Risks and complications after a buttock lift

Risks and complications after a buttock lift

27th Feb 2018

The buttock lift is a highly invasive and major operation that is used to treat severely saggy buttocks. If your backside has developed saggy skin, and the condition is affecting your self-esteem, it is a sign you need a buttock lift surgery. The procedure restores the firmness and perkiness of the derriere by surgically removing the excess skin. The surgery also removes any stubborn fat pockets present in and around the butts that are affecting your aesthetic features.

Like all other surgical interventions, the buttock lift surgery entails risks and complications because it is invasive and involves surgical trauma. During the pre-operative consultation, be sure to ask the surgeon about the associated risks and ways to reduce or eliminate those risks. In this article, we will discuss the common risks and complication of buttock lift. We will also discuss how to reduce those risks.

Risks and complications

– Infection

The first and most common risk of any surgery is the infection, and the buttock lift is no exception. Given that the intervention is invasive, it makes your body prone to infections. The surgical trauma and the incisions make you vulnerable to a number of infections. It is important to keep the surgery area clean and always watch out for any signs of infections. To ward off the infections, your surgeon may prescribe you antibiotics. If your immune system is weak, you are more at risk of infection after the butt lift surgery. You need to be extra careful during the recovery period.

– Seroma and hematoma

Seroma and hematoma are complications that are common after the buttock lift surgery. As stated above, the intervention involves incisions. After the surgery, there is a risk fluids may be discharged from the incisions. When the fluids get accumulated under the skin, the condition is called seroma. On the other hand, when blood is discharged from the incisions, gets trapped under the skin, and become clotted, it is called hematoma.

So, how can these conditions be prevented? Well, most surgeons place drain cannulas in the surgical wound to drain away any fluid or blood that gets trapped under the skin. Also, when a seroma or hematoma occurs, the conditions normally subside on their own. But when the conditions are severe, they can trigger other complications like infection and incision opening.

– Abnormal scarring

The incisions placed during the operation will ultimately develop into scars. Normally, the scar develops without creating any problems. The normal scars evolve and fade over time. After a few years, the scars will be less visible or noticeable. However, there is a risk abnormal scarring may happen after the procedure. Abnormal scars are those that are highly noticeable, raised, and can be felt.

Such scars develop due to multiple reasons. First, if you have a genetic predisposition to developing abnormal scars, your risk of this type of scarring after the intervention is higher. Second, if you are careless during the recovery period, your scars may develop abnormally.

For example, if pressure is applied to the incisions, or when the patient exposes the incisions to direct sunlight during the first six months following the operation, your scars may develop abnormally.

– Change in or loss of skin sensation

Another risk of the butt lift surgery is a change in or loss of skin sensation. The surgery involves skin and fat removal from the buttocks. There is a risk the nerves may be affected during the operation. For example, the nerves may be damaged severely or injured. As a result, the patient may experience a change in or loss of skin sensation in the butts.

The change or loss can be temporary or permanent. In most cases, it is temporary, and the patients usually regain their normal skin sensation when the nerves heal in a couple of months. However, if the nerve has been severely damaged, the change or loss of skin sensation will be permanent.

– Death of skin

After the butt lift, there is also a risk the skin above the surgical area or incision may die. In case it happens, the skin may change color and drop. It increases your risk of contracting infections that will necessitate additional surgical interventions.

– Excessive bleeding

Excessive bleeding is yet another complication that may happen after the buttock lift surgery. The risk of bleeding is greater in patients who have diabetes and those taking blood thinning medications. Also, if you are careless during the recovery period and end up doing physical activities, it can trigger excessive bleeding. Pressure applied to the butts can also do the same. When bleeding happens, it also exposes the body to possible infections. The condition can also lead to poor and slow wound healing in many cases.

– Blood clotting

Many patients are exposed to blood clotting after the buttock lift surgery. During the recovery period, the butt lift patient is required to take sufficient rest and avoid physical activities. While resting can help the patient heal quickly, it exposes her to blood clotting.

The inactivity increases the risk of blood clotting. Also, many patients are genetically predisposed to blood clotting or have blood disorders that increase the risk of blood clotting after the surgery.

Furthermore, if you are a smoker and keep smoking during the recovery period, it can catalyze your tendency of blood clotting. To avoid blood clotting, the doctors often encourage the patients to get up and take short and slow walks after every few hours during the recovery period.

– Anesthesia risks

The butt lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It means you will remain fully asleep, without feeling any pain, remembering the operation, or making movements. While there are many benefits of general anesthesia, it exposes the patient to anesthesia risks. In case the anesthesia dose exceeds, or the medication has been incorrectly administered or managed, it can expose the patient to life-threatening conditions. Also, some patients experience allergic reactions when administered anesthesia. If you have a history of anesthesia allergy, be sure to bring this information to the knowledge of the plastic surgeon.

– Severe and persistent pain and discomforts

Since the buttock lift surgery involves incisions and surgical trauma, it is natural for the patient to experience some degree of pain and discomforts in the butts for the first 24-72 hours following the operation. The pain can be managed with pain relief medications. The intensity of the pain can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the patient’s pain tolerance level.

However, in some cases, the patient may experience severe pain persistently for many days after the intervention. If this happens, it is a sign there is something now right. You must consult with the plastic surgeon to diagnose the condition. Infection of the surgical wound can cause persistent pain. Also, when the nerves get trapped in the scar tissue, it can cause persistent and severe pain.

– Buttock asymmetry

Keep in mind that our body areas naturally have mild asymmetry, including the buttocks. But surgical interventions like the butt lift, if not performed correctly, can make the asymmetry more noticeable. After the buttock lift surgery, you may feel like your butts are differently shaped or sized. For example, if the surgeon removes more skin and fat from one butt and less from the other, it can lead to butt asymmetry. To prevent this condition, you must be sure to choose your plastic surgeon carefully.

– Wound dehiscence

Wound dehiscence, also called incisions split or incision opening is also a risk of the butt lift surgery. It can happen if the patient is careless and end up applying pressure to the buttocks during the recovery period. As a result, the incisions may open up, which can trigger bleeding, infection, poor and slow wound healing, and abnormal scarring. Wound dehiscence is a significant risk, but by being careful during the recovery period, it can be prevented.

Be sure to avoid sleeping on your back and sitting for two weeks after the surgery. Also, avoid physical activities for six weeks after the procedure. Activities like stretching, bending, jogging, workouts, weight lifting, jumping, and other similar activities can trigger wound dehiscence. The wound opening, if not managed in a timely and proper manner, can lead cause terrible consequences.


If your butts are severely saggy, you may consider the buttock lift surgery. However, it is essential to take the risks of the procedure into account. You should undergo the procedure when the benefits of the surgery outweigh the associated risks and complications. The common risks and complications of butt lift have been discussed above, along with ways to prevent or reduce those risks. Keep in mind that the butt lift is a major operation. During the pre-operative consultation, make it certain to discuss the risks with your surgeon in light of your existing health condition. The risks are higher for patients who are already suffering from certain health problems.

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