Throughout 2024, plastic surgeons commented on a growing trend they had noted anecdotally, then confirmed when statistics were released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Buttock augmentation, specifically using a patient’s own fat to add volume, is gaining in popularity. The number of fat grafting procedures to add volume to the buttocks grew by 26 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the ASPS’ annual survey.
By the end of the year, the trend had taken on a new shape, as doctors began reporting a rise in a different injectable material used for butt lifts: Sculptra®. Dallas Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner is one medical professional who has used the dermal filler to fill in facial wrinkles and folds, smooth out crepey knee skin, and—yes—take patients’ buttocks up a level in terms of fullness and roundness.
While many dermal fillers are based on hyaluronic acid, a water-loving molecule found throughout the body—and abundantly in healthy, youthful-looking skin—Sculptra® is based on lactic acid. Specifically, it is a polymerized form of the molecule dubbed poly-L-lactic acid.
Rather than simply adding volume, Sculptra® also serves as a “collagen stimulator,” encouraging new growth of the powerful protein. The collagen itself adds volume, as well as structural support to keep tissues prominent instead of sagging.
The ultimate results appear gradually, and the typical patient will return for multiple treatment sessions spaced out over a series of months. Various doctors have reported that their patients required from five to 10—and sometimes even up to 15—vials of the injectable in order to get the results they were seeking.
Once the butt augmentation process is complete, the rounder results can last for years. Unlike other dermal fillers, Sculptra® cannot be dissolved early if the patient no longer wants to sport the new contours. It does, however, diminish over time.
Women and men who choose Sculptra®, or even their own fat harvested from elsewhere on the body where it is more plentiful, are making the choice to use injectable treatments instead of the surgical insertion of a silicone implant. But Sculptra®, in particular, may also be gaining appeal because it is minimally invasive from start to finish.
Implants obviously require incisions, but fat grafting does, too—even if the incisions are small. The fat to be processed and injected must first be collected, which involves liposuction from, say, the belly, where fat cells congregate. Both options are more involved than a simple injection-based treatment and require attention and care for the incision sites.
Consider also that some patients who want a more prodigious posterior may not have extra fat to spare on other parts of the body. A lack of fat cells to harvest means fat grafting is not an option. Also, fat transfer involves a post-procedure loss of volume, as some amount of the fat cells will not successfully survive replanting. They will arrive in the treatment area, but be processed and eliminated by the body, leading to a subsequent reduction. As a filler, Sculptra® is more consistent, so results can be the same cheek to cheek and session to session, as desired.
While Sculptra® has many uses in addition to butt augmentation, it is specifically approved to smooth out nasolabial folds between the nose and mouth, as well as similar facial wrinkles. While it is often used in other situations—as with buttock augmentation—these uses are considered “off label,” which is a term for applications that are typically established in the medical community, though not officially recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA approvals determine how a product or device can be marketed.
Patients considering a treatment that is considered off label should discuss it in detail with their doctor to determine his or her general experience with the product or device, as well as specific experience with the off-label application.
As long as celebrities continue to make generous backsides something that catches focus in photos and national headlines, it is likely that women around the country will consider what they can do to make their own buttocks have some extra volume. Anyone thinking about making a change to their backside should first consult with a licensed and experienced medical professional who can help by explaining the options and suggesting the most appropriate course of action.
Find out more about butt augmentation with Sculptra®. Dallas Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner’s office can be reached at (214) 373-7546, or visit dermofficedallas.com.
Khalid Irfan is a Fitness expert who enjoys spending time in gym. He also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand his horizons.