Gluteal augmentation—whether with implants, fat, or other substances—is rarely in the news for anything good. For these reasons, San Diego-based plastic surgeon M. Mark Mofid, M.D., knows what he is up against when he discusses the anthropologic origins and safety profile of buttock augmentation. It’s an uphill battle, but Mofid is helping to alter the perception of his peers with some meticulous research and innovations that he pioneered.
Of course, there’s more to the Harvard and Johns Hopkins-trained surgeon’s aesthetic practice than just gluteal augmentation. However, his approach to perfecting this particular procedure helps illustrate his surgical skill and proclivity as well as his outside-the-box way of thinking.
Mofid is contemplative, conservative, and confident in his approach to buttock augmentation with implants. “I place only intramuscular implants, and I never overdo it even if patients try to push for larger implants,” he says. And push for them, they do. “Many patients believe that it will add to their fame and notoriety if they go larger.” In reality, this only increases the risk of complications, he says.
There is no line in the sand with Mofid. He won’t go bigger than 330 cc, and subfascial placement is out of the question. “Large implants have higher rates of palpability, incisional separation, and malposition,” he says. “Gravity will eventually move these implants to an inferior position where the implant hangs over the butt fold,” he says.
That’s not to say implants are the go-to procedure for anyone who seeks a bigger buttocks. Fat grafting is an easier surgery with a shorter recovery time, but there are limits to what you can do with fat alone.
When he first began performing buttock augmentation with implants around eight years ago, Mofid was frustrated with what the solid silicone implants could offer a deficient derriere. They were just too large for intramuscular placement. “For a number of years, I carved every one down before surgery, which was time-consuming,” Mofid says.
He then designed a Low Profile Round Gluteal Implant for Implantech that solves two of his most vexing problems. It provided a more tapered profile and shape to ease intramuscular positioning and an improved base width-to-volume ratio for a more proportional, natural-looking outcome. After performing countless procedures and revision butt augmentation surgeries, he has a keen eye for what does look authentic.
By his own accounts, Mofid learned his butt augmentation technique from a renowned plastic surgeon Raul Gonzalez, M.D., in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, who began performing the surgery in 1984 and has the largest case series in the world. Brazil is consistently a leader when it comes to body contouring surgery, and Gonzalez predicts that the buttock implant craze is just beginning its ascent in America. “The first step is to believe that buttocks implants, when well done, have an amazing low rate of complications and wonderful results,” says Gonzalez. “The demand for this procedure in America is not so big because the supply is tiny, but increase the supply of well-prepared surgeons and surely the market will grow as never imagined.”