Updated: Apr 22
So, you have decided to have a BBL surgery! I bet you are hugely excited about the transformation, whilst also understandably a little nervous about going under the knife. No doubt you will already have spoken to your surgeon and clinic about the procedure itself and the results you are looking to achieve. What is often overlooked, is what happens during those first few days and weeks post-surgery. You might be wondering how your body is going to react and how you will look and feel. At Townhouse Retreats, we have a huge amount of experience in providing aftercare to guests that have had BBL surgery in Marbella.
For that reason, we thought it would be useful for anyone about to embark on this journey to gain an insight into what happens next. This is the good, the bad and the ugly of what to expect after BBL surgery, to ensure you are both mentally and physically prepared for this life changing event.
Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery
There are a number of variations of the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure, and here we will be discussing both the Fat Transfer BBL and the Supercharged BBL, both extremely popular surgery options in Marbella.
With both procedures the surgeon will harvest the fat from certain areas using Liposuction and create new body contours. They will sculpt the body to achieve results such as a flatter stomach, smaller waist and smoother hips.
The fat cells that have been harvested, are then introduced back into the areas of the body where you are looking to create a different body shape, such as the hips to eliminate ‘hip dips’ or the buttocks to restore roundness and fullness.
If you have opted for a Supercharge BBL procedure you will also have implants placed in the buttock area, to give that extra volume.
What happens when you first wake up after BBL surgery?
Immediately after surgery, it’s not uncommon to have some nausea, to feel a little groggy from the anaesthetic and to have some oozing. The oozing is a combination of blood and fluid (water mainly) that will be drain from your liposuction incision sites. These incisions are just a couple of centimetres wide, which you may find under the breasts, at the back of your armpits, and in the pubic bone region.
The oozing may be a little alarming at first, as it can look like a lot of blood on the bedsheets. This is perfectly normal and can continue for a few days post-surgery. After a few days the colour of the fluid will fade to a pale-yellow. The oozing is actually a good sign, as the process of the liquid draining helps reduce swelling and is a key part of your healing.
If you have had the Supercharge BBL you will wake up from surgery with two drains which will be placed at the base of your back. The drains are connected to two plastic bottles to collect the discharging liquid. You will need to keep the drains in for around 7 days, so expect to carry a little bag around everywhere you go for a short time.
With both surgeries, you are kept in the clinic for one night, before being discharged. If you choose to come to a recovery house, you would typically arrive before lunchtime the day after your surgery. The clinic likes to make sure that you are able to pee by yourself before they discharge you.
When you wake from your procedure, you will be wearing compression garments that include pants which look a little like cycling shorts, two wide compression belts to pull your waist area in, an ‘ab-board’ to keep your tummy flat and compressed as well as compression stockings. Wearing these items after your BBL surgery is hugely important to achieve the best possible results.
How will I feel after my BBL surgery?
Most people say that they don’t feel too bad on Day 1 post-op, or at least not as bad as they were expecting. However, you will still have a lot of drugs and painkillers in your system at this stage, so as the day goes on and the evening draws in you may start to feel some discomfort.
It is important that you don’t wait for the pain to escalate before taking your prescribed painkillers. Keeping ahead of the pain is a better way to manage it, to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Quite often you will experience a lot of swelling in your face in the first few days. You may feel shocked at your appearance, but we can assure you this will pass. The combination of overall swelling in the body and the fact that you have to lie on your tummy means that fluid can gather in the face. Since you are not spending much time upright, there is little opportunity for the fluid to drain away. Over a few days this swelling reduces as you become more mobile.
You may feel a little nauseous for a day or two, some people lose their appetite, but it’s important to try and eat a little food and keep drinking water.
Your first few days in recovery
Along with the points already mentioned and depending on your surgery you will feel quite sore and you may have a lot of bruising, mainly from the actions of the liposuction. Getting comfortable and having to lie on your tummy can be tough, and many people struggle to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time.
Generally, you will go to the toilet standing up. Here at Townhouse Retreats we provide a useful little gadget called the ‘SheWee’. This is a device which allows you not to have to sit on a toilet to pee. You will have a hole cut in your compression pants, to avoid the difficulty of taking them on and off each time you want to go to the toilet.
Constipation and not being able to go to the toilet for a few days is another very common side effect that occurs after BBL surgery. There are different drugs we recommend, to help ease that discomfort and help nature take its course to allow you to feel more comfortable.
I find my guests are very thankful that they are not in a hotel room or an apartment on their own during their recovery. Having to cook or prepare food or washing for yourself for those first few days can be challenging. If you are a person who oozes a lot during the first few days, having to keep changing your bed can be difficult, embarrassing and exhausting. We provide pads for the beds and cover those with a sheet, so that if you do ooze, it’s just a case of changing the sheet and pads rather than changing the whole bed.
People are shocked at how difficult it is to do anything for yourself. Even putting a pair of pants on is almost impossible without some help. You can’t bend down to pick anything up from the floor, so we have long arm grabbers to help with this.
Many of our guests find using our nurse service for those first few days is a great comfort. We have a fully qualified nurse who specialises in post-surgery recovery care and can help you get dressed, washed, cleaned up, check and change your dressings, check everything is healing, give you your injection, help with pain management and talk through any concerns you may have. Getting up, showered and dressed makes a whole difference for how you feel for the rest of the day, so it’s an important thing to consider when you’re thinking about your aftercare.
Some people can get a little emotional in those early days. This is totally understandable as you are far from home, recovering from surgery and you may feel some anxiety about what you have done and what the results will look like once everything has settled down. All of these emotions are perfectly normal, and we do our best to support you through these feelings.
Will I be able to sit after BBL surgery?
Theoretically, if you use a BBL cushion or pillow you can sit almost immediately. The reality in many cases is that you won’t want to sit, because you are too sore or nervous to put pressure on this delicate area. It’s not that you cannot sit, its more that you prefer not to. For this reason, we also provide frames to help you support yourself, so you don’t need to try and sit down until you feel more ready.
For practical reasons, we feel it's important to mention that car journeys are going to be a whole new experience during the first weeks of post-surgery recovery. Expect that when travelling between your accommodation and clinic you will need to lie on your tummy across the back seats of the car. This may may seem bizarre but we can assure you it's very common practice for those post BBL surgery.
You need to keep in mind that its essential for you to be sitting to embark on your journey home. Since many of our guests are travelling from overseas, its more than likely that you will be sitting for a few hours at least. We will work with you through your recovery to prepare you for trip home.
Can I walk after my BBL surgery?
You will be able to walk straight away after your surgery, albeit slowly and tentatively. We do advise that guests staying with us get up once an hour for a 5-minute walk. For the first few days this is as much as most people can manage, as it can tire you out. You will become more mobile after a few days, but with some stiffness and soreness.
Typically, those having had the fat transfer surgery will be comfortable enough to take themselves on a 10-15-minute walk to stretch their legs and get some fresh air after 5 or 6 days.
In the case of the Supercharged BBL, we find that it’s more convenient for our guests to go for walk outside once they have had their drains removed.
When can I fly after BBL surgery?
Your clinic will recommend for you to remain in the area for 7 days post-surgery in the case of fat transfer, and closer to 14 days for implant surgery. People have flown earlier than this, but they will need to sign a disclaimer to discharge themselves. This is so the clinic are able to follow up with you and check your progress in your most critical period of recovery. After this time, assuming they are happy with your healing, you will be able to fly home.
The key point as mentioned previously, is that you need to be able to sit during this time. For this reason, especially in the case of long-haul flights, many of our guests chose to book Business or First Class flights so that they are able to lie down and adjust their positions.
You will need a BBL cushion or pillow to sit on and will be obliged to be seated for take-off and landing. You can ask your clinic for a doctor’s letter to explain that during the flight you should be permitted to move around the aircraft due to your recent surgery and not sit for extended periods of time.
We also recommend that you book Special Assistance with the airport if you are travelling alone, to help with you with your transition through the airport and onto the plane.
How long does it take to recover after BBL surgery?
This really depends on which of the surgeries you have had. At Townhouse Retreats, we advise our guests that Day 1 will not be too bad. After Day 1, you may feel a little worse before you start to feel better. Day 2 and 3 can be quite uncomfortable especially if you have had implant surgery. From days 4 and 5, you won’t have fully recovered but you will really start to turn a corner and can expect to feel a little more like yourself. After that you recover in leaps and bounds and the improvements are quite significant.
With a fat transfer BBL by Day 7 you will most likely be ready to go home as there is not as much discomfort as with the Supercharge BBL. The implant surgery is a more significant procedure, with a longer recovery time, which is why your clinic may recommend you remain available for follow up appointments for up to 14 days.
For Supercharge BBL patients, drains will be removed after approximately 7 days. Once this happens you feel so much more comfortable. The removal of drains can be a little uncomfortable but should not be painful. It’s a massive step change in your recovery process and most people do feel a whole lot better at this point.
When will I start to see the results of my BBL surgery?
You may feel anxious in the first few days about the results. You may feel ‘too big’ and question what you have done. You really need stay patient and calm during the first few weeks as there is a lot of swelling that needs to reduce. It is usual for a surgeon to ‘overfill’ slightly with fat, as it is normal for some of this fat grafting to disappear in the early weeks.
Once the swelling has gone and some of the fat has absorbed, that is when the final results will start to be seen. This can be up to 3-6 months after your surgery.
What is usually noticeable quite quickly are the result of the liposuction. You will soon see and enjoy your new smaller waist and flatter stomach.
Around 7 days post-surgery, and once the drains have been removed in the case of Supercharge BBL, you will be given a full compression body suit or ‘faja’ to replace the compression garments you have been wearing. This is when you will really start to see the results of your surgery.
We recommend that you remain patient and try not to panic during this time.
How can I recover more quickly after BBL surgery?
Quite often people lose their appetite for the first couple of days post-surgery, but it’s really important that you do eat. Since you are taking a lot of medication during your days of recovery, you need food in your system so that you don’t feel nauseous. Secondly you need to maintain your weight after having fat transfer, as the fat cells that have been harvested need to stay healthy and alive. Lastly, to keep up your energy levels and give your body the best chance of healing, it’s essential to maintain a good standard of nutrition, vitamins and minerals.
Usually your clinic will include 2 drainage massages as part of your aftercare, but many people find there is great benefit in having additional lymphatic massages while they are here at the recovery house. Lymphatic drainage massage moves the fluid more quickly, to aid the healing process. We have 2 highly qualified massage therapists that will come to the house for as many days as you wish.
By staying at a recovery house all you have to think about is resting and recovering. You may have spent months researching your surgeon, to find the very best for your chosen procedure, but it’s of equal important to research the best location for your after surgery care. Some people can under estimate how they are going to feel post-surgery, and how much help they will actually need. Research has shown that those early days and weeks of recovery and how you look after yourself are as important as the quality of the surgery itself.
There will be a range of drugs that you will be given post-surgery. These may consist of 1 or 2 different types of antibiotics, iron tablets, ibuprofen as a painkiller and also a drug which is a morphine based drug to take at night, in case the pain does get too uncomfortable. You will also be given a small injection, which has to be administered for 5-7 days post-surgery as a blood thinner, as you are very stationary for those first few days. The injection is very easy to administer yourself, but also if you choose to have a nurse come for the first few morning’s she can give you the injection or indeed show you how to do it.
Sleeping and Sitting
You will be advised by your clinic that you need to lie on your tummy for around 6 weeks post-surgery. A lot of people find that lying on your tummy is the hardest part of the recovery as it’s not a natural way to lie for long periods of time. We recommend to bring an emollient cream with you, like Vaseline or E45 to relieve your elbows from sores from supporting you on your tummy.
It’s not uncommon for people to struggle to sleep. Lower back pain and neck pain are common because of this unnatural position, but we have lots of little things we can do to help relieve that. From the way you lie, to supports under your hips and ankles and having regular massages also help to relieve these symptoms.
For a few weeks after surgery, you will have to sit on a BBL cushion or BBL pillow as it is also called. You shouldn’t be sitting directly onto your buttock area when you are in the first weeks of post-surgery recovery. There are various BBL cushions on the market, some are more comfortable than others, we can advise you on your choices surrounding this.
No surgery is easy, but most people feel positive and happy by the time they are ready to travel home. Indeed, many come back for more! Rest-assured that while there are some hurdles and anxieties to get through in those early days, it is usually worthwhile in the end. The team at Townhouse Retreats are dedicated to providing you with the physical and emotional support you need, during your recovery from surgery.
Everything we do is to ensure that your recovery journey is the best it can be for you. Whether it’s aftercare nursing, healthy food, a clean and luxurious environment, practical help, or just a friendly ear to talk to, it’s all about you and your recovery before you travel home.
Why not speak to us and find out how we can assist you with your post-surgery aftercare and accommodation.