bbl vs butt implants

BBL vs. Butt Implants: Which One Is Right for You?

Are you dreaming of a fuller, shapelier backside? Butt augmentation procedures have gained significant popularity in recent years, and with that popularity comes an increasing number of options for you to choose from.

Two of the best-known options for buttock enhancement are Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) surgery and butt implants. In this guide, we’ll explore the key differences and considerations of these two procedures to help you determine which one might be right for you.

For personalized recommendations, request your consultation at the Gillian Institute today.

Understanding Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery

The Brazilian Butt Lift is an innovative technique that utilizes the patient’s own fat to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks. During a BBL procedure, excess fat is harvested from donor areas such as the abdomen, hips or thighs through liposuction. The fat is carefully processed and purified, then injected into specific areas of the buttocks to create the desired shape and volume. 

Procedure Snapshot

  • Candidates: must have sufficient fat in donor areas for liposuction
  • Anesthesia: general
  • Procedure Length: 3.5 to 5 hours
  • Incisions: minimal
  • Downtime: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Longevity: long-lasting, stable weight must be maintained

Understanding Buttock Implants

Buttock augmentation with implants involves the surgical placement of silicone implants in the buttocks to enhance their size and projection. Butt implants come in various shapes and sizes, allowing for customization based on individual preferences. This procedure offers a reliable and predictable outcome, including for patients who have insufficient fat for a BBL, but it comes with implant-related risks and the potential need for revision surgeries.

Procedure Snapshot

  • Candidates: suitable for more body types than BBL
  • Anesthesia: general
  • Procedure Length: 2 to 4 hours
  • Incisions: larger than BBL
  • Downtime: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Longevity: long-lasting, but implants may need to be replaced

BBL vs. Butt Implants: What Are the Similarities?

While the surgical methods differ significantly, there are a few key things they have in common.

Procedure Goal

BBL and butt implants are designed to enhance the overall appearance of the buttocks. Whether you desire a rounder shape, better projection or more volume overall, both procedures offer options for achieving your aesthetic goals.

Customizable Results

Picture your dream derriere. Are you seeing subtle results or a dramatic transformation? A skilled plastic surgeon like Dr. Short can tailor either procedure to your specific preferences, ensuring you get results that align with your vision.

Time Off

Recovery is a critical part of any surgery. For all butt augmentation options, you can expect two to three weeks of downtime with lifting and positioning restrictions. Your recovery may also involve drains and/or a compression garment.

Long-Lasting Results

A BBL and buttock implants can both last for years. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll look exactly the same forever. Weight fluctuations and the aging process may change your shape over time, and a healthy lifestyle is the best way to enjoy your results for as long as possible.

BBL vs. Butt Implants: What Are the Differences?

Understanding what sets these techniques apart is a critical step toward making an informed decision: 

Source of Volume

One of the primary differences between BBL and butt implants is the source of augmentation. BBL utilizes the patient’s fat, obtained through liposuction from areas with excess fat deposits and then injected into the buttocks. Because the material comes from the patient’s own body, the results look and feel completely natural.

Butt implant surgery places silicone implants into the buttocks to achieve the desired augmentation. The implants are firmer than those used for breast augmentation because they must withstand the pressure of sitting and laying down without becoming misshapen. Sometimes the outline of the implants can be seen or felt through the skin. 

Treatment Area

One of the key advantages of a BBL is that it offers the dual benefit of slimming the donor areas while enhancing the buttocks. This improves overall body proportions and creates a more hourglass figure, resulting in a comprehensive body transformation. Many patients love that they can achieve a big impact with only one time under anesthesia and one recovery period.

The effect of butt implants is limited to one area. However, some patients still prefer this approach because implants can deliver a large size increase regardless of the patient’s body type. 


To be a good candidate for a BBL, you must have sufficient excess fat for harvesting. While slender patients can achieve beautiful, subtle results from a Brazilian Butt Lift, some very thin or athletic patients do not have enough fat to make their desired results a reality.

Butt implants are suitable for a wider range of patients, including those with limited fat deposits for transfer. Implants can also be an effective choice for patients who desire a significant increase in buttock size and projection, beyond what fat grafting can achieve.


BBL scars are discreet. Small incisions are used for liposuction in the donor areas. These incisions tend to heal well and result in minimal scarring. The harvested fat is placed into the buttocks via injection, leaving little to no visible signs of surgery on the buttocks themselves.

Butt augmentation with implants requires larger incisions through which to place the implants, resulting in more significant scarring. The incisions are made to be as inconspicuous as possible and the scars will fade over time, but they may be more visible than BBL scars.

Risks and Complications

With a BBL, the use of the patient’s own fat minimizes the risk of rejection or allergic reactions. The most common risks associated with this procedure include issues with fat absorption, asymmetry and the need for touch-up procedures. Rare but serious complications include adverse reactions to anesthesia and fat embolism.

Butt implants come with a different set of risks. Because they are a foreign material, there is a chance the body will reject them or have a negative reaction. Implants can also have complications such as capsular contracture, malposition, shifting of the implants or unfavorable scarring. Buttock augmentation with implants is generally seen as having more potential for complications than BBL.


Long-term results can vary between BBL and butt implant procedures. Some of the fat transferred during a BBL may not survive, but the fat that does can remain indefinitely in the area. The procedure is considered permanent. 

Butt implants can initially offer a more predictable augmentation, as the implants have a specific shape and size that they retain over time. With proper care, they can provide long-lasting results. However, any patient who has implants should be prepared for the possibility of needing revision surgery should complications arise.

The BBL Breakthrough: Why It’s Our Favorite Way to Give Backsides a Boost

When it comes to butt enhancement, the BBL is our go-to procedure. It offers a more natural look and feel compared to buttock implants, giving you results that seamlessly blend with your body. And the advantages go beyond aesthetics.

With a BBL, you can enjoy a beautifully boosted buttock shape with no risk of implant-related complications such as capsular contracture or implant malposition. Using natural material taken from your own body also minimizes the risk of rejection or allergic reactions.

Last but not least, BBL delivers a comprehensive effect that our patients love. It’s like getting a two-in-one deal — achieving a shapelier rear while contouring those stubborn areas where you want some extra refinement.

Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Options

At the Gillian Institute, we understand that each patient is unique, and we take pride in our patient-centered approach to buttock enhancement. Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff will listen to your goals and develop a tailored treatment plan to help you achieve the buttock shape and size you desire.

To receive personalized advice regarding your options for butt augmentation, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kimberly Short. You may request your consultation here or call one of our two conveniently located Indianapolis offices: 317-787-3260 (Downtown), 317-913-3260 (Northside).