close up of a woman's hips in a black swimsuit posing for a picture

Hip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that can increase the size and width of your hips. It can enhance the look of your legs, increase your hip width and span, and provide your body a more pleasing shape overall. Many people undergo hip augmentation to gain an hourglass figure.

There are two main types of hip augmentation: hip implants and fat grafting, both of which have benefits and drawbacks depending on your desired results.

While no plastic surgery is right for everyone, many people find hip augmentation helps them achieve their aesthetic goals and improve their self-esteem. If you’re considering hip augmentation, below we’ll go over the basics to help you make an informed decision about whether augmentation is right for you.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Hip Augmentation?

If you’re hoping to achieve a fuller figure by adding width to your hips specifically, hip augmentation can help. While people of all genders undergo augmentation, it is particularly popular for transgender women and some cisgender women with narrower hips hoping to create a more traditionally feminine figure.

Most healthy adults can undergo a hip augmentation procedure safely. During your initial consultation for hip augmentation, your surgeon will ask you about your medical history and lifestyle. To ensure surgery is safe for you, you’ll have to undergo a basic physical exam and do routine blood work.

When it comes to fat grafting, having good circulation is vital. Therefore, if you’re a smoker, you may be asked to quit prior to undergoing augmentation.

What Are The Types Of Hip Augmentation?

There are two types of hip augmentation: fat grafting and implants.

During fat grafting, your surgeon removes fat from an area like the stomach, back, or thighs via liposuction. Then this fat is injected into the hip area creating the desired contour.

In contrast, during hip implant surgery, your doctor inserts semi-solid silicone rubber implants via a small incision below the beltline. Implants are placed on top of the tendon that runs the length of the outer hip, helping to keep implants in place.

Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia, so you’ll have to have someone with you to take you home safely after surgery.

What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks To Each Procedure?

Fat grafting is particularly popular for people looking to reshape their figure overall rather than just increase the width of their hips. It can help widen your hips while also slimming down your waistline.

However, fat grafting is both less predictable and less permanent. Even a skilled plastic surgeon may not be able to get you the exact results you want depending on how your body reacts to grafting. Plus, even with successful procedures, up to 40% of grafted fat cells do not survive longterm.

Hip implants are more predictable than fat grafting, and the results are easier to control and generally more dramatic. However, the procedure also has more noticeable scars and can sometimes the implant can be visible or palpable, detracting from the overall aesthetics.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Hip augmentation recovery can be lengthy. While you can generally start working only a day after surgery (depending on what you have do for work), you will need at least two or three weeks of downtime post-op.

Do not put any pressure on the treatment area for the first three weeks after your surgery unless your doctor instructs you to use a compression garment. With implants, you cannot sleep on your side for at least three weeks.

Most patients can return to light exercise after two weeks, and resume strenuous activities after a month. However, if your body takes longer to recover, you may have to wait up to six weeks to get back to a normal workout routine.

Recovery times vary from individual to individual, but it may take up to twelve weeks to fully recover from hip augmentation. Work with your surgeon closely throughout your recovery process to make sure you’re not over exerting yourself. This is the best way to ensure a smooth recovery.

How Long Does Hip Augmentation Last?

Fat grafting tends to be a shorter term solution than hip implants. The fat cells that survive the first three months post op are considered permanent, but fat can still be gained or lost through your own eating habits and lifestyle choices. If you gain or lose weight after fat grafting, you can lose some of your results.

Hip implant results, however, are permanent as long as there are no complications that require the implants be removed or repositioned.

Is Hip Augmentation Safe?

When working with a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon, hip augmentation is considered very safe. However, every medical procedure does come with the risk of complications.

With hip implants, there’s a risk of infection, bleeding, or seromas (pockets of fluid that form under the skin’s surface, which require drainage). Implants can occasionally move and become asymmetrical which may require repositioning.

With fat grafting, there are generally less complications. However, in very rare cases, something called a fat embolism can occur when fat travels to your lungs. If left untreated, this can be fatal, so seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms like rapid breathing, shortness of breath, or fever.

The best way you can reduce your risk of complications is working with a highly-trained, reputable surgeon and following aftercare instructions closely.

The Bottom Line

Hip augmentation can be a rewarding experience for many as it can help you reach your desired body shape. Both types of augmentation – fat grafting and hip implants – can help widen your hips, creating a curvier hourglass form. While it carries some risk for complication, it’s generally very safe when you’re working with the right surgeon.

Recovery can be lengthy, but in the long run many people find this worth the ultimate reward. Hip augmentation can have profound benefits for your self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall self-image.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering hip augmentation, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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