget you can further avoid this with iPRF treatments which we massively discount for you if you have these at the same time as your MLD massages.

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. There was some issues with the safety of this, but BAAPS, the governing body of plastic surgeons in the UK took years to do a comprehensive study on this and used the findings to create a new ultrasound technique that safely injects fat back over the muscle.

One of the three authors of this research was Omar Tillo, who now offers this at his London clinics.

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. Be careful on which surgeon you choose and be sure to confirm they inject above the muscle using ultrasound to be certain as it has been responsible for inducing death of patients in the past when done differently. This is because someone has mistakenly injected fat into arteries which travels to the heart as a thrombosis. 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 unless you are having the PRF treatment, which actually enhances the viability of the fat transfer rather than working to expel it from your body. It’s possible to have this in the same appointment as your MLD massage, for the upgrade cost. Text us on 07757 946023 for details.

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.

BBL brazilian buttock lift bum fat transfer iprfLong 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. Be sure to follow your aftercare instructions to the letter, otherwise this could happen.


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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