Augmentation gluteoplasty has been performed more frequently in the past decade, with over 21,000 procedures performed in the past year alone. The most popular methods for buttock augmentation involve silicone prostheses and autologous fat grafting. A comparison of complications of these two techniques does not exist in our literature.
The PubMed, MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases were searched through April of 2015 for studies that achieved buttock augmentation through the use of silicone implant placement or autologous lipoinjection. Complication outcomes of interest included wound dehiscence, infection, seroma, hematoma, asymmetry, and capsular contracture.
Forty-four articles met inclusion criteria. The most commonly reported complications in 2375 patients receiving silicone implants were wound dehiscence (9.6 percent), seroma (4.6 percent), infection (1.9 percent), and transient sciatic paresthesias (1.0 percent), with an overall complication rate of 21.6 percent (n = 512). The most commonly reported complications in 3567 patients receiving autologous fat injection were seroma (3.5 percent), undercorrection (2.2 percent), infection (2.0 percent), and pain or sciatalgia (1.7 percent), with an overall complication rate of 9.9 percent (n = 353). Patient satisfaction after surgery was assessed differently among studies and could not be compared quantitatively.
Although gluteal augmentation was once reported to have complication rates as high as 38.1 percent, a systematic review of the two most popular techniques demonstrated substantially lower overall complication rates. The overall complication rate with autologous fat grafting (9.9 percent) is lower than that with silicone buttock implants (21.6 percent). A standardized method of measuring patient satisfaction is necessary to fully understand outcomes of these increasingly popular procedures.