What's involved in a BBL or butt implants reversal?

Beauty standards are constantly shifting. 

As we’ve seen with the rise of Y2K nostalgia – like the return of skinny brows and low-rise jeans – fashion tends to go in circles. 

The same is true of the body – just 20 years ago, the phrase ‘does this make my bum look big’ was riddled with negativity. 

These days, if the answer is anything but yes, the jeans are going straight to the donations bag. 

This explains the rise in cosmetic procedures such as bum implants and Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBLs), donned by those celebrities who forged – by any means necessary – the latest beauty ideals. 

But with speculation that said celebrities are having their surgeries reversed, we can’t help but expect the doting public will follow suit.  

According to plastic surgeon Dr Paul Banwell, more and more people are hitting ‘undo’ on their booty-plumping surgeries.

‘This follows the general trend for people wanting to achieve a more natural look, with or without surgery,’ he explains. ‘In fact I believe that the trend for more natural-looking treatments is at an all-time high.’ 

Dr Banwell predicts that the decision to get surgeries like BBLs and bum implants removed is only going to become more common over the next decade.  

But just as getting a cosmetic procedure is no picnic in the park, choosing to get one reversed can prove to be a big decision, and not without risks. 

If you’re thinking of getting your BBL undone or having your implants removed, this is everything you need to know.

Everything you need to know about getting your bum-enhancing surgery reversed  

What is the difference between a BBL and bum implants?

First of all, let’s get to grips with what we are talking about. 

BBLs and bum implants are two different surgeries that yield similar results. 

For a BBL, fat is taken from other areas of the body and injected into the buttocks to increase the size and improve the shape. 

Bum implants are a lot more like breast implants – silicone implants in different shapes, sizes and textures are used to augment the shape and size of the buttocks.  

Why might someone want to have their surgery reversed? 

‘People might choose to have their buttock implants removed for a number of reasons,’ Dr Banwell tells us. 

These include: 

  • Wanting to reduce the size of their implants and achieve a more natural look 
  • Because their body has changed over time affecting the look of the implants, this can be down to a number of things such as ageing and weight gain/loss
  • Because butt implants, like breast implants, have to be replaced every ten years or so
  • Capsular contracture or leakage and the rupture of the implant 
  • Pain related to the implants or an autoimmune response 
  • Movement of one of both implants

He adds: ‘BBL reversal is largely for similar reasons, with most people who opt for it doing so in order to reduce the size and achieve a more natural look.’ 

What do the reversal procedures entail? 

Since they are two different surgeries, getting a BBL reversed and getting implants removed involve different procedures.

For both, there will be a through initial consultation, Dr Banwell tells Metro.co.uk. 

‘This is to establish the reason for removal and what the patient is aiming to achieve by having them removed,’ he says. 

BBL reversal: 

‘The main difference between getting a BBL reversed and getting implants removed is that to reverse a BBL you need to remove the fat that has been injected into the buttocks through liposuction,’ says Dr Banwell. 

‘For a BBL reversal, patients may be placed under sedation while the fat is drained,’ he adds. 

Butt implant removal: 

‘On the other hand, buttock implant removal is more similar to breast implant removal and requires an operation to actually lift out the implant from where it sits in the body,’ Dr Banwell explains. 

‘During implant removal patients will be under general anaesthetic.  

‘The surgeon makes an incision and then the implant and scar tissue are removed (and often a new implant is fitted).’ 

Are there any risks? 

‘There are always risks with any kind of medical procedure, especially surgery,’ says Dr Banwell. 

Some risks involved with having a BBL reversed or bum implants removed: 

  • Bleeding 
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications 
  • Asymmetry 
  • Infection  

‘However,’ he adds, ‘with the appropriate care and expertise of a fully qualified and skilled surgeon, you can minimise these risks significantly.’ 

Perhaps the move towards BBL reversals can serve as an important reminder: trends move fast, so if you are considering surgery, make sure it’s not to fit an ideal that’ll be out-of-fashion in a matter of months.

Surgeries are a big deal, and not a decision to be taken lightly. Just because reversals are possible, doesn’t mean you should rush into tweaks – it’s rarely as simple as a quick ‘undo’.

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