I just love how much $$ is spent on such medical break throughs such as this.... Tush too tiny? Implants are the answer, no ifs, ands or . . . By Beth Cooney The Stamford Advocate A little botox for frown lines? A nip and tuck around the eyes? Some silicon implants for the breasts? How about some surgically inserted padding for that flat posterior? The latest weapon in the plastic surgeon's arsenal against our perceived imperfections is the butt implant. That's right. A little extra gluteus maximus for those who think their tuchis is a bit on the minimus side. New York City plastic surgeon Dr. David Ostad says he's doing a booming business in derriere enhancement. He reports he's done 80 procedures this year, and scores more in the six years since he began offering them. Ostad trained for the procedure in Brazil, the cosmetic surgery capital of the world. So much for the waif look. What Pamela Anderson did to mainstream breast augmentation, Jennifer Lopez has done, albeit naturally, to out the buttocks. Ostad attributes growing consumer interest in the $6,000 to $8,000 procedure to two cultural phenomena: The popularity of low-rise jeans and the omnipresent J.Lo. He describes his typical client as a relatively fit Caucasian female frustrated with flat buttocks that are "virtually nonexistent." Ostad also reports a growing business with male patients, 35 so far this year, all of whom have identified themselves as gay. "A lot of people have just inherited a body type that makes them prone to having a flat butt," he says. "For someone who is the least bit body-conscious and works hard at looking good, it can be frustrating." He also notes there can be cultural reasons why people opt for the surgery. "In some cultures that value a prominent backside, not having one can make you feel strange and self-conscious," Ostad says. The equally prominent backsides of Latina songstress Shakira and pop sensation Britney Spears have also done their role in making a round, sculpted butt the fashionable body part of the moment. While this desire for bigger, more prominent buttocks may baffle the scores of Americans who spend hours in the gym trying to reduce their hip-hugging fat stores, plastic surgeons and even some fitness experts speak of this new breed of implant patients with surprising empathy. "I know it sounds kind of strange, especially if you have the opposite problem and are trying to lose your butt," admits California-based fitness expert Tamilee Webb, famous for her "Buns of Steel" videos. "But I understand on some level why someone would want to do this. If you have one of those really flat butts there's only so much exercise can do for you." Tanya, a New York City entertainer who went to Ostad for implants three months ago, says she spent years in the gym trying to build her buttocks. "Nothing worked," says Tanya, who requested that her last name not be used. After her implants, she says, "I couldn't be happier with the results." While Webb says you can improve the appearance of the buttocks through lots of squats, lunges and leg presses, there's a limit to what you can do to alter the backside nature gave you. "Genetics plays a big part in our basic shape, and some people are never going to have a butt that sticks out the way they want it to." Still, before he goes the implant route, Ostad and other plastic surgeons note there are less dramatic alternatives for looking good in your $100 Diesel jeans. They begin with exercises designed to improve the tone and appearance of the gluteus muscles. Webb recommends exercises done at a 90-degree angle, the angle of a speed skater. "They have some of the most prominent backsides in sports. It's that kind of movement that can really build up the buttocks muscles," she says. And Ostad says a good trainer is probably in order before you book a date with him. "I'm conservative and I always recommend that first," he says. "But frankly, some people don't want to try the lunges and wait it out." One less drastic surgical alternative popular with patients of Greenwich, Conn., plastic surgeon Dr. Ian Rubins is liposuction or liposculpture. By removing fat stores from the waist, below the buttocks, or both, you can sometimes create the illusion of a more prominent and curvaceous backside. "It's less invasive and the recovery is easier," says Rubins, who does not do buttocks implants, primarily because his patients haven't demanded them. Liposculpture, he notes, is also less expensive, with a surgeon's fee in the area of $1,500 to $2,000. (Operating room and anesthesia expenses are extra). Ostad often recommends his clients consider fat transfer, also known as fat implantation surgery, which involves transferring fat from one part of the body (on women, usually the thighs) to another. The fat is harvested and injected into the desired area through two tiny incisions.