A shapely derrière is a focal feature of a well-proportioned body. With a nutritious diet and regular exercise, you can tone your gluteal muscles and maintain a healthy weight. However, genetics play a considerable role in the shape and size of the buttocks, and even with a healthy lifestyle, many patients remain unhappy with a backside that is flat, sagging or lacking shape.
The Brazilian butt lift has recently become one of plastic surgery’s most talked about procedures. Commonly known as a BBL, a Brazilian butt lift is a less invasive alternative to gluteal augmentation with implants. Now, with the introduction of the Sculptra BBL, patients have yet another option – a fully nonsurgical buttock augmentation procedure that can enhance your curves without anesthesia, incisions or downtime.
What Is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
A Brazilian butt lift is a fat grafting procedure that improves the size and shape of the buttocks without implants. A surgeon removes excess fat from the abdomen, hips, lower back or thighs with liposuction, then strategically injects the fat into the buttocks. A BBL reduces fat in common problem areas and achieves a fuller, rounder buttock contour in a single procedure. It can be a great option to enhance the buttocks, but not everyone is a candidate or wants to undergo surgery, and the complexity of the technique requires a surgeon to be extensively trained and experienced to yield a good result.
What Is Sculptra?
Sculptra is an FDA-approved injectable, although use in the Buttocks is considered “off-label”. Many popular dermal fillers are formulated with hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring molecule that plumps and hydrates the skin. Sculptra is different. Sculptra is formulated with poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a biodegradable compound that increases volume where it is injected by stimulating the skin’s natural collagen production mechanism. Results appear gradually over the course of multiple treatment sessions and can last up to two years. Sculptra is most commonly used to correct wrinkles and age-related volume loss in the face. In recent years, its efficacy as a nonsurgical option for buttocks enhancement has been explored with good results.
How Does a Sculptra BBL Work?
When Sculptra is injected, the PLLA microparticles are gradually absorbed by the body. They work deep within the dermis subcutaneous tissues to revitalize collagen production and fortify the skin’s inner structure. Over time, as new collagen builds up, it adds subtle, natural-looking fullness to the treatment area. Sculptra is eventually absorbed by the surrounding tissue and is completely gone one to two years after treatment. The new collagen remains and can continue producing a volumizing effect for years to come.
A Sculptra BBL uses Sculptra injections in the buttocks to provide lift, projection, firmness and smoothness without surgery or downtime. Sculptra can also be used to fine-tune specific aspects of a patient’s anatomy, such as filling out pronounced “hip dips” or perking up the top of the buttock cheeks.
What Are the Benefits of a Sculptra BBL?
Patients opt for gluteal augmentation with a Sculptra BBL for many reasons, including:
- It is nonsurgical and minimally invasive
- It is effective for all body types
- It is particularly good for slim patients with little body fat
- It uses FDA-approved materials
- Treatments are quick and performed in-office
- There is little to no downtime
- Results are natural looking and long lasting
How Does the Sculptra BBL Compare to Surgery?
A surgical BBL and a Sculptra BBL can both produce excellent results for the right patient. A surgical BBL can achieve more dramatic and more immediate transformation of the buttock profile. However, because it is a more invasive procedure than a Sculptra BBL, it is more painful, has a higher risk of complications and requires more recovery time. Results of a Sculptra BBL are more subtle and temporary, but the procedure requires no anesthesia or incisions and can be performed with minimal discomfort, side effects and downtime. One BBL technique is not necessarily better than the other, but there may be an approach that is better suited to your particular needs and goals.
What Is Involved in the Sculptra BBL Procedure?
Your Sculptra BBL will begin with a consultation. During this one-on-one meeting, your surgeon will discuss your treatment goals, conduct a physical examination and customize the number and placement of your Sculptra injections for your individual needs. Your surgeon will also apply a topical anesthetic and mark the injection sites to ensure precise treatment. When the anesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will inject the Sculptra using an ultra-fine needle, taking care to evenly distribute the product and minimize your discomfort as much as possible. Sculptra BBL treatment sessions can quickly be completed during a lunch break or between errands for your convenience.
What Results Can I Expect From a Sculptra BBL?
Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Results from a Sculptra BBL appear gradually and it can take 3-5 months for the procedure to deliver its full effects. As your results emerge, your backside will appear more shapely, lifted and proportionate with the rest of your body. Most patients enjoy the results of a Sculptra BBL for up to two years, though some have reported benefits that last much longer. Touch-up injections will most likely be required to prolong the effects of your treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With a Sculptra BBL?
Side effects are rare after a Sculptra BBL but may include swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness and or small lumps at the injection site. A Sculptra BBL does not require the use of a compression garment or special cushion, or involve restrictions on sitting and exercise as is the case with a surgical BBL. The best way to minimize side effects is to seek a skilled injection specialist with experience in administering Sculptra injections specifically.
Is a Sculptra BBL Safe?
PLLA is a biocompatible and biodegradable material that is commonly used in dissolvable stitches. Allergy testing is not required prior to treatment. Subjects in a clinical study reported no serious adverse effects from Sculptra injections. Sculptra is FDA-approved for use in the face, but in recent years has developed a successful track record when used for gluteal enhancement. Overall, a Sculptra BBL involves less risk than a surgical BBL or buttock implants.
Who Is a Candidate for a Sculptra BBL?
Almost anyone who desires a fuller, rounder backside without the downtime or risks of surgery is a candidate for gluteal enhancement with Sculptra. The Sculptra BBL is ideal for the patient who does not have sufficient excess fat to qualify for a surgical BBL. It is also a good option for the patient who desires a modest lift, contouring and volume increase rather than a dramatic change. Patients who want to minimize cellulite and improve the texture of the buttock area can also benefit from this procedure. In your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the degree of change and/or improvement you’re looking for to determine whether a Sculptra BBL is the most appropriate approach for your goals.
Sculptra BBL FAQ
How much does a Sculptra BBL cost?
The cost of the procedure is dependent on how many sessions are required to achieve your desired results and how much Sculptra is used during those sessions. An estimate of pricing will be provided during your initial consultation.
Is the procedure painful?
A Sculptra BBL is not a painful treatment for most patients. Though there may be some discomfort involved, topical anesthesia is used to maximize patient comfort to the greatest extent possible.
Is there any downtime after a Sculptra BBL?
You may experience some soreness and bruising after the procedure, but these typically do not affect a patient’s ability to return to daily activities. Aftercare and recovery are minimal. This is vastly different from a surgical BBL, which requires extended recovery time with restrictions on exercise and sitting.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatment sessions and the number of injections at each session varies depending on the degree of augmentation desired and the treatment plan determined by you and your injection specialist. On average, patients need three to four treatments spaced four to six weeks apart to achieve an optimal result.
Who is not a candidate for a Sculptra BBL?
A Sculptra BBL may not be the right procedure for you if you’re looking for a significant difference in the size or shape of your buttocks; it is better suited to subtle enhancements. You should not use Sculptra if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or have a history of keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring. The safety of Sculptra injections has not been established in patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years of age.
Curious to See What a Sculptra BBL Could Do For You?
Cosmetic injections are more popular than ever and utilized in more ways than they’ve ever been. If you’re looking for a more voluminous and shapely behind but don’t want the pain and downtime of surgery, a Sculptra BBL may be right for you. Learn more about Sculptra or another injectable treatment available at Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists by scheduling a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. James Marotta today.