Butt implants are a permanent, in-office cosmetic procedure that adds volume to flat, square-shaped buttocks. Butt implant surgery takes at least several hours and has a long recovery. While many people like their results, there’s a high risk of complications.
Butt implants give your buttocks (butt) a rounder, shapelier look. A plastic surgeon inserts silicone implants into your butt (gluteal) muscle or below it. The location differs based on your plastic surgeon’s approach.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
How natural butt implants look depends on where your surgeon places the implants.
Butt implants are relatively safe. However, like any cosmetic procedure, butt implant surgery has risks. Getting a larger implant can increase the chances of complications, like incisions opening after surgery and implants moving out of place.
For people considering butt implants vs. a Brazilian butt lift (BBL), here’s what you need to know: BBL uses fat grafting to reshape your butt, so it looks rounder and fuller. Your plastic surgeon removes fat from one area of your body, like your stomach or thighs (liposuction), and injects it into your butt.
BBL tends to look and feel more natural than butt implants. It may also have a lower risk of complications.
Your plastic surgeon will determine whether you’re a good candidate for butt implants or a different cosmetic procedure. In general, butt implants are best for people who:
People who aren’t good candidates for butt implants are those who:
You’ll receive instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. Preparations include not smoking for at least six weeks before surgery and avoiding medications that can increase bleeding, like aspirin. Ask your healthcare provider for a complete list of these medications. You should also avoid herbal supplements before surgery.
Butt implant surgery typically requires general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep during the entire procedure and won’t feel any pain.
Butt implant surgery typically takes several hours to complete. Your plastic surgeon:
Your plastic surgeon will give you detailed instructions for incision care and recovery. You may need to:
Butt implants create a rounder, firmer and more defined appearance. If you like your results, butt implants are permanent, so you won’t need additional procedures to maintain the look.
Working with an experienced plastic surgeon can reduce risks. However, butt implant surgery tends to have a high rate of complications, which may include:
Recovery from butt implant surgery takes time. For example, some surgeons will advise you to avoid sleeping on your back or sitting for the first two to three weeks — except for eating and using the toilet. After this time, you’ll need to use a pillow beneath your hamstrings for at least eight weeks.
If you don’t have any complications:
Swelling after butt implant surgery is common. So, you may not see your final results until after the swelling goes down — in some cases, around three to six months after surgery.
You’ll have some scarring after butt implant surgery. The extent of the scarring depends on the location of the incisions. Talk to your plastic surgeon about where they’ll make the incisions and whether the scars will be visible after recovery. And ask your surgeon about the best way to care for your incisions after surgery to minimize scarring.
Talk to your plastic surgeon about typical and possibly dangerous side effects. Call your surgeon’s office if you experience:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Butt implants create a firmer, rounder shape. Butt implants may be a good option for people with a smaller, leaner frame who don’t have enough fat for a Brazilian butt lift (BBL). However, butt implant surgery has a longer recovery and higher complication rate. Talk to your plastic surgeon about the best options for your anatomy and goals.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/27/2022.
Learn more about our editorial process.