With the increase of noninvasive options available to treat
almost any area of your body you’d like to tweak, there are a lot more
solutions that don’t call for going under the knife, which can be a major deterrent
for getting cosmetic work done. Up until now, the only options for augmenting
your backside were butt implants or a Brazilian Butt Lift, both invasive
surgical procedures. Now, there’s a new butt lift gaining popularity and
it doesn’t involve surgery. Nicknamed the “Sculptra Butt Lift,” this newer technique involves using a long-lasting dermal filler off-label (meaning for a purpose other than what it’s FDA-approved for) to give your
backside a fuller, more lifted look without the risks or downtime associated
with more invasive procedures.
We talked to New York dermatologist Hooman Khorasani, MD,
who says he’s seen an increase in patients seeking a nonsurgical solution to
give their backsides a much-needed lift. Below he explains who is a good
candidate for a “Sculptra Butt Lift” and what goes into the fairly new
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NewBeauty: What is a “Sculptra
Dr. Khorasani: Sculptra, or poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA), is a dermal filler used for skin and soft tissue augmentation.
PLLA stimulates the body’s own collagen production and can be used for volume
restoration and skin rejuvenation. Most studies thus far have focused on its
use for fat loss in the face (currently the only FDA-approved indication for
Sculptra Aesthetic is in the face). In recent years, an off-label application for
use in the buttocks has been explored with good results.
NB: What does the procedure
Dr. Khorasani: First, topical lidocaine
is applied to the area to be injected. Once the skin is numbed (usually after
30 minutes), Sculptra is injected to the upper buttock with very small needles.
Depending on the desired level of augmentation, most patients require about
three treatments, six weeks apart. Although results can be noticed as early as
six weeks after the treatments, the optimal outcome is not noticed until about
six months after the procedure.
NB: Who is an ideal candidate for a “Sculptra Butt Lift?”
Dr. Khorasani: Ideal patients are between
25-45 years of age, near their ideal body weight and wish to improve volume
and texture of the buttocks.
NB: What are some of the reasons your patients come in requesting this
Dr. Khorasani: My patients desire a natural-looking
improvement in their buttocks with minimal side effects. Typically, they’re young,
athletic women (personal trainers, yoga instructors, etc.) who have lost fat in
the upper pole of their buttocks due to vigorous exercise and caloric
restrictions. They often feel that they have developed a more masculine
contour of the buttocks and wish to restore the feminine curves in a fast, noninvasive
manner with minimal downtime. Other patients complain of cellulite and stretch
marks and simply wish to improve the skin texture and irregularity.
NB: How long does recovery take? How long do results last?
Dr. Khorasani: There is minimal downtime—you
may have some bruise marks at the injection site that may last for 7-10 days,
but that is it. Other rare complications include the formation of small nodules
under the skin, which may have to be treated by a doctor for resolution.
Patients are encouraged to massage the area throughout the day for the first five
days after the procedure. Maximum results may last 18 months to two years after
the injections. However, a small degree of patients may see improvements
lasting much longer.
NB: What do you believe are
the benefits of a “Sculptra Butt Lift” versus a surgical procedure like a
Brazilian Butt Lift?
Dr. Khorasani: Patients who want a “Sculptra
Butt Lift” are those who don’t have time for the downtime. They often want to
avoid going under general anesthesia and don’t want the scars associated with
surgery. Also, some patients may not be good candidates for the fat transfer portion
of a surgical butt lift, as they may not have enough fat for the procedure.
There have also been some well-documented side effects with both
silicone butt implants and fat injections in the buttocks that influence a
patient’s decision. Due to the side effects associated with surgery and
prolonged downtime, this nonsurgical alternative is a great advantage over surgical
options. Sculptra Aesthetic is an injectable semipermanent filler that has a great
safety record when used in the face and I’m looking forward to more robust studies that evaluate its effectiveness on the buttocks, including a large-scale one my office is conducting.