Butt Implants Vs. BBL: What You Need to Know

posted on:
March 12th, 2024
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Want a rounder, fuller buttock? Do you wish your favourite clothes fit better or your curves were more defined and pronounced? There are many reasons why you may consider weighing the pros and cons of butt implants vs BBL. Both procedures have different advantages and deliver different results.

Is a BBL Better than Implants?

A Brazilian Butt Lift provides a more natural look and feel than butt implants. A BBL uses an innovative fat transfer technique to reposition fat in the body to shape and contour your buttocks. Butt implants are considered a more suitable alternative for individuals with less body fat because the implants can be tailored to your cosmetic goals.

No matter which butt augmentation you choose, it’s best to have a trained, professional plastic surgeon on your side that can help you better understand the potential complications and find a suitable procedure that aligns with your body type and aesthetic goals.

Further in this article, we’ll explore in depth the main differences between a Brazilian Butt Lift and butt implants, so you can decide for yourself which option is right for you.

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)?

A Brazilian Butt Lift is a cosmetic procedure that uses advanced fat-transferring techniques to reposition fat that’s already found in your body. A plastic surgeon will typically take the fat from the thighs, hips, or flanks. They will then transfer the extra fat to the buttocks. It is then repositioned, shaped, and contoured to complement your unique body type and aesthetic goals. If you don’t have enough fat in your body for a BBL, a plastic surgeon may recommend a fat donor for the procedure.

Before and after photo of Brazilian butt lift procedure.

If you’re comparing butt implants vs. BBL, you’ll also want to consider your body type. Brazilian Butt Lift is ideal for patients who want their clothes to fit better or enhance their natural curves.

What are Butt Implants?

Butt implants are silicone implants that are placed on the gluteal muscle. They tend to have a rounder, unnatural look than a Brazilian Butt Lift. Depending on your plastic surgeon’s approach, the buttock implants may be placed underneath, above, or inside of the gluteal muscle. Inserting the implants underneath the muscle may provide a more natural look, but it’s considered a more risky plastic surgery. Placing the buttock implant inside the gluteal muscle can also lead to nerve damage.

Butt implants are common for individuals who don’t have excess fat on their body and have a more flat, square-shaped butt. These candidates don’t have enough excess fat to spare for a Brazilian Butt Lift but still want to elevate their appearance. However, if a fat donor is an option for a BBL, consider discussing this alternative with your plastic surgeon.

Butt Implants vs BBL: Key Differences

Woman from behind, focusing on their buttocks.

There are a few key differences between these two buttock augmentation procedures you’ll want to consider. We recommend scheduling a consultation with your plastic surgeon to find a procedure that aligns with your aesthetic goals and unique body shape. Here’s how the key differences between butt implants vs BBL compare:


Before any plastic surgery procedure, a plastic surgeon will ask the patient to quit smoking at least two weeks before the procedure. You’ll also want to avoid taking common blood thinners like Advil and limit time in the sun. When packing a hospital bag for the procedure and loose-fitting clothing.

Before Brazilian Butt Lift Procedures, patients will be advised to stop eating and drinking at least eight hours before the procedure. If you’re currently on any medication, you’ll want to have it reviewed by your plastic surgeon before your procedure.


During a BBL, a plastic surgeon will provide local anesthesia to the fat transfer site and the buttock. Once the fat is extracted from the patient or the donor, the fat is then contoured, prepared, and shaped at the extraction area. Once it’s ready, the fat is transferred to the buttock. Patients are required to wear a compression garment and will need to follow a comprehensive postoperative care regime.

During a butt implant surgery, a plastic surgeon will make a small incision at the top or the bottom of the buttock. The silicone implant is then inserted under or inside the buttock muscle. The implants are repositioned, and then the incision is closed with stitches.

Recovery Time

The recovery time for butt implants is relatively long. Patients may experience excessive bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the buttock area for a few weeks. Patients must minimize physical activity and avoid showering for at least 48 hours. If necessary, a plastic surgeon may recommend stool softeners and antibiotics to help with the recovery process.

The full recovery period for a BBL surgery is significantly shorter than butt implants. Any swelling, bruising, or pain should only last around two weeks after the plastic surgery procedure. However, patients who decide to get a Brazilian Butt Lift will need to avoid sitting for at least a few weeks. Sitting can interfere with the results and the recovery time for the procedure. So it’s best to sit on a BBL cushion or to avoid sitting on your buttock completely.

Most patients can return to work and their normal lives four to six weeks after a BBL and two to three weeks after a butt implant procedure. After around eight to ten weeks, patients can go back to exercising regularly after butt implants.

Duration of Results

Depending on where you go for butt implants, you can expect the results to last around 10-15 years. Many patients schedule regular touch-ups within 10-15 years to maintain the look and feel of their implants. It’s important to consider the costs of each of the treatments before choosing butt plants vs BBL.

Brazilian Butt Lift results are not permanent. After the procedure, patients must prioritize a healthy diet and a workout regimen to maintain the results. A BBL can last anywhere from a few years to ten years if a patient can maintain a healthy weight and avoid excessive weight gain or loss.

Risks and Side Effects

Butt implants come with various risks and side effects you’ll want to be mindful of if you decide this is the procedure you want to have. During a butt implant, a plastic surgeon will insert a foreign object into your body and place it under, inside, or above the gluteal muscle. This can increase your risk of hematoma, seroma, and infection. Butt implant surgery can also cause permanent tightening of the muscles, chronic pain, or skin discoloration. Lastly, the butt implant itself can move or get displaced, impacting the aesthetic appearance of the butt implants. The implants can move, shift, or rupture. If this happens, the patient may need additional surgeries to adjust the appearance.

After a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, patients may experience bruising, pain, and discomfort in the area. There is also a risk of fat necrosis. Fat necrosis is caused by a lack of blood supply in the fat tissue. While it is possible, it’s rare to develop fat necrosis after a BBL procedure.

To avoid any unwanted risks, side effects, and complications with your buttock augmentation, always follow your plastic surgeon’s post-op recommendations after the procedure. Your surgeon will provide expert advice to ensure a speedy recovery and the best possible results.


You may be wondering: Is BBL cheaper than implants? Depending on where you go, butt implants can be a more affordable alternative to a BBL. The cost of the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure starts at $18,000. The cost will vary depending on how many liposuction sites are required. While the average cost of a butt implant procedure is around $10,000 – $12,000.

When comparing the costs between butt implants vs. BBL, it’s best to consider your desired results. While BBL may come at a higher price, it provides a more natural look and feel.

Keep in mind that you may need to book a few touch-up appointments in the future for butt implants. This can add to the overall cost of your results.

What is a Non-Surgical Alternative to BBL or Butt Implants?

Sculptra is regarded as a non-surgical alternative to Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) and butt implants for enhancing the buttocks. Unlike surgical procedures that involve fat grafting (as in BBL) or the insertion of silicone implants, Sculptra injections are minimally invasive and do not require surgery.


When considering the best option for enhancing your buttocks, the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) stands out for its ability to deliver natural and harmonious results. This is especially true under the expert care of Dr. Bell, whose 25 years of experience in the field, combined with his use of cutting-edge technology and techniques, make him a leading figure in the Toronto area for Brazilian Butt Lifts. Dr. Bell and his talented team at Toronto’s Plastic Surgeon are dedicated to helping you achieve your cosmetic goals with results that not only enhance but also complement your natural body shape.


Is a BBL Better than Implants?

Yes, a BBL is considered a better plastic surgery option than buttock implants. A BBL provides natural-looking results that complement your unique body shape, curves, and cosmetic goals. It also comes with fewer risks and complications, unlike butt implants.

Which Is Safer, BBL Or Implants?

Both plastic surgeries come with their own risks. However, most plastic surgeons agree that a BBL is a much safer procedure. Since a BBL is simply replacing your own fat rather than placing a foreign object inside your body. We recommend scheduling a consultation with your plastic surgeon to build a custom treatment plan that aligns with your aesthetic goals.

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

More on Dr. Bell

You May Also Be Interested In

March 25th, 2021

The Most Common and Important Questions About Breast Augmentation Recovery

Read More
September 14th, 2021

Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Lift: What’s the Difference?

Read More
December 10th, 2022

The End Of the Brazilian Butt Lift Era: Reverse BBL Is On The Rise

Read More

You're only a step away from a new life!

Schedule a consultation