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More cushion, anyone?

Your HEALTH Your WEALTH

BY ANIKA RICHARDS Sunday Observer staff reporter richardsai@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, April 27, 2014    

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A pair of curvaceous, well-contoured, firm buttocks is possible. But, of course, there is a cost.

In fact, several celebrities are rumoured to have done a little touching up on their derrières.

Whether these reports are true or not, the behind is definitely an asset as one celebrity is widely reported to have demonstrated when she allegedly insured her buttocks a few years ago.

Butt augmentation or gluteoplasty is the plastic surgery procedure that enhances the shape of the buttocks.

Miami, Florida-based plastic surgeon Dr Constantino Mendieta told the Jamaica Observer in an interview last week that there are three ways to reshape the derrière — only two of which are legal.

"There are two that are performed worldwide and one that is not legal and that is creating a lot of problems for people," said Dr Mendieta. "The first one, the best one, is to use your own body fat.

"This is the best because I'm allowed to reshape the body," the plastic surgeon said, adding that it is more than just creating bigger buttocks, but more about reshaping the entire area, defining curves as needed.

Then there is the use of implants, which Dr Mendieta said is safe. There is no opportunity for them to leak since they are solid silicone implants.

"The third way that people are trying to do, which you definitely have to stay away from, is the silicone injection that they are doing in hotels, in salons," Dr Mendieta shared. "Those are the illegal substances that people are using to enhance the buttocks for very low prices in very unsanitary ways.

"People are losing their lives for that one," the plastic surgeon told the Sunday Observer.

In 2011, a British woman flew to the United States to have silicone injected into her bottom. She had reportedly done a first round of buttocks enhancement a year earlier, and was about to get her second bout. However, she died soon after.

British newspaper reports were that the young woman, a student and aspiring dancer, developed chest pain and struggled for breath 12 hours after she had the injection. The Daily Mail had reported then that a preliminary examination found the silicone filler had leaked into her bloodstream, leading to heart failure.

More recently, a woman in Venezuela, according to the BBC, could not walk or bend over and was constantly in pain because of a football-size bump in her lower back. The bump was a side effect of liquid silicone that the 35-year-old lawyer had injected in her buttocks.

Though banned by the Venezuelan Government in 2012, up to 30 per cent of women 18-50 choose to have these injections done, according to statistics presented by the BBC from the Venezuelan Plastic Surgeons Association.

The Venezuelan lawyer did not meet a fate like that of the young Briton, as she was able to have surgery done to remove the tissue affected by the injection. But according to the BBC report, the possibility still exists that she may be affected by the silicone in the future.

Women are not the only ones improving the look of their behind. Dr Mendieta told the Sunday Observer that some 10 per cent of his clients are men who, after getting to a certain age, are dissatisfied with the size of their buttocks. Dr Mendieta also said that several of his clients are people from Caribbean islands, including Jamaica and Haiti.

RISKS

"Whenever you do any surgery, infection is always the number one risk," Dr Mendieta said.

Blood clots are also another major risk, but the plastic surgeon and author of The Art of Gluteal Sculpting was quick to point out that cases resulting in blood clots are extremely rare and that most procedures are done without complications.

Dr Mendieta said fat transfer is by far the safest and most popular butt augmentation procedure.

WHAT TO CONSIDER

Whichever buttocks augmentation procedure you choose, here are a few things to consider.

1. You must ensure that the plastic surgeon is board-certified as a plastic surgeon.

2. You have to be in good health. Dr Mendieta told the Sunday Observer that his patient must first be given medical clearance, which would include examining the heart, lungs and blood work as well as getting the opinion of an independent doctor, before he operates.

3. You have to find someone who has experience in the procedure and whose artistry you like.

4. Recovery time before returning to work is 10-14 days depending on the selected procedure, and two months before going to the gym.

5. It will take three to six months before you see the final result and will usually take about one month before you start feeling normal.

6. You will not be able to engage in sexual intercourse for four to six weeks.

7. You will have to sleep on your stomach for two months after surgery, and if you are sitting down, Dr Mendieta said a pillow must be placed behind the legs so the buttocks do not touch the chair.

Buttocks augmentation through fat transfer can cost US$10,000 on average, in Miami, however, Dr Mendieta said some places may offer it for as low at US$5,000. He advised that patients should be very cautious when given these offers. Buttocks implants are more expensive; on average they have a starting price of about US$14,000.

Getting the perfect butt is possible; you may just have to decide on a few things before giving it a go.

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