Your guide to all things butt procedures from Dr. Simon Ourian, Hollywood’s favorite cosmetic doctor.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Chris Heads / Trunk Archive

Welcome to Do This, Not That, a new column where Dr. Simon Ourian, Hollywood cosmetic sculptor to Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, and Lady Gaga, weighs in on the best practices for key body parts by revealing exactly what cosmetic treatments and procedures to do, and what cosmetic procedures not to do. We’re working our way around the body (we kicked things off with lips), and butts are up next.
Considering any cosmetic procedure? Read this first.

Shop Around: Do your research on the doctor, the procedure, and the product. “Seek out a medical professional who is the best of the best (in their skills, techniques, and education) and uses the best of the best products,” says Dr. Ourian. “Go to at least two or three doctors for a consultation to see what results they will be able to deliver for you. Make sure that their aesthetic and your aesthetic are the same.”

Ask Questions: Dig for intel on the good, the bad, and the ugly. “Healthy skepticism is very good,” he says. Confirm that the professional performs the proposed procedure regularly—weekly or monthly. Verify that all products are FDA-approved. Ask about side effects: Is there something that could go wrong? If something goes wrong, who is responsible? Do they offer a complimentary touch-up policy to ensure satisfactory results?

Take Your Time: Don’t make rash decisions. “If you’re going to get something done, work towards a positive goal,” Dr. Ourian implores, rather than drawing away from a negative one. Make sure it’s because you want to do it and not because someone is pressuring you to do it, or because you’re having a low self-esteem day, which everyone has from time to time. “Do things when you’re comfortable, and you know what you’re getting done.”


Exercise, exercise, exercise.“The buttocks have two of the largest muscles in the body, the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus,” says Dr. Ourian. “The more you work them out, the larger and firmer they’re going to get.” The results give the butt a little lift and volume. “But it’s not enough to make it look voluptuous,” he adds.

Get a dry brush and apply body creams.“There are creams that people have used over the years, and some of them, believe it or not, do work,” Dr. Ourian notes. Using creams that contain caffeine or retinol and dry brushing can make the skin smoother and firmer looking, but they don’t do much for the buttock’s size or shape. Additionally, products with phytoestrogens may impact the buttock’s size by stimulating the fat cells in the area where the cream is applied; however, “it’s kind of a pseudoscience—there has not been enough research.”


If homework isn't enough.“Invariably everyone says they've tried exercises, and they tried to gain weight, but it doesn't go to their butt,” says Dr. Ourian, who goes on to explain that there are temporary options with no downtime and permanent options with anywhere from a few weeks to several months of recovery time depending on the procedure.

Size up on the shape. Ideals in butt shape tend to skew in accordance with generational and cultural tastes. JLo and Beyoncé are some of the most popular celebrity names dropped, alongside a plethora of pictures from Instagram. “Most importantly, it’s based on the person’s natural anatomy. My job is to tell them if they can have that kind of butt or not, and what the likelihood is of being able to have that kind of result. And we go from there.”

Illustration by Dr. Ourian

If you are looking for a temporary option that will get you back to work immediately after your appointment, fillers may be your best bet. “We use dermal fillers that are long-lasting, typically two to five years,” says Dr. Ourian. “We can add anywhere from one to two sizes to the shape of the butt.” Dr. Ourian uses FDA-approved fillers including Sculptra, Radiesse, and hyaluronic acid and gel-based products for the body area. He also combines these products with the patient's own stem cells, which, “activates a growth factor in the area to make it feel more natural and like the person’s own body.” If temporary doesn’t sound ideal, consider this, “it’s not like you have to decide once and you’re stuck with it.”

“If a patient wants something permanent, and they want to get a massive size increase, I recommend either a fat transfer or implants [more on that, below],” explains Dr. Ourian. In order to be a candidate for a fat transfer, a patient must have an extra fifteen to twenty pounds of fat to be removed from the stomach, hips, knees or inner thighs and injected into the buttocks. A fat transfer can be done without being put out under general anesthesia, but the recovery includes a few weeks of bruising and pain. “You won’t be able to go to work for the first week or so.”

Implants are a last resort. If you are not a candidate for a permanent fat transfer, or aren’t interested in temporary dermal fillers, implants are a surgical option. “You are put out completely, and on the table for six or seven hours,” warns Dr. Ourian. Two firm gels are placed underneath the muscle, inside of the body. “They’re similar to the implants used in a breast augmentation, but they’re firmer because you have to sit on them. And when the surgery is over, you have to be really careful with them for a nice three or four months.We have to make sure they’re not moving. It’s very involved. You have to be really committed to getting this done to make sure that you get really good results.” Also note that, like breast implants, these implants will need to be replaced every 10 years in most cases, if not sooner.


DO NOT get any injections or implants that are not FDA-approved, including silicone. In fact, do not get any silicone injected anywhere, ever. “I see smart and otherwise educated women who go to people who are not doctors and get their butts filled with silicone,” Dr. Ourian explains. “For the first year or two it appears to be harmless, but then everything goes south.”Possible side effects include infection, deformity, kidney failure, nerve damage, bleeding, scarring, and in the most extreme cases, even death.

DO NOT go to a doctor who does not specialize in buttocks enhancements. “There are a lot of steps that doctors have to follow to make sure that none of this stuff gets into the blood or the arteries.”

Name: Mia Adorante
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“We use dermal fillers that are long-lasting,” says Dr. Ourian. “We can add anywhere from one to two sizes to the shape of the butt.”

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