Buttock lift body-contouring to give you the body shape you want

The buttock lift is one of a number of body-contouring cosmetic surgery procedures that, although relatively new, can be employed to give you the body shape you've always dreamed of.

The buttock lift is designed to improve the appearance of your lower body. When the procedure is combined with a thigh lift, it's called a lower body lift. If you are considering a lower body lift, you'll be under general anaesthetic for longer than for a buttock lift on its own, and it'll take longer to get back on your feet.

This article is written by Dr Foued Hamza, a cosmetic surgeon practising in Paris, France. View Dr Hamza's website.

Like a tummy tuck, a buttock lift is a major procedure and one of the most painful. You need to be fit and healthy to undergo this operation, so you will probably have to get in shape just to cope with it.

If you do opt for surgery, you can expect to be left with a lengthy scar as a permanent reminder of how things used to be. The buttock lift requires serious aftercare, so before you even book an appointment with a surgeon, consider carefully the extended recovery process and emotional rollercoaster you can expect.

The operation

At your consultation, the surgeon will have examined your buttocks to make sure that there is enough loose skin to merit the procedure. During the operation, he will make a long incision that runs from hip to hip across the top of your buttocks. This incision is designed to be easily hidden under a bikini.

If there is a lot of skin to remove, the surgeon may extend the scar down on to the hips, too. They then remove sections of skin and tissue just under the surface of the skin, and lift and tighten the remaining skin to create a smooth silhouette, before closing the wound with stitches. If it is only the lower part of the bottom that sags, the surgeon may make the incision in the buttock crease and remove redundant tissue this way.

If you only have a very small amount of saggy skin, your surgeon might opt for a smaller procedure in which small crescents of skin are removed in the natural crease of your buttock at the bottom.

The recovery process

This is a major operation, so be prepared for a slow and cumbersome recovery that involves a significant amount of pain and discomfort. You'll wake up from the operation feeling very sore and swollen, and probably numb. You won't be very bruised, but you may feel sick and be unable to go to the toilet unaided for a time. You'll have drains coming from the operation site to take away any excess fluid after surgery; these will probably be removed just before you leave hospital. You'll probably be lightly bandaged or wearing a compression garment in order to prevent clots from forming.

Once you get home, you'll be given painkilling medication and advised to get mobile pretty quickly, though you need to take care not to stretch or strain too much. As much as possible, avoid sitting down or sleeping on your back for a couple of weeks.

Stitches will be removed around ten days after surgery, and you'll be advised to wear a pressure garment for about a month after this to ease the swelling. Most people find that they can go back to work around two weeks after surgery, but it'll be at least four to six weeks before you can return to all normal activities, such as exercising or driving.

It can take up to six months for the swelling to go down and up to a year for scars to mature, so the results of your op can't really be judged for a while. The operation site will probably still be numb: this can take months to return to normal. How you heal will depend on how healthy you were before the op.


The buttock lift operation to reduce excess skin and fat from the buttocks is one of a number of body contouring procedures that can offer reliable and dramatic results. However, this surgery cannot reduce the size of your bottom, nor is it a substitute for a healthy diet. It is a corrective measure most often used following weight loss.

Any surgeon will want to be satisfied at your consultation that your weight is stable, you are fit and healthy, you have sufficiently lax skin and your expectations of what surgery will achieve are realistic.

A buttock lift could be a good solution to treat problem residual skin left after weight loss; and the results can be dramatic and are usually very successful.

Profile of the author

Dr Foued Hamza completed his medical studies in Tunisia and then moved to Paris in France to specialize in plastic and cosmetic surgery. From 1988 to 1997, Dr Hamza worked in the greatest Parisian hospitals such as Foch hospital, Henri Mondor and Saint Louis. He is a member of the French Board of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery and, with a new clinic in London's medical district, is registered to practice in UK.

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