Board Certified
Plastic Surgeon
Since 1989

Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures and a Fat Injection Warning

The Widder Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Team is pleased to present the first in a series of personal interviews with Dr. Widder himself. Our goal is to share the deep knowledge and personal insights of one of the East Coast’s leading plastic surgeons. These interviews are unscripted and only lightly edited in order to share Dr. Widder’s ideas in his own voice and style.

These interviews feature Dr. Widder’s experience and insights directly with men and women who are considering plastic surgery for the first time or are looking to explore a higher level of care and quality results. Subscribe to our blog for weekly insights and feel free to suggest topics or questions you would like answered!

Q: What are some of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures done today?

Well, I can give you the generic procedures – the most common in the U.S. It is a little different with my practice nowadays because I developed this niche surgery which is the buttock augmentation as a specialty which is becoming more and more of my practice.  The most common procedures in America nowadays are liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck – abdominoplasty.   In my practice, because of my emphasis on buttock augmentation, butt implants, I’m doing more and more. Tomorrow, I’m doing one or two. I’m also doing a tummy tuck tomorrow, which is a long case. I limit my surgery to eight hours.

As I said, liposuction and breast augmentation are the most common.  Then you have the whole gamut of other procedures like tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery – very, very common.

Q: Who comes to you for these procedures?

All ages, all economic positions or income levels, all races – I have Vietnamese, I have Korean, I have Chinese, I have American, obviously, I have Hispanics – a lot of people from South America, I have African Americans, so it’s kind of a mix.

Q: What got you interested in the butt augmentation operation?

Well you know, buttock augmentation, like breast augmentation is a sex symbol. The butt and the breasts are the most sexual symbols that we have. So breast augmentation is very common. Now butt augmentation is coming into vogue because of women like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. I noticed that trend ten years ago. But it wasn’t as popular as nowadays.

What became popular first wasn’t the butt implant, but the fat injection – the Brazilian butt lift. The problem with it is it doesn’t last. It lasts for maybe six months or about year, and it disappears.  I mean, think about it – it’s illogical.  If you put in such a large amount of fat without circulation, without blood supply, how can it survive? So life proves it. It disappears after about six to twelve months.  Tomorrow I’m doing one where she had the fat injection and it disappeared, and now she’s coming to do the implants. Last week I did one who had the same situation. In the last year, I had eleven or twelve patients who came in for butt implants who’d had fat injections.  So obviously if they came to see me, it didn’t work.  I don’t believe in the fat injection in that quantity. There is a place for fat injection, but not in the butt. You can have fat injections to the face in small amounts.  It can survive.  But, not with 500 or 600cc of fat.  There’s no way in the world. When I did the operations, I could see it was almost completely gone.  There were just a few pockets of fat that survived.

So to answer the question, I understood that in society there is a need for such a procedure and not too many surgeons did it.  One of the reasons it wasn’t a very common procedure is that the technique wasn’t a good one.  In the old days when I started doing butt implants, I used to put them under the muscle. When you put them under the muscle, you can’t go all the way down.  You had to put them only on the upper part of the buttock because if you go under the lower muscle, you have the sciatic nerve.  It could cause severe damage to the patient.  So the implant was very small, it was just on the upper buttock, so it gave you a kind of bubble butt, you know? And it was very painful because it was under the muscle. Then one day about five or six years ago, I went to the international conference of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).  Here comes Doctor Jose Abel Peña from Mexico City and he showed the nicest butt that I’ve seen.  So I went to see him – I went to visit him for about a week and learned his technique.  After that, it’s all history.  That’s why it is becoming more common because the results are better.

Q: Do you think more people will find out about the fat injections not working and go with butt implants?

That is my hope, because fat injection is impractical.  In my experience it is not going to survive.  They are claiming that 50-70% of the fat remains. I don’t know if it’s true for every case, but I’ve seen twelve patients in the last year alone where it almost completely disappeared.  One of the patients paid $26,000 to do it.  Then she came to me and had the butt implants.  She’s very happy now.

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