Know Butts


When the Olympics draw worldwide attention to Rio de Janeiro this summer, images of beautiful backsides filling the global airwaves will no doubt have women asking questions about the popular “Brazilian Butt Lift.”

Here are some of the answers...

Buttock-sculpting involves removing fat from the back and flanks (aka love handles) to create a narrower waist and accentuate the derriere. The harvested fat is then added to areas of the buttock to restore shapely curves.

By using the latest techniques in liposuction and fat grafting, advanced cosmetic surgeons are often able to complete the procedure without making an incision. Instead of cutting the skin, we insert a device called a cannula through a small hole about the diameter of an injection needle. First, anesthetic fluid (aka tumescent solution) flows through the cannula into the area requiring fat removal. Once the area is numb, the cannula, which vibrates gently, becomes the conduit through which fat is removed from the body.

After removed, the fat can then be re- injected into the body in a simple process called “fat grafting,” which involves using the fat cells to augment the buttocks or breasts. This two-step, largely pain-free procedure improves the look of multiple body parts in just one visit, often without the need for full anesthesia.

While some patients want to look like a Kardashian from the back, others have J. Lo on their minds. But whether a bigger booty or softer curves may be the end goal, the two-stage solution of removing fat from where it’s unwanted and replacing it elsewhere - adding plump to the rump, for example - has proven to be a powerful one-two punch in the ongoing fight against gravity.

In Bogota, Colombia, the FACES+ surgical team and I operated with Dr. Alfredo Hoyas, the originator of Vaser Hi Def liposuction. Since working with Dr. Hoyas, I’ve co-developed a new device that improves the results of large-volume fat grafting. Today, FACES+ is one of only five surgical centers in the nation that trains other surgeons on these advanced techniques and pieces of equipment.

While I’m certainly proud that my practice was among the first in the world to begin using fat grafting with breast implants to improve the results of these procedures long-term, it gives me greater satisfaction to know the surgeons I’ve trained in conjunction with the FACES+ Mentoring Program are now more able to improve care and outcomes for their patients across the country and world. - Steven R. Cohen, M.D.

For before-and-after photos and to learn about the Brazilian Butt Lift and the art of human sculpture (and to see what your new breasts might look like on the 3D Breast Simulator) at

Steven R. Cohen, M.D.
Plastic Surgeon, FACES+
Former Chief of Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery, Rady Children’s Hospital
Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery, University of California San Diego
Craniofacial Surgeon, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts