Recovering From a BBL: Do’s and Don’ts for the Best Results
December 2, 2021 – Dr. Patty
Your recovery period is crucial for the success of your Brazilian butt lift, or BBL. Like with any surgical procedure, you can expect different degrees of discomfort, bruising, and swelling that typically peak 3 to 4 days after the surgery.
The good news is that you can easily manage these side effects at home and maximize your results by following the right aftercare instructions and committing to your healing process. Here are the most important things you should do (and what you definitely shouldn’t be doing) after getting a BBL.
Do’s and Don’ts After a BBL
Have at least two pairs of compression garments: You probably know that you’re going to need a compression garment, aka a faja, after your BBL. But what many people don’t know is that they should actually get at least a couple of fajas for their recovery period. Here’s why: a faja is a bodyshaping garment made from light lycra material that protects the buttock area to prevent flattening. It also provides support to your lipo areas to reduce swelling and encourage lymphatic drainage.
After a BBL, you’ll need to wear your faja at all times for 6 weeks. This means that you should only remove the garment to shower and during your massage sessions. So why two fajas? Because you’re going to be sleeping in and sweating on your faja 24/7. You may even experience some discharge from your wounds, so you’ll definitely want to wash your faja often. Getting at least a couple of compression garments for each stage will ensure that you’ll always have a clean pair to wear while the other one’s being washed.
Apply arnica gel to help with bruising: Arnica is a herb often used in gels, lotions, and patches to help relieve pain, swelling, and bruising. You may also find arnica supplements in pill or oral spray forms, though taking arnica orally has been shown to cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and even internal bleeding in some people.
Research shows that applying arnica gel or ointments directly to the skin can speed up recovery and make bruises heal faster. After a BBL, topical arnica can help disperse the fluids that accumulate around the incision sites, reducing inflammation and boosting healing.
Walk as much as possible: The days following your surgery, you might feel a little sore and tired, so walking will probably be the last thing on your mind. Resist the urge to lay (on your stomach) all day! Have someone help you get out of bed soon after your procedure to go for a short walk. And continue walking as much as possible when you get home. Walking reduces your risk of developing dangerous blood clots in your legs, improves circulation, helps prevent fevers, and speeds up your recovery process.
Sleep on your stomach: While we are on the topic of getting out of bed to walk, let’s talk about sleeping. When you get a BBL, your surgeon transfers fat cells from one part of your body into your buttocks. These fat cells don’t have their own blood supply until about 6 weeks after the procedure.
Attempting to sit or lay on your buttocks soon after your surgery puts you at risk of damaging or destroying the newly injected fat cells. This means no sitting on your butt or laying on your back whatsoever for at least 2 weeks, or longer, if possible.
If you’re a back sleeper, try getting used to sleeping on your stomach or side so the transition won’t be as hard when you go back home after the procedure. You’ll also need a dedicated BBL pillow to minimize pressure on your buttocks when you do have to sit.
Feed the fat: There’s no way around it: patients who eat right almost always get better BBL results than those who don’t. This is not the time to go on a diet or try a new detox smoothie cleanse. Your body needs calories and macronutrients to create adequate blood supplies for the transferred fat cells. Otherwise, you risk compromising your results because the fat cells can start to shrink and die off. These are some healthy and delicious foods to “feed the fat” after a BBL:
- Plant-based oils (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil)
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole eggs
- Dark chocolate
Think you won’t need any help: Getting a BBL is no walk in the park — but the results are so worth it. Get comfortable with the idea that you’re going to need lots of help the first few days after the procedure. On the day of the surgery, you will be put under general anesthesia, meaning that you won’t be able to drive yourself home or do any of your daily activities, like cooking dinner or going to the bathroom by yourself.
Many of our patients, especially those from out of town, choose to stay at a recovery home, which is staffed with professionals who can help you through your healing process. Talk to your surgical coordinator or reach out to our patient concierge (###-###-####) for our BBL recovery home recommendations in Miami.
Smoke: As with every surgery, you’ll need to stop smoking at least 6 weeks before the procedure. This is because smoking causes your blood vessels to shrink and become blocked, which can potentially cause severe complications during the operation.
Smoking will also affect the survival of the transferred fat after your BBL by decreasing the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, and it also increases your risk for infections and makes the healing process considerably longer.
Skip your massage appointments: Lymphatic drainage massages are crucial for getting the best results possible from BBL surgery. These massages help flush out metabolic waste to alleviate pain and swelling and can shorten the recovery period quite a bit. Your doctor will tell you how many massages you should get and can recommend massage therapists in your area.
Take hot baths or get in a tub for at least 3 weeks: There are two reasons why you should wait at least 3 weeks before getting in a tub or a jacuzzi after a BBL. First, sitting on a tub involves, well… sitting… which you have to avoid for a few weeks after your procedure.
The other reason is that although your incisions should be fully closed after a week, there’s still a risk of bacteria from the water seeping in and causing potentially severe infections. You can take a shower two days after your BBL or when your doctor says it’s ok, though you may need some help the first few days to avoid soaking your incisions.
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