Butt Implants

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.


What are butt implants?

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.


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Do butt implants look natural?

How natural butt implants look depends on where your surgeon places the implants.

  • Implants placed inside of your butt muscle reduce the risk of damaging your sciatic nerve, but the implant may stick out.
  • Implants inserted below your muscle look more natural, but increase the chances of nerve damage.

Are butt implants safe?

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.


How do butt implants compare to Brazilian butt lift (BBL)?

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.

Who’s a good candidate for butt implants?

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:

  • Are in good health.
  • Don’t have a condition that can interfere with healing, like diabetes.
  • Don’t have enough fat in their body for BBL.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Have a flat or square-shaped butt.


Who isn’t a good candidate for butt implants?

People who aren’t good candidates for butt implants are those who:

  • Can’t quit smoking several weeks before and after the surgery.
  • Gain or lose weight often.
  • Have too much excess or sagging skin.
  • Want a quick fix and aren’t prepared for a longer recovery that butt implant surgery requires.

Procedure Details

How do I prepare for butt implant surgery?

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.

What happens before butt implant surgery?

Butt implant surgery typically requires general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep during the entire procedure and won’t feel any pain.

What happens during butt implant surgery?

Butt implant surgery typically takes several hours to complete. Your plastic surgeon:

  1. Makes an incision between your butt cheeks, at either the top or bottom of your butt.
  2. Inserts the implants inside or below your butt muscle.
  3. Closes the incision with stitches or surgical tape.

What happens after butt implant surgery?

Your plastic surgeon will give you detailed instructions for incision care and recovery. You may need to:

  • Avoid putting direct pressure on your butt.
  • Not shower for 48 hours.
  • Take an antibiotic.
  • Take a stool softener.
  • Use surgical drains.
  • Wear compression garments.

Risks / Benefits

What are the benefits of butt implants?

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.

What are the risks or complications of butt implant surgery?

Working with an experienced plastic surgeon can reduce risks. However, butt implant surgery tends to have a high rate of complications, which may include:

  • Blood buildup under your skin (hematoma).
  • Chronic pain.
  • Fluid buildup under your skin (seroma).
  • Incisions that separate.
  • Infection.
  • Permanent scarring.
  • Shifting of implants.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Uneven appearance.
  • They might be in the wrong place (malposition).
  • Permanent tightening of the muscles, tendons or tissues around your implant (contracture).
  • The implants might rupture or burst.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time for butt implant surgery?

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.

When can I get back to my typical activities?

If you don’t have any complications:

  • In two to three weeks, you can return to work, but you’ll need to use a pillow.
  • After eight to 10 weeks, you can start exercising. However, if complications arise, you may need to wait longer to exercise.

When can I expect to see results from butt implant surgery?

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.

Will I have scars from butt implant 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.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I see the plastic surgeon?

Talk to your plastic surgeon about typical and possibly dangerous side effects. Call your surgeon’s office if you experience:

  • An allergic reaction or infection.
  • Excessive bleeding or swelling.
  • Fever.
  • Pain that’s extreme or doesn’t go away.

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.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 06/27/2022.

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