If a shapelier lower body is on your wish list, it can be frustrating when exercise doesn’t produce the changes you want. But if your desire is for a curvier posterior, modern plastic surgery techniques can bring your goals within reach.

Buttock Surgery

Buttock enhancement through fat transfer or implants produces a rounder, fuller look that can make your whole body seem better proportioned. Or if the goal is simply elevation, a buttock lift may be the answer. Alone or in combination, these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.

Fat Transfer

Fat from elsewhere in your body (such as the waist, thighs, or abdomen) can be used to add fullness to your buttocks, at the same time slimming your silhouette where it’s been removed. Fat suctioned off by liposuction is purified and injected into the buttocks—a procedure often called a Brazilian buttocks lift. The result looks and feels natural, and because the fat comes from your own body, there’s no danger of rejection. Suitable candidates for this procedure need to have some spare fat to transfer.

Buttock Implants

For those who don’t have enough body fat for a transfer or who wish to take another approach, reshaping can be accomplished with buttock implants. Made of a silicone gel material, the implants are inserted beneath the gluteus maximus muscle through an incision made in the crease between the buttocks. 

Buttock Lift

Loosening muscles and skin, gravity, and big weight losses all change body contours. A buttock lift can reverse some of these effects. Working through an incision below the buttocks, the surgeon removes excess skin and fat and lifts the tissues to restore a youthful curvature. Sometimes liposuction is also done. A buttock lift improves the shape of the buttocks but doesn’t add volume.

Results and Recovery

Following buttock surgery, you can expect tenderness and tightness, swelling and bruising. Most people can return to work in a week or so if their job doesn’t require continuous sitting. The main caution for the first few weeks is to avoid pressure on the buttocks. A compression bandage helps reduce swelling and bruising during healing.

Buttock augmentation and lifts produce long-lasting results, though implants may need replacing eventually. It can take up to a year after fat transfer for the permanent contour to be evident, as some fat is re-absorbed by the body.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift can give new definition to upper legs that have become flabby. Loss of skin elasticity and dramatic weight loss can leave folds of skin on the thighs. A lift reshapes tissues and removes excess skin and fat to create a tighter, smoother contour. A thigh lift may be done together with liposuction, but liposuction alone can’t counteract the loss of skin elasticity. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia, usually on an outpatient basis.

Inner Thigh Lift

Excess tissue can cause the inner thighs to rub together uncomfortably. To correct this and improve appearance, an incision is made in the groin crease to remove extra fat and skin and tighten tissues, leaving a more taut and even surface.

Outer Thigh Lift

An outer or bilateral thigh lift, focusing on the front and outer thigh, requires an incision at the top of the leg from the groin to the hip. The scar usually can be hidden under a bathing suit. Outer and inner thighs may be lifted at the same time, sometimes together with buttock enhancement.

Results and Recovery

Despite initial swelling and bruising, you’ll see an improvement in profile and texture right away, though the final result may not be apparent for months. Wearing a compression garment at first will reduce swelling, support the new contours, and reduce the risk of blood clots. Most patients can return to work in one to three weeks, but it’s important to avoid tension on the thighs for the first couple of weeks.