Managing Discomfort After Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery


Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) surgery has gained immense popularity as a buttock enhancement procedure in recent years in combination with liposuction-based body contouring. Many factors contribute to a successful result. Broadly, preoperative evaluation, the surgery itself, and meticulous post-operative care are all absolutely critical to ensure a perfect result. This article focuses on understanding and managing  post-operative pain levels and understanding their impact on the recovery process. Effectively managing BBL pain levels during the recovery period is essential for ensuring a smooth and comfortable experience for patients undergoing BBL surgery.

Understanding Post-Operative Pain

Following any surgery, patients commonly experience various levels of discomfort. While transformative and a positive experience, surgery still is technically a trauma to the tissues and goes through a healing process much like any other injury. This discomfort typically manifests as incision site discomfort, muscle soreness, swelling, and bruising. These factors contribute to the overall pain experience during the initial stages of recovery. The extent of pain can vary depending on individual tolerance levels and the complexity of the surgery. With proper preparation, gentle surgical technique, and pain management strategies, it is important to know that post operative discomfort can be very well tolerated and free from true pain.

Pain Management Strategies after BBL Surgery

Managing discomfort after BBL surgery should be a priority. Effective pain management strategies play a significant role in facilitating a comfortable recovery journey after BBL surgery. At our practice, we pride ourselves on being able to manage pain with little to no narcotic pain medications. Pain management begins with excellent patient selection and patient education. Well-educated patients familiar with our processes fare much better. By reduction of their worries and anxiety surrounding the surgery, patients are able to relax and significantly reduce their post-operative pain. Patients are often prescribed narcotic pain medications to alleviate discomfort during the early stages of recovery. These medications should only be used minimally and only as needed to reduce significant side effects such as constipation, drowsiness, and dependence. Non-narcotic pain medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, can be used as the “first line” pain medication with narcotic pain medications as a backup option. Meditation, calming atmospheres, and surrounding oneself with positive and helpful people also have been shown to reduce post operative discomfort. Wearing compression garments provides support and minimizes discomfort during the recovery period. Although anecdotal, manual lymphatic drainage and massage has been associated with reducing discomfort after surgery. However, it should be used sparingly within the first month to allow the majority of healing to occur. Lymphatic drainage can result in bruising, hematoma, and seromas if performed too early. It is essential for patients to adhere to their surgeon’s instructions regarding pain management to optimize their recovery outcomes and to reduce the risk of complications.

Timeline of Pain and Discomfort After BBL Surgery

The progression of pain and discomfort during BBL recovery follows a typical timeline. The first 3-4 days will be the most challenging, as one might expect. Post-operative swelling and inflammation are also at their highest during this time. This discomfort gradually subsides over time. Improvement in pain levels can be expected within the first few weeks post-surgery as the body begins to heal. By about one week, the patient is usually feeling quite good and should have limited (or preferably no) use of narcotic pain medications. To illustrate how much pain and discomfort patients have after BBL surgery, most patients are advised they can return to work by about 2-3 weeks post-surgery. They will still likely have certain restrictions to optimize the result. By adhering to proper pain management techniques and following post-operative care instructions, patients can experience a smoother transition through the recovery phases.

Concerns about Pain and Managing Expectations

It is common for individuals considering BBL surgery to have concerns and anxieties about post-operative pain. These concerns can be realized before surgery as well as after surgery, during the recovery process. It is essential for the surgeon and the team to set realistic expectations regarding pain management and recovery pre-operatively so the patient is well informed and understands typical post-operative healing. Excellent education pre-operatively has the additional benefit of reducing post-operative anxiety, paving the way for a better recovery. While some discomfort is a natural part of the healing process, it is temporary and manageable with appropriate care and support. 

Expert Advice about BBL Pain and Discomfort from Plastic Surgeons

Plastic surgeons specializing in BBL surgery offer unique and valuable insights into managing pain levels and promoting a comfortable recovery. Each type of surgery is unique and it is important to choose an expert for any procedure, and BBL surgery is no different.  A board-certified expert in BBL surgery brings expertise and guidance to help patients navigate through the recovery journey. Important topics to address prior to surgery include:

  • The “typical” patient’s degree of pain
  • The surgeon’s standard methods for dealing with pain during and after surgery
  • How long patients generally require being off of work
  • If you are currently dealing with chronic pain issues, mood disorders, or other major medical issues

  Addressing common questions and concerns related to post-operative pain empower patients to make informed decisions and feel more confident about their surgical experience.

Self-Care Tips for Comfortable Recovery after BBL Surgery

In addition to medical interventions, practicing self-care techniques can further enhance comfort and promote healing during BBL recovery. Proper hydration and nutrition support the body’s healing process. Gentle movement and stretching exercises help prevent stiffness and improve circulation. Post-operative mobility can reduce the risk of a blood clot by encouraging flow throughout the body. Incorporating rest and relaxation techniques into daily routines can also aid in reducing stress and discomfort. It is always important to ensure any post-operative routines are OKed by the surgeon to ensure no problems arise from performing them. For instance, post-operative manual lymphatic massage is recommended by some surgeons and forbidden by others

Encouragement and Support

Encouragement from supportive friends and family can help the recovery process. Patients who have physical and emotional support in place prior to surgery fare much better than those attempting to take care of themselves. After a BBL surgery, most patients are required to keep pressure off the buttocks to aid in the fat graft take. This unique positioning can make the recovery more physically demanding and difficult. A support network that can ease the physical difficulties of the BBL surgery and can offer words of encouragement to the healing patient. To individuals undergoing surgery, it is essential to offer words of encouragement and support. Emphasizing the temporary nature of post-operative discomfort and highlighting the rewarding results of the procedure can alleviate anxiety and boost morale. Providing access to supportive resources and communities enables patients to seek guidance and share experiences throughout their recovery journey.

Conclusion: Empowering a Smooth Recovery Journey

BBL surgery does not have to be and SHOULD not be a hard recovery. That is not to say that it is easy but proper preparation for the entire process will be crucial for a smooth recovery. Managing discomfort after BBL surgery is a crucial aspect of the recovery process. By understanding the factors contributing to post-operative pain, implementing effective pain management strategies, and seeking guidance from plastic surgeons, patients can navigate through their recovery journey with confidence and comfort. Prioritizing self-care and following medical advice empower individuals to achieve optimal results and a smooth recovery experience.

For those preparing for or recovering from BBL surgery, it is important to prioritize preparation and self-care. Seek guidance from your plastic surgeon and support from the healthcare team to ensure a comfortable and successful recovery. Ask as many questions as possible before surgery. Remember, you are not alone in your journey, and there are resources available to assist you every step of the way.

Article by: Dr. Nicholas Lahar
Dr. Nicholas Lahar is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in body contouring, bbl, breast surgery, and rhinoplasty, Dr. Lahar also excels in the proprietary techniques unique to our practice, guaranteeing the highest standard of care.