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Plastic Surgery Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Big Butts: Getting to the Bottom of the Fastest Growing Cosmetic Procedure

By Staff Editor
May 20, 2016 - 1:31:18 PM

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( - No ifs, ands, or butts about it! Augmentations of the derriere are the procedures everyone is buzzing about. In the late 90's it was Jennifer Lopez's perfect behind, in the 2000's it was Beyoncé's ‘Bootylicious.' Today Kim Kardashian's bottom has its own emoji. Nobody can deny all eyes are on the rear and booty obsession is only gaining momentum.

The facts are these: "butt-jobs", like the Brazilian Butt Lift, are up 25% percent in the past year. As with any relatively new procedure the sensationalized stories abound and the misconceptions are many. North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon and best selling author Dr. John Zannis reports that The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure has become the fastest growing by popular demand. He answers our 10 most burning questions on achieving a bodacious bum and the different enhancement options available.

1. What are the most common procedures for butt augmentations?

"There's fat grafting (the Brazilian Butt Lift), which uses the patient's own fat to transfer to the buttocks.  It is very natural and safe, but limited by the amount of fat available for grafting," says Dr. Zannis "Then there are implants. Firm silicone prostheses are used to augment the buttocks.  With this process there is no need for fat harvesting."

2. What are some common concerns or dangers, of either process?
"The main concern with the Brazilian Butt Lift is losing some of the fat. It is normal for about 85% of the fat grafted to survive.  The problem is, if it ends up a little asymmetric, a touch up would be needed. Implants are more complicated. There are risks like infection or extrusion- the implant coming out," cautions Zannis. Ouch!

3. What is recovery like? How many weeks or months does a full recovery take? How much time should a patient take off work? What can the patient expect after the procedure? What is the level of pain and bruising?

"Full recovery takes about 8 - 12 weeks, for either process," explains Dr. Zannis. "A week off from work is usually sufficient, though sitting should be limited the first 2 weeks. The Brazilian Butt Lift comes with significant bruising and swelling in the areas of fat harvest (liposuction). The bruising lasts a couple of weeks and the swelling goes away in 4-8 weeks." He also recommends compression garments and donut pillows.

4. What is the "shelf" life of fat grafting vs. implants?

Great news on this one! "The fat that survives the initial recovery period should last forever. It will grow and shrink with weight changes like normal fat," says Zannis. "The implants should also last the remainder of your life as they are made of semi solid material."

5. Can you give us some realistic v. unrealistic expectations?

"We realistically can obtain a medium-large augmentation in one treatment. This means 500-1000 cc per buttock, of fat. It's unrealistic to achieve a huge derriere in a single session," explains Dr. Zannis.

6. Who is NOT a candidate for enhancement?

"A bad candidate for fat grafting would be a very thin patient. Patients with a low Body Mass Index (BMI) should go for implants," says Zannis.

7. What are the most common misconceptions about each procedure?

"Many patients believe that a huge butt is achievable in one procedure. Even skinny patients think they can accomplish this, despite having little fat to transfer," says Dr. Zannis.

8. Technically speaking what measurements do you find most flattering? Is there a formula for achieving the best look?

"It's all about proportion of hips to waist and waist to breasts. Urban legend describes the best female proportions to be 36-24-36 but what both men and women find attractive is a relatively low BMI and curvaceous figure," explains Dr. Zannis.

9. Do a lot of patients ask for their derrieres to resemble a celebrity's? Which are the most common celebs mentioned?'

"Most people say ‘I want a Kim Kardashian or Nicki Minaj shape but I don't want it to look THAT big'," laughs Dr. Zannis. "Most people agree J.Lo is the ultimate goal."

10.  And finally which would you consider safer or more desirable, Brazilian Butt Lift or implants?

"Fat grafting is much safer and more desirable because the risks are lower and the results more natural," concludes Zannis.

Meet Dr. John Zannis - New Bern, NC Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Zannis is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied Human Biology and Studio Art at Stanford University prior to entering Medical School. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) from the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine.

After medical school, Dr. Zannis received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina under the guidance of world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Louis Argenta. During this time, he performed over 5,000 surgical procedures and covered all aspects of plastic surgery including cosmetic surgery of the face and body, complex reconstructive procedures of face and body, cleft lip and palate surgery, hand surgery, facial and jaw fracture repair, and reconstruction following massive weight loss. He has given numerous national academic presentations and keeps abreast of the latest technologies in Plastic Surgery at symposia across the country.

His studies in art and art history in Florence, Italy cultivated a passion for the Renaissance and geniuses of that time such as Leonardo DaVinci. Dr. Zannis instills artistry and perfectionism into his practice of surgery. His keen interest in procedures like rhinoplasty stem from their sculptural nature and the challenge they pose: "Rhinoplasty is considered one of the most difficult surgeries to master.

The slightest adjustment to the nose's framework can have a significant effect. The true challenge is knowing what needs to be altered and improving the aesthetics, without changing the uniqueness and personality of someone's face."

Outside of medicine, Dr. Zannis enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He has a passion for travel, languages, painting, and guitars. "When I'm not operating or spending time with my family, I retreat to my workshop."


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