Recently, butt lifts have become a common request in clinics across the nation. This new beauty trend, which is encouraged by the current crop of celebrities (think Kim Kardashian), demands for a quick and painless treatment that promises long-lasting results.

As a non-surgical procedure, the Sculptra Butt Lift is a revolutionary alternative to fat grafts and implants. The injectable gel is safe, nonpyrogenic, and nonmutagenic to the human skin. Although the results are not as dramatic as the aforementioned 2 methods, this dermal filler increases volume of the area and creates an illusion of lifted and rounder buttocks.

This dermal filler may also be used to correct dimpled cellulite lines that appear on the under-buttocks due to age, movement, sun exposure, and genetics. Patients who are thin, athletic and have no adequate fat content for volume replacement can finally achieve their desired body with this treatment.

What is Sculptra?

Rather than inserting implants or transferring fat into the targeted area, Sculptra is injected into the deep dermis. Sculptra is a dermal filler that contains poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a synthetic filler that is biocompatible and acts as a stimulant for new collagen production.

This injectable is suitable for patients who wish to enhance the shape of their buttocks but do not have a great enough lipid layer for fat transfer. It is ideal for patients aged 25–45 years of age.

What is poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)?

PLLA is a biocompatible, nonimmunogenic and resorbable polymer that activates neocollagenesis. Small PLLA beads are deposited into the intracellular space of the deep dermis layer and are believed to undergo a slow degradation to stimulate collagen growth in the area. Although a distinct mechanism of action has not been determined for PLLA, various post-marketing studies have shown an increase in collagen volume even after using this injectable.

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The physician should take into account that there are different types of anatomy, skin conditions, and muscle mass that can affect the outcome of this procedure. A plastic surgeon or beautician with experience in buttock sculpting should analyze the condition of the patient and map out the most fitting shape for the body.

Each vial of Sculptra is reserved for a singly patient. Unlike hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers, PLLA must be injected at room temperature to avoid quick degradation. Reconstitute the lyophilized powder with sterile water for Injection and use the product within 72 hours. It is ideal to prepare the area of injection with topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine, to remove any painful or burning sensations during the procedure. Once the skin is numb, Sculptra is injected into the upper buttock using a sterile needle. For this procedure, insertion is done in multiple small injections using a tunneling technique into the deep dermis. The whole treatment should be done within 30 minutes.

When will I see the results?

It is recommended to have a total of 3 treatments scheduled with 4 to 6 weeks of separation. Each interlude allows the PLLA molecules to slowly degrade into the dermis and produce new collagen. The gradual method is also an attempt to avoid any risk of overcorrection while realizing the natural and meaningful increase in buttock size.

Another advantage of this treatment, in comparison to surgery, is that patients can return to their daily routine immediately after leaving the clinic. They can observe the results as early as 6 weeks after the treatment, with the optimal outcome becoming evident about 6 months after the procedure. Sculptra filler also boasts high endurance from biodegradation and can last for a maximum of 18 months to 2 years.

Are there any side effects?

There should be minimal rejection from the skin unless the patient has high hypersensitivity to Sculptra, PLLA, or other ingredients found in the solution. This treatment should also not be performed on individuals who had or have high risk factors for hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation.

Swelling, bruises, redness, tenderness, and itchiness may appear at the injection site after the treatment and should resolve after 7–10 days. Physicians should remind their patients to gently massage the area 5 times a day for 5 consecutive days, with each massage lasting for 5 minutes. Patients should avoid excessive sun exposure and UV sun lamps until any swelling and redness has disappeared.

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Is Sculptra Butt Lift Worth It?

If your patients are thin, have no adequate fat for grafting, are afraid of surgery, and wish to have a defined buttock shape, the Sculptra butt lift is the best choice of treatment. Its long-lasting outcome is cost-effective and requires no adjustments unless necessary. Not only that, its biocompatibility promises natural-looking results with low complications.