Hourglass Hip Procedure

17th Feb 2016

Hourglass hip procedure is a high volume fat transfer to the hips, which is one of the many techniques developed by Dr. Cortes.  This procedure has the main objective of improving the hip-to-waist ratio.  Only 8 to 10% of women have theclassic hourglass shape, which is defined by a small waist relative to the width of the hip area.  Liposuction is used to harvest your own fat, the adipose tissue is redistributed to enhance and augment the hips, creating a nicer, balanced hourglass shape.  If you are considering the hourglass hip procedure, this description will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, where and how the procedure is performed, and what to expect after the surgery, among other details.

The hourglass hip procedure is unique among body enhancement procedures.  It is mainly used to improve your hip-to-waist ratio.  With the hourglass hip procedure, Dr. Cortes performs liposuction in different anatomical areas, not only to harvest fat but also to sculpt the waist. The fat is subsequently transferred to the hips to reshape and provide a more pleasing roundness to these anatomical areas.  By injecting fat into the hip area and blending the hips with the buttocks, an unbelievable hourglass shape can be accomplished that will improve the relationships of different anatomical areas.  The hourglass hip procedure,by augmenting the hips, creates the illusion that your waist is even smaller than it would be with liposuction alone.


The best candidates for the hourglass hip procedure are patients who have stubborn fat pockets in areas like the back, abdomen, flanks, sides, and thighs.  Many times patients present to the clinic with a desire to not only improve the body with a better shape, but also to augment the buttock.  In some situations, the amount of fat available is not enough to augment the buttock with the hourglass buttock augmentation, which includes the hip procedure, but would be enough to address the hip areaspecifically.  It is in these patients, who are focused on the shape of the body rather than the buttocks, that the hourglass hip procedure is indicated.  It is important to understand that the hourglass hip procedure is combined with the hourglass buttock augmentation if there is enough fat to augment the buttock.  Typically, you need to have enough fat in these anatomical areas for transfer of approximately 200 to 400 cc of fat into each hip.  In addition, you have to have realistic expectations.  Another factor that determines if you are going to be a good candidate for this procedure is the tone of your skin.  Inpatients where the skin tone is extremely tight, transferring fat to the hip is not going to create the silhouette that you want or the width of hip that you desire.  The more elastic the skin is in the hip area, the more impressive results your results will be because the skin will stretch to a level that will significantly enhance the curvature of the hip area.  In addition, you need to bemedically stable and completely healthy.  In the event that you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other such issues, you will need medical clearance to be approved for surgical enhancement.

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YOUR CONSULTATION:  Prior to seeing Dr. Cortesfor a personal consultation, we recommend that you visit his YouTube channel, DrWilbertoCorteLive.  We have created a video blog that answers the most frequently asked questions as well as surgical videos on how the procedure is performed.  During your consultation, Dr. Cortes will assess your skin tone and the areas from which he is going to harvest the fat.  He will evaluate your expectationsand analyze your anatomy.  The anatomy of the hip area is unique to each individual.Fat distribution varies on a case-by-case basis.  All the areas that he is going to lipo and all the areas that he is going to augment will be evaluated to determine the best option to accomplish your goals.

Dr. Cortes will review your past surgical history and past medical history, including any history of smoking, medications, vitamins, or any other information that is important to determine if you are going to be a candidate for surgery.  He will discuss the risks and limitations of the procedure.  He will determine how much hip enhancement you are going to get based on his evaluation of your hip bones and muscle structure as well as your body anatomy.  With this procedure, everyone can get a better shape but not necessarily an augmentation that will satisfy an individual’s expectations.The consultation will help you decide if the procedure is right for you.

SURGICAL RISKS:  The main method of harvesting fat is by using liposuction.  Liposuction in general is normally safe, but a good understanding of anatomy as well as the necessary equipment is crucial to minimize risk.  Dr. Cortes uses his own technique, which he has enhanced over the years.  His technique allows the harvest of a significant amount of fat and at the same time minimizes surgical risk; however, it is important to be aware that regardless of how experienced your surgeon is and how good the equipment is, complications can occur.  Complications are rare,buttheseinclude:  skin loss, discoloration secondary to liposuction, infection, blood clots, scars, bleeding, fluid collection, liposuction deformities, prolonged pain, and prolonged swelling.  Following Dr. Cortes’ recommendations, provided during your preoperative visit, can reduce risks.  If you have any medical issues like diabetes and high blood pressure, these conditions also need to be controlled to minimize risk.  Make sure you provide all the necessary information before your surgery.  In this way, Dr. Cortes will be able to determine if, in fact, you are a good candidate for the procedure and devise the best approach to minimize risk.


Dr. Cortes performs all his surgeries with a board-certified anesthesiologist and his assistant, a certified medical anesthetist,at the Houston Northwest Medical Center located near the intersection of the 1960 and Highway 45.  Depending on how much surgery you will be having, you might need to stay overnight.  The surgery will be performed under general anesthesia.  The amount of liposuction that needs to be done to sculpt your body makes it impossible to perform this under local anesthesia while you are awake because you would not be able to tolerate the procedure.


Typically the time required to perform the hourglass hip procedure is about 3 hours, but it can take up to 4 hours.  Dr. Cortes starts the surgery while you are lying on your chest and he suctions your back after enough tumescent anesthesia is injected to minimize bleeding and control your pain.  The liposuction is also performed in the waist area and flanks, and all this ultimately will improve and decrease your waist.  Dr. Cortes uses a 5-mm cannula through small incisions to harvest the fat.  Once the liposuction is completed on the back, we place you on your back and liposuction will be performed on your thighs.After the fat is harvested with liposuction, Dr. Cortes will process the fat and then inject it in the hip area in multiple passes.  Incisions will be closed with interrupted suture.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY:  After surgery, if you stay at the hospital, we will provide you with intravenous pain medication as well as antibiotics and fluids.  We will encourage you to walk to minimize the risk of developing a blood clot.  In general, you will feel a generalized soreness in the affected areas of your body.  It will feel like you have been exercising for a long time.  We will prescribe you medications for pain and discharge you within 24 hours. We will encourage you to walk around, drink fluids, and take your pain medications.  Sutures will be removed in 7 to 10 days.  Final results will not be seen for about 6 to 9 months.  You will not be able to sleep on your side for about 3 months.  If you lie on your side, you will be compromising the result because pressure will kill the transplanted fat cells.

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL:  Recovery following hourglass hip procedure is a slow process.  Dr. Cortes will insist that you move around the first 5 to 7 days to help prevent clots and to reduce the swelling.  You will be able to go to the bathroom normally.  You will be able to go back to workin about 7 to 10 days.  You need to wear a tight girdle for about 3 to 6 months.  This is extremely important to control and minimize swelling.  You will need to be extremely patient.  At first every part of your body will be swollen including your face, abdomen, flanks, genitalia, etc.  All this will improve within the first 2 to 4 weeks, butit will take months for swelling to resolve completely.   Dr. Cortes will give you instructions for medication follow-up, showering, and drain care, and his staff will help guide you through your recovery.

Before and after pictures

Dr. Cortés’ work can only be better explained through the results of the hundreds of surgeries he has performed. Confirm this by visiting his impressive electronic gallery.

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