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What is the Difference Between a Surgical and Non- Surgical BBL?

If you’re longing for a fuller, more voluptuous buttocks, a Brazilian Butt Lift or BBL might be on your radar. It’s a popular procedure that can help you feel more confident in your own body. As you do your research, you’ll find that there are two types of BBLs: a surgical BBL and non-surgical BBL. Let’s dive deeper into what these procedures are and how they differ so you can zero in on the right one for your unique situation.

What is Surgical BBL?

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A surgical BBL involves removing fat from other parts of your body, like your thighs, love handles, waist, or back, and reinjecting it into the butt area. To get enough fat to augment the buttocks, this procedure usually utilizes “circumferential” or “360” liposuction of the abdomen and trunk. The fat that is removed with liposuction is then carefully processed and transferred as a graft into the buttocks. The goal is to leave you with a larger, rounder, more sculpted butt area. Like most surgical procedures, a surgeon performs a surgical BBL using anesthesia and incisions. It offers a variety of benefits, such as:

Smooth Cellulite

A BBL can smooth out your skin and diminish its appearance if you’re bothered by cellulite or skin dimpling.

Greater Volume

A BBL adds the volume to your buttocks, making it larger and fuller.

Improved Body Contour and Symmetry

 A BBL can do wonders for your body contour and may even help you achieve a more symmetrical figure.

Resolved Drooping and Sagging

Drooping or sagging skin can lead to a flatter, less attractive butt area. A BBL effectively reduces overhanging skin tissues to create a more toned look.

What is a Non-Surgical BBL?


Unlike a surgical BBL, a non-surgical BBL or “skinny BBL,”doesn’t involve anesthesia or incisions. Instead, it’s non-invasive as it uses injectable dermal fillers to add subtle shape and volume to the buttocks. In most cases, these fillers contain poly-L-lactic acid (Sculpta®), which stimulates the development of collagen, one of the most common proteins in the body. Stimulating collagen production produces fullness and firmness beyond the body’s baseline fat stores in the area, creating fuller and firmer buttocks.

Surgical BBL vs. Non-Surgical BBL

Now that you understand what each butt enhancement procedure entails let’s go over how they differ from one another.

1. Results

If you opt for a surgical BBL, you can expect more dramatic changes that simply can’t be achieved with a dermal filler. A non-surgical BBL, on the other hand, offers more subtle results that may still satisfy you, depending on your goals. In addition, a surgical BBL leads to long-term enhancements that may last for decades, whereas non-surgical BBL injections are more temporary and usually last for two to three years.

2. Downtime

Compared to a non-surgical BBL, a surgical BBL comes with a longer recovery period. You’ll have to take it easy for a while and refrain from vigorous physical activities until your surgeon clears you. A non-surgical BBL requires far less downtime, meaning you can resume work and your daily routine quickly after the procedures. For both procedures, prolonged sitting is discouraged, and form contouring garments are used.

3. Risks

Of course, there are fewer risks with a non-surgical BBL than a surgical BBL. If you go the more invasive route, you should be aware of the potential risks, including infection, bruising, skin discoloration, changes in skin sensation, swelling, and poor wound healing. At Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery, we also follow American Society of Plastic Surgery guidelines for the use of ultrasound to decrease fat embolism. Fortunately, all risks are rare when the procedure is performed by a highly-skilled, experienced surgeon.

4. Costs

Because BBL is a procedure that involves anesthesia and incisions, you may think it’s more expensive than a non-surgical BBL. However, the amount of dermal filler required to produce a good result in non-surgical BBL is significant. So depending on how much impact you would like to have, the skinny BBL may have higher costs associated with the use of more product. The extra cost may be worth it if you’re seeking dramatic, long-term results. You may have to invest in a non-surgical BBL a few times, but a surgical BBL is usually a one-time deal.

Good Candidates for a Surgical BBL and Non-Surgical BBL

If you’re looking for dramatic results that last for a long time, a surgical BBL is your best bet. This is particularly true if you’re in reasonably good health and accept the risks involved. A non-surgical BBL may be a better choice if you hope for more subtle results or if you lack sufficient extra fat in other areas of your body to donate to grafting to the buttocks. BBL injections may also make sense if you want to try out a BBL before you commit to a more invasive and permanent procedure. During a consultation, we can help you decide which option is right for your goals.

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Schedule a BBL Consultation in Bellevue Today!

If you’re interested in a BBL at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery in Bellevue, we encourage you to contact us for a no-obligation consultation. We can evaluate your unique situation and help you determine whether you’re a good candidate for a surgical BBL or a non-surgical alternative. We look forward to hearing from you!

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