What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A buttock lift is done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. During a buttock lift, you'll be comfortable with the aid of general anesthetic — which renders you unconscious.

A tube (catheter) will be placed into your bladder to collect urine. Your legs will be placed in devices called sequential compression boots, which are used to prevent blood clotting during and after surgery.

During the procedure

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision along the lower back, from hip to hip. The excess skin below the incision is pulled up, lifting the buttocks. The extra skin and fat is then removed.

During the procedure you'll be given an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection. Special warming devices also will be used to help you maintain a normal body temperature.

The procedure typically takes two to three hours.

After the procedure

After a buttock lift, your incision will likely be covered with surgical dressing. One or more drains are typically placed under the wound and close to the incision line to drain any excess blood or fluid.

Members of your health care team will also help you walk as early as the first day after a buttock lift to help prevent the formation of blood clots.

You'll likely feel moderate pain, which will initially be controlled by intravenous pain medication. Drains might be left in place for one to three weeks after surgery. Your doctor or a member of your health care team will show you how to empty and care for your drains. You might need to continue taking an antibiotic and anticoagulant for 10 days after your buttock lift.

You'll wear a supportive garment for up to four weeks after your buttock lift. This will help prevent fluid buildup and provide support while you heal. Your doctor will explain how to care for your scar. Scar management might include use of silicone sheeting, scar cream and massage. The appearance of your scar will continue to improve over time.

For the first months after a buttock lift, you'll need to take care when moving -increasing your activity level slowly — and avoid positions that strain your incision line to prevent the re-opening of the wound. Your doctor will provide specific instructions. In addition, you'll need to schedule follow-up visits with your doctor over the course of the next year.

Aug. 21, 2013