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Gluteal Implants


Gluteal Implants Information

Gluteal or buttock implants for bodybuilders are used to fill out the buttock area, specifically to augment the gluteus maximus muscle area producing a more desirable shape to the glutes. The shape of the buttocks is determined by the fullness of the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and minimus muscles plus the angle of the lumbosacral curve at the base of the spine. Deficiency in muscle mass or in the angle of the curve of the lower spine can contribute to lack of adequate projection of the butt. Additionally, the buttocks are an area that retains some body fat which contributes to the prominence of the buttock cheeks. Frequently in their zeal for minimal body fat, many bodybuilders will loose the fat of the gluteal areas and find that the projection of the buttocks decreases due to this. It's a catch 22 situation.

Balance is the key to a desirable end point. For the man or woman who is unable to achieve their idealized buttock shape, implants can be a solution.

Before Surgery

Again, do your homework when seeking surgery of this kind. Many cosmetic and general surgeons advertise their expertise in buttock implants but you will do well to search out a plastic surgeon that has considerable experience in doing gluteal implants. The planning that goes into determining the correct shape and size of implant to be used is as important as the surgery itself. After all, if the implant size is incorrect or the shape is wrong, the result of even the most technically perfect surgical procedure can be a disaster because it will not satisfy the needs or desires of the patient. Body implant surgery is definitely one area that you do not wish to have to repeat.

Prospective patients for gluteal augmentation need to recognize that implant size and shape are limited by the patient's own anatomy. While that is not always the case in other areas of the body where implants are used, it is very much so in the case of buttock implants. The gluteus maximus muscle, while the largest of the muscles that make up the buttocks, does not cover the entire buttock cheek and therefore the size of the implant must be carefully calculated so that it can be camouflaged by the extent of the existent muscle. Placement of the implant is equally important and determines the projection of the buttocks as well as the balance and curve of the buttock cheek. It takes an experienced plastic surgeon who has an eye for the human physique to correctly interpret the desires of the patient with the needs of that particular body shape.

As with all surgery, certain medicines and most supplements along with alcohol and recreational drugs must be stopped for several weeks prior to surgery. Anabolic steroids including large-dose testosterone should be stopped at least 6 weeks or more prior to surgery. Many drugs and supplements can cause blood not to clot leading to a number of complications especially with gluteal or buttock implants. Follow your surgeon's orders exactly.

Of all the body implant procedures, buttock implants have the highest rate of complications and to reduce that possibility to a minimum requires complete cooperation on the part of the patient and extensive knowledge, experience and expertise on the part of the surgeon. You should make sure that you discuss extensively all of the possible complications of this surgery with your surgeon. Understand that the recovery from buttock implants is long and could be several months should a significant complication occur.

Be sure to ask ALL of your questions at the initial consultation. If you don't like the answers or you don't have a good vibe with that surgeon, move on until you do. But, remember, an honest and experienced plastic surgeon will tell you exactly what he can do but it may not be what you want to hear. Particularly with buttock implants, the limitation in implant size due to the patient's anatomy, must be understood and adhered to.

The Surgery

Gluteal or buttock implants are inserted usually under general anesthesia but may be done using an epidural block or even under local anesthesia with sedation. It may be done as an outpatient or the patient may be requested to stay overnight or longer. It is a matter of preference of the doctor and/or the patient and is related to comfort postoperatively. The implants, one in each buttock cheek area, are usually inserted through a vertical incision at the upper end of the buttock cleft. Currently buttock implants are placed subfacially (i.e., under the covering of the gluteus maximus muscle) or intramuscularly (within the substance of the gluteus maximus muscle) depending on the size of the implant needed and the position of the implant needed to produce the desired curve of the butt. The surgery will take about 3 hours on average. Many surgeons use a suction drain to prevent blood and tissue fluid buildup in the implant pocket. Drains may stay for several days. After the incision is closed with several layers of suture, long acting local anesthetic is instilled into the pocket with the implant to control pain. Most surgeons use a compression garment to minimize postoperative swelling. After a short time in the recovery room, the patient will be released to the overnight stay area or sent home.

Post Surgery and Recovery

Buttock augmentation requires a level of commitment on the part of the patient not usually required in most other plastic surgical procedures. The postoperative buttock implant patient will be restricted to bed for about 2 weeks (most of that time will be spent lying on the stomach) and severely limited in activity for another 2-4 weeks beyond that. The patient will usually be given prescriptions for antibiotics, muscle relaxants, steroids to reduce the swelling, and narcotics for reduction of pain. Buttock or gluteal augmentation with implants can be significantly painful. Absolute commitment to the postoperative instructions is essential as the possibility of significant complications rises exponentially without total compliance. Of all the body implant procedures, buttock implants have the highest rate of complications and to reduce that possibility to a minimum requires complete cooperation on the part of the patient and extensive knowledge, experience and expertise on the part of the surgeon.

Postoperative visits to the operating surgeon's office will be frequent for several weeks. Provisions for transportation must be made before surgery as the patient is not likely to be able to drive for 2-3 weeks. If you are having surgery at a center distant from your home, you will be required to stay in town for at least 2 weeks before returning home. Long car trips or even airplane rides are forbidden as sitting for long trips is not allowed until the area is completely healed, which takes at least 6 weeks.

Risks & Complications

Complications are possible with any surgical procedure. And, while the complication rate with buttock implants is possibly significant, you cannot just will them away by refusing to face the possibilities. However, you can reduce their rate of occurrence by following the doctor's pre- and post-operative instructions exactly. Most complications of cosmetic surgery procedures are not surgical errors but healing complications that are frequently the results of hematoma (bleeding), seroma (collection of tissue fluid), delayed wound healing, implant dislocation due to excessive early activity, or undesirable results due to miscommunication between doctor and patient (too large, too small, wrong shape).

The Cost

Cost for gluteal or buttock implants vary from region to region. In the Eastern US, the average cost is $5800.00 for the surgeon's fee plus cost of the implant material, facility and anesthesia. An overall average in the East is $5800.00. In the Western part of the US, the average surgeon's fee is $4800.00 plus cost of the implant material, facility and anesthesia. An overall average in the West is $4800.00.

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