PHOENIX - Celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian and Beyonce, are changing the image of a sexy body. Like these curvy stars, many women in the Valley are seeking a fuller derriere.
Some are turning to liposculpture and a Brazilian butt lift to get the desired look.
"JLO booty, Kim Kardashian... all those curves. It's what the girls want," Lisa Legarreta said.
Legaretta, a Valley mother of three, removed fat from her abs, back, and hips and injected it into her bottom.
"I hated shopping," she said. "My fat rolled over my jeans. My butt was flat and square. I wanted a butt that stuck out."
Legaretta works for a plastic surgeon as a medical assistant. After watching several patients and colleagues get their bodies contoured, she decided to undergo surgery herself.
Dr. Edgardo Zavala, with Ciao Bella Medical Spa and Vein Clinic in Chandler, removed Legaretta's fat and reshaped her new body.
"We harvest fat so (it) can survive," Dr. Zavala said. "We place it in areas where a patient might want an enhancement."
Dr. Zavala had pictures in his computer of several patients who had the procedure done. The fat can be used to reshape hips, breasts and almost any part of the body you can think of.
It's about proportion and not size, Dr. Zavala said.
During a liposuction procedure, small incisions are made in the patient and a rod vacuums fat from the body. Dr. Zavala says the patients are "in twilight" which means they are awake but sedated.
Liposuction comes with risks, including infection, blood clots and death. Despite that, it is one of the most common procedures in the country. Roughly 205,000 people had it done last year.
The business of giving the bottom a lift is seeing more volume itself. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports the number of butt lifts performed in 2011 went up nearly 40 percent from 2010.
Roughly 4,500 people had it done.
Dr. Zavala said butt lifts can boost confidence, but it's not meant for everyone.
"Let's say a patient is overweight and they want to look like a movie star," he said. "Unrealistic expectations."
Legaretta's butt now measures at 41" and her midsection at 28". She's satisfied with her results and doesn't plan to go any bigger, even though she still has fat stored.
"Even my husband says 'You are so happy now'," she said. "I love shopping. I can fit my jeans."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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