Updated 04 July 2014

Would you get butt implants?

Plastic surgery knows no bounds. Forget the botox, forget the nose jobs, forget breast augmentation, butt implants are the new procedure sweeping the world.


"Bootylicious" celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj have powered an explosion in women looking for larger, more pronounced buttocks.

While some degree of improvement can be effected with rigorous exercise and dietary changes, this often isn’t dramatic enough. This then causes women to turn to cosmetic surgery for a quicker, more drastic solution.

The last few years have seen a cultural shift away from “skinny” women, especially in the face of rising incidences of eating disorders such as anorexia.

Instead the world has come to venerate “curvaceous” women who carry slightly more weight, particularly in the bust and butt areas. While breast implants have been very popular for many years, butt implants have only begun to take off recently.

Read: Effects of breast implants

Done properly, buttock implants are largely similar to breast implants. The surgeon will make an incision in each buttock and create a cavity of a size and shape that will safely allow for the chosen implant to be accommodated. Depending on the desired effect, the size of the implant can vary substantially in size.

Most implants are between 450 and 570 cubic centimetres, any larger than that and a normal body may have trouble naturally accommodating it.

Implants that are too large not only look outstandingly odd but can also present significant health risks to the patient.

The largest legal implant in the US is 690CC’s. In comparison, most breast implants are between 200 and 300 cubic centimetres. Like breast implants, buttock augmentation utilises silicon-based materials to for both safety and a life-like feel.

Read: Implants prone to rupture

A cheaper option rose to popularity in South America recently but made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The procedure, which was very popular in Venezuela, involved very little surgery, instead, patients received injections of synthetic biopolymer, a rubbery substance.

This then solidified in the buttocks creating a rapid boost in butt size. Unfortunately it is very difficult to control the flow of the substance once it is injected this can lead to substantial deformities and, if infection sets in, death.

At least 15 people in Venezuela have died from botched butt implants since 2011, leading to the procedure being outlawed.

Butt implants are still relatively rare in South Africa, but more and more clinicians are beginning to offer the procedure.

Provided one opts for a proper, surgical approach, it is a reasonably safe procedure. Expect to see a rise in bootylicious bodies over the coming years.

Sources: Daily Mail/RealSelf/PlasticSurgery

Image credit: Buttocks by Shutterstock

Read more:
Boost your booty in 3 easy moves 
5 body trouble spots 
The legs and booty workout


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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