skinny bbl newport beach

Skinny BBL Overview

Butts come in all shapes and sizes, and so do our options for buttock enhancement. A Skinny BBL, also called a Mini BBL, involves liposuction and fat transfer on thinner or more athletic patients. The procedure follows the same steps as a traditional Brazilian butt lift, but the amount of fat harvested and transferred is smaller to accommodate the patient’s leaner frame.

Dr. Matthew Nykiel is a board-certified plastic surgeon and international authority on body contouring. His mastery in fat grafting techniques ensures that even with limited fat availability, you achieve aesthetically pleasing, beautifully balanced and natural results. Dr. Nykiel’s commitment to personalized results and patient safety makes him a go-to expert for Skinny BBL in Newport Beach and Upland, CA.

Curious to know if a Skinny BBL is the right fit for you? Book a consultation with Dr. Nykiel to discuss your options.

What Is a Skinny BBL?

A Skinny BBL is intended for individuals who have a lower body fat percentage but still desire the enhanced curves a Brazilian butt lift offers. While a traditional BBL requires a substantial amount of fat for grafting, the Skinny BBL is designed to work with what you’ve got, however limited that may be. We achieve this by using your existing fat more strategically, focusing on quality over quantity.

In general, when you see a person with a shapely derrière, they usually have curves because the underlying muscles in the area (the gluteus maximus or “glutes”) have volume from a targeted workout routine. However, the fitter the glute muscles are, the more likely the individual is to have more pronounced hip dips and a less round buttock shape. A skinny BBL focuses on smoothing out hip dips and rounding the overall buttock contours.

Why Choose a Skinny BBL?

The most significant advantage of a Skinny BBL is its suitability for patients with lower body fat percentages. If you are thin or athletic, a Skinny BBL works with your existing physique, making it a more holistic approach to body contouring. You do not have to wonder whether you need to gain weight just to qualify for a natural butt augmentation.

Another benefit is the precision involved. Dr. Nykiel employs meticulous techniques to harvest and inject even small volumes of fat, ensuring that each transfer is optimized for viability and longevity. This level of detail allows for a natural-looking enhancement that aligns seamlessly with your body’s proportions.

We understand that every body is different, and so are the goals that come with it. Whether you’re looking to add subtle volume or aiming for a more dramatic transformation, Dr. Nykiel will help you find a buttock enhancement procedure that meets your needs.

Am I a Candidate for a Skinny BBL in Newport Beach?

Ideal candidates for a Skinny BBL typically share the following characteristics:

  • A lower body fat percentage (BMI of 22 or less), with excellent muscle tone and fitness
  • Good overall health, including no underlying medical conditions that could complicate the surgery or recovery
  • Realistic expectations, meaning an understanding of both the benefits and the limitations of a Skinny BBL
  • Commitment to recovery, including a willingness to follow all postoperative instructions and attend all follow-up appointments

A Note From Dr. Nykiel

Evaluating your suitability for a BBL procedure is a nuanced process. These are four of the most critical factors we’ll discuss during your consultation:


What is your skin quality in the areas we will harvest fat from? If there is already a significant amount of loose or excess skin, removing fat could worsen the condition, necessitating future surgical intervention (for example, an abdominoplasty to remove extra skin from your stomach). While we do have skin-tightening technologies that can improve laxity, there are limitations.


What is your muscle tone like? Do you already maintain a consistent workout routine? Many patients bring pictures of athletic butts to their pre-op appointments. If you desire that look but don’t have the muscle tone to support it, that goal is not realistic. You must understand your starting point to understand where you can go from there.


Do you have excess fat available to harvest? How much? Does the amount of harvestable fat you have align with the volume increase you’re hoping to achieve? This is one of the main considerations when deciding whether you are a better candidate for a traditional BBL or a Skinny BBL.


This is the most critical factor. Do you have a slim physique and just want a bit of rounding? Or are you looking for a dramatic transformation with a lot of additional volume? Your goals significantly influence the approach we take and the achievable results.

What Are the Treatment Steps for a Skinny BBL?

The steps of a Skinny BBL are the same as a standard BBL, but we remove and transfer less fat during the process.

The first step in a Skinny BBL is to harvest the necessary fat through liposuction. Dr. Nykiel will identify one or more areas where excess fat is present and use one or more liposuction techniques to remove it.

Once the fat has been harvested, it undergoes a rigorous purification process. This involves filtering, cleaning and preparing the fat to ensure that only the best quality fat cells are used for the transfer. This step is crucial for achieving long-lasting results.

The final step is the actual fat transfer. Dr. Nykiel will inject the purified fat into specific areas of your buttocks to achieve your desired volume and shape. This is done with an artistic eye and surgical precision to ensure that the final result aligns with your goals.

What Types of Liposuction Does Dr. Nykiel Use During BBLs?

Dr. Nykiel employs a multifaceted approach to liposuction, utilizing advanced technologies to ensure optimal results and patient satisfaction. The following types of liposuction may be used during a BBL:

Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction involves injecting a solution of fluid containing epinephrine and lidocaine into the treatment area. This not only minimizes blood loss but also reduces postoperative pain. Tumescent liposuction has become the industry standard.

VASER® Liposuction

VASER liposuction uses ultrasound technology to release fat cells from their connective tissue. This makes the liposuction less traumatic, resulting in less blood loss, bruising and pain, while allowing Dr. Nykiel to focus more on the artistic aspect of body sculpting.

MicroAire® Liposuction

MicroAire liposuction, also known as PAL (power-assisted liposuction), uses powered vibrating suction to maximize the amount of fat removed while minimizing the time required for the procedure. The combination of VASER and MicroAire allows Dr. Nykiel to remove the most amount of fat.

What Anesthesia Is Used During a Skinny BBL?

Liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia (also known as asleep) or local anesthesia (also known as awake). For BBLs, Dr. Nykiel recommends general anesthesia due to the larger size and/or number of areas undergoing liposuction, as well as the injection portion of the fat transfer procedure. He has found that patients are more comfortable and have better results with this option. For these reasons, we do not perform “awake BBLs” at Butts By Design.

“5 stars don’t even begin to represent how incredible my experience with Butts By Design was. From the first appointment to the post-ops there is so much care with each individual patient. I felt so taken care of and welcome! Truly a 10/10 experience!!!!!”
— Joyce S.

What Goes Into the Recovery Process?

BBL recovery is longer and more involved than most cosmetic surgeries, and it’s important to be prepared. At Butts By Design, we divide the recovery process into six categories:

  1. Lymphatic Massage — started the day after surgery and continued for four weeks; helps to decrease scarring and contour irregularities
  2. Self-massage — started three to seven days post-op; performed twice a day for 10 minutes at a time
  3. Sitting and Laying Protocol — sitting and laying down are restricted during the first six weeks post-op to decrease the risk of fat reabsorption
  4. Activity Restrictions — upper body exercises can resume after one week; lower body exercises can resume after six weeks
  5. Compression — compression garments are worn for three months to limit swelling and help your body adjust to its new contours
  6. Time Off Work — plan to take at least one week off work, social activities and responsibilities at home after surgery

You will have scheduled follow-up appointments with Dr. Nykiel to monitor your healing process. These check-ins are crucial for assessing the success of the fat transfer and making any necessary adjustments to your recovery plan.

How Is Pain Managed During Skinny BBL Recovery?

We prioritize your comfort and well-being, and that includes managing postoperative pain effectively. Dr. Nykiel has developed a comprehensive pain management protocol that addresses the multifaceted nature of pain, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable recovery experience for our Skinny BBL patients.

Preoperative Measures

Our approach to pain management begins even before you enter the operating room. Administering pain medications in the preoperative phase has been shown to significantly enhance post-surgery pain control.

During Surgery

To further minimize discomfort, Dr. Nykiel uses specialized numbing agents that last for several days, allowing you to focus on your recovery rather than managing pain.

Postoperative Protocol

After the procedure, our pain management strategy targets various types of discomfort, from inflammation and nerve-signaled pain to muscular pain and general soreness. Depending on your specific needs, you may be prescribed a combination of the following medications:

  • Gabapentin (Neurontin) – For nerve-related pain
  • Diazepam (Valium) – For muscular discomfort
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex) – For inflammation and cellular signaling pain
  • Hydrocodone (Norco) – For general pain and discomfort
  • Tylenol – For cellular signaling pain

With this approach, the majority of our Skinny BBL patients describe their postoperative pain as minimal to mild, often likening it to the soreness experienced after an intense workout.

Where Are BBL Scars Located?

Incision placement is based on a variety of factors, including your age, the location of your excess fat, and features such as skin creases or tattoos that can conceal scars. Some of the most common locations for BBL scars are under the buttock fold, between the buttocks and at the top of the glute muscles. Liposuction scars will be placed wherever you have harvestable fat, often areas such as the low abdomen or bra band area.

Dr. Nykiel always attempts to minimize the impact of scars by placing incisions where they can be hidden by clothing or natural structures of the body. He also recommends scar massage and scar therapy treatments be included in your postoperative care routine and continued for one year after surgery.

What Are the Risks of Fat Transfer Procedures?

We are committed to ensuring our patients are well-informed about all aspects of plastic surgery, including the potential risks. Some of the risks associated with fat transfer procedures like Skinny BBLs include:

  • Infection
  • Asymmetry
  • Scarring
  • Fat embolism

The skill and experience of your surgeon play a significant role in both the outcome of your surgery and your safety. Dr. Nykiel brings extensive clinical experience and his role as an international trainer in body contouring together with state-of-the-art techniques and stringent safety protocols to minimize surgical risks.

A Note From Dr. Nykiel

Patient safety is one of my foremost priorities. The question of fat embolism with BBL procedures comes up frequently, as it is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication. Fortunately, the risk of this occurring is low with our modern technique.

When BBL procedures began, surgeons injected fat into the butt muscle. This approach provided more volume and helped with fat retention post-procedure. However, injecting into the muscle increases the risk of fat embolism — a complication in which a fat clot enters a vein and can travel to the heart or lungs.

Because of this, many surgeons, including myself, do not inject fat into the butt muscle. I inject into the superficial fat over the butt muscle, which significantly improves the safety profile of BBL procedures.

When Will I See the Final Results of My Skinny BBL?

You’ll notice immediate changes in the shape and volume of your buttocks after the procedure. However, some of this initial volume will be due to swelling and your body’s natural healing process. At roughly two weeks post-op, the swelling will decrease and the transferred fat cells will shrink in volume.

Approximately one year after surgery, you may experience “fluffing.” This is the point at which the transplanted fat cells are incorporated into the surrounding tissues and growing in size, which causes your buttocks to increase in volume, round out in shape and soften in appearance.

Are BBLs Permanent?

After your Skinny BBL procedure, the transferred fat cells go through a critical period of about six weeks. Some fat may be reabsorbed by your body during this time, but the fat cells that make it past this initial phase are there to stay. On average, you can expect 50-80% of the transferred fat to become a permanent part of your new figure.

The lasting impact of your Skinny BBL isn’t solely dependent on the fat transfer. While the fat cells themselves are permanent, their size can change. If you lose weight, the fat cells will shrink. Conversely, if you gain weight, those cells will expand and add more volume to your buttocks.

Factors like muscle tone and skin elasticity can also change the way your buttocks look over time, although they do not affect the transferred fat. To maximize the longevity of your results, focus on a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise targeting the gluteal muscles and diligent sun protection for your skin.

“I am so happy with my new hourglass figure and I highly recommend Dr Nykiel and his staff for any body contouring procedure! I felt completely at ease and comfortable throughout the entire process. I now am so confident in my own skin and can wear clothing I couldn’t for years. Dr. Nykiel truly understands the woman form and how to give killer curves!” — Sarah M.

Ready to Reshape Your Curves With a Skinny BBL?

Dr. Nykiel and the Butts By Design team are experts in BBL procedures and body contouring. Whether you prefer an in-person visit at one of our locations in Newport Beach or Upland, or a convenient virtual consultation, we’re here to help you bring your dream curves to life.

Don’t wait to become the best version of yourself. Call 949-416-0038 or schedule your consultation online to get started today!

Skinny BBL FAQ

How much fat is injected during a Skinny BBL?

The following cc (or mL) of fat are averages for BBL procedures:

  • Hip Dip Only BBL – 350cc per side (800cc total)
  • Skinny BBL – 700cc per side (1,400cc total)
  • Standard BBL – 900cc per side (1,800cc total)
  • Large Volume BBL – 1,200cc per side (2,400cc total)
  • Exaggerated BBL – 1,500cc per side (3,000cc total)

Where does the fat come from?

Liposuction can be performed almost anywhere on the body. Most commonly, the fat for a BBL comes from the abdomen, flanks (waist) and back. Removing fat from these areas while increasing volume in the buttocks helps create an hourglass figure.

Can a Skinny BBL lift the butt?

Surgical lifting procedures typically involve incisions that allow surgeons to lift and smooth the skin. A BBL adds volume underneath the skin, which can give the skin a more lifted and youthful appearance. This effect will be less significant with a Skinny BBL than a traditional BBL due to the lower volume of fat transferred.

Does a Skinny BBL tighten the skin?

Imagine a balloon that has lost air. Without a sufficient amount of air providing support, the surface of the balloon is softer and looser. Adding air will restore support and make the balloon surface smoother and firmer.

A BBL has a similar effect. Adding fat volume under the skin can give the skin a firmer, tighter appearance. This will be proportional to the amount of fat injected, so a Skinny BBL will have a smaller effect than a traditional BBL. Additional skin tightening can be achieved with a device like Renuvion or BodyTite, which can achieve about a 30% increase in skin contracture.

Will BBLs go out of style?

Aesthetic trends come and go. The 90s saw a preference for thin bodies with large breast implants. This look faded out of popularity in the early 2000s and was replaced by curvy figures with a focus on ample buttocks (often to the point of exaggeration). At Butts By Design, we aim to create a proportionate hourglass figure where the hips and butt are balanced with the body. Our BBL results are tasteful and timeless.

Will working out ruin my BBL?

The gluteus maximus muscle makes up the majority of the volume in the buttocks. Working out the muscle will make it larger and rounder, helping you to maintain (and maybe even enhance) your results. We strongly encourage exercising after your BBL!

Should I gain weight before a Skinny BBL?

Most people naturally fluctuate within a range of five to 10 pounds throughout their life. It can be beneficial to have your BBL at the higher end of your natural range, but we do not recommend intentionally gaining a significant amount of weight for the procedure. This is our stance for several reasons, ranging from the importance of exercise to the risk of disease that comes with increased weight. Weight gain is especially unnecessary with a Skinny BBL.

What affects the amount of fat that reabsorbs after a Skinny BBL?

There are two main factors involved in fat grafting survivability.

The first is the way the fat is processed. Only some of the liposuctioned fat is viable for transfer and some of the liposuction material may be fluid. Fat processing is crucial to isolate living fat cells from dead fat cells and fluid.

The second factor is how much you stay off your buttocks during the recovery process. Pressure on the buttocks post-transfer results in less fat staying and a flatter buttocks shape. We recommend staying off your buttocks as much as possible for at least six weeks after the procedure.

Should I combine a Skinny BBL with butt implants?

This approach is beneficial for some patients who desire a greater increase in volume than can be achieved with fat transfer alone. Even a small amount of fat transferred will help soften and disguise the edges of the implant, creating a natural-looking result. Additionally, the liposuction from the BBL improves the abdomen and waist, creating more of an hourglass curve.

Do you offer financing or payment plans for Skinny BBL?

We believe that achieving your dream body should be within reach. That’s why we offer multiple financing options to make our procedures more accessible. For more details on financing your Skinny BBL at Butts By Design, you may review the options here or discuss it during your consultation.