VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It’s about creating your desired shape: a BBL or Brazilian butt lift is a surgical enhancement of a body part celebrated in songs and fashion.
The procedure is mainstream in pop culture and on social media.
You can find surgeons willing to do the work everywhere from Mexico to South Florida. But you don’t have to travel to Miami or overseas to get the work done. You can find a surgeon right here in Hampton Roads.
Nina Jackson-Reyes, who lives in Chesapeake, got a BBL back in January to give her rear end a natural-looking boost.
“This has changed everything,” Jackson-Reyes said. “Listen. When I tell you I’m wearing short short shorts. Short short shorts! I’m wearing whatever I want to wear. Crop tops!”
She’s a 41-year-old mother of three and her new figure is giving her a confident new outlook on life. Jackson-Reyes said she opted for a “small BBL” or a more natural-looking enhancement. Even those around her, including her mom, are noticing the change.
It seems that people have always had a fascination with the human form. Bodies have been featured in paintings and sculptures for centuries. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but certainly, we all want to look good.
Dr. Michael Denk is a plastic surgeon based in Virginia Beach who features much of his BBL work on social media, something he's done a lot of.
“In the last two to three years, I’ve probably performed anywhere from 50 to 70 a year,” Dr. Denk said.
He said BBL surgeries have surged at his practice in the last five to six years.
“Breast implants and breast surgery were really popular in the 90s and 2000s,” Dr Denk said. “Gluteal shaping and booty size have always been an interest to people, but I think with the techniques that have evolved over the last 15 or 20 years, it’s just become more well-known.”
The Internet is full of articles about “botched” and deadly procedures done by alleged back-alley surgeons with silicon-filled needles or even overseas doctors who rush the process.
“Some people go to these motels to get injections and they don’t know what they’re getting because they want to spend $500,” Jackson-Reyes said. “Really? Sometimes spending $500 is going to risk your life.”
Like any surgery, a BBL has its risks, especially if you get one by an inexperienced surgeon, Dr. Denk said.
“There certainly have been people who’ve had bad outcomes going to non-physicians and even going to physicians,” he said.
Dr. Denk said a BBL is a delicate procedure that takes around three hours to complete. Dr. Denk liposuctions the fat from around your abdomen and back and injects it into your hips and buttocks. When the surgery’s done, it’s a long recovery: you can’t put any pressure on your bottom for four to six weeks.
“Experience and board certification are very important when it comes to the quality of the work and I urge all patients to go to a board-certified physician for whatever specialty they’re pursuing,” he said.
Dr. Denk has a lot of experience with cosmetic surgeries. He said it’s safe if you get your work done by a certified physician who you can build a relationship with -- and who can see you from pre-surgery to recovery to follow-up.
“Now since I got my body done, I’m ready to show it all off,” Jackson-Reyes said. “And it’s summertime!”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction was the most popular cosmetic procedure in 2022. Facelifts are second, followed by breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and breast lifts. Rhinoplasty – or a “nose job” – is also popular.