Hi realselfers! First a little background… I h...
Hi realselfers! First a little background… I have had two rounds of Brazilian Butt Lifts with the amazing Dr. Hughes. I am about 1.5 years post op since the last one, and while the shape he gave me was amazing considering how little fat I had to work with, after I lost the weight I’d gained before the surgery I was left wanting more. I feel proportional now, but I've always wanted to be bottom heavy and it's just not possible given how little fat I had & how much gets reabsorbed after a year or two.
The past year, I have been researching doctors performing the Sculptra Butt Lift as a means to give a boost to my hips and bum. This is a newer off-label use of Sculptra (a collagen stimulator primarily used in the face). In higher amounts, it can be applied to the butt for a semi-permanent augmentation that is considered subtle by most regards- but I think it might be more effective visually the thinner you are and the more you do / can afford (yes it is expensive).
About a year ago, I stopped by Dr. Berger’s office in Bev Hills for a consultation on the procedure. I liked him a lot, but felt that it still seemed a bit new and wanted to hear / see more reviews and experience reports before moving forward with treatment. Plus, it never hurts to wait and see just to make sure there are no serious complications. I came back a year later and decided to go through with it! And I am so happy I did.
This is where I will blog about experience / measurements / amounts of product / costs / results, which will likely include more treatments as I go along! I hope you find this helpful! I know I wished there was more info on this procedure.. so, here you go! I’ll try to answer questions as fast and detailed as I can.
To start the first treatment, I decided to go with 8 vials placed in hips. Before photos represent my starting point, measurements 28 waist / 39 hips (mostly in butt projection rather than hips). My height is 5' 8" and my weight is stable at 142lbs.
Day 2-3 recovery
Day 2 was 4th of July, and I felt fine to hang out with friends and party a little bit. Everyone was making comments, as my hips and butt were very noticeably bigger in the stretchy dress I wore (the pic doesn't do justice at all). I also wore a thong the whole day because I still felt like there was a lot of saline (which is what they dilute the sculptra with). I had asked Dr. Berger if there was any chance of the product moving around at all, and he said no, but I decided to play it on the safe side just in case the saline could move around and carry some of the Sculptra with it (though I doubt it).
I'm not sure if it was also because I was sleeping on my stomach the night before and didn't sleep very well, but I became extremely tired later in the night- very suddenly. It felt like my legs were heavy and I went to bed pretty abruptly. I had done some dancing later in the night, and I think with the swelling it probably didn't help. It definitely freaked me out a little bit, but I am prone to being a little anxious about things and now I'm sure that's all that it was. According to Dr. Berger, there is no risk of embolism or other veinous issues that are associated with fat transfer into the buttock given how superficially he injects (right between the muscle and subcutaneous fat vs. deep into the muscle)
Day 3 the bruising intensified slightly, but I am feeling a little less swollen overall. Good progress if you ask me, and still pow-booty :) I am still wearing a thong because I don't want a panty line cutting into the augmentation area (I am not sure if this is something I need to be worried about, but better safe than sorry imo)
My bf has been massaging me (doctors orders to massage 4x daily for 10 days) and he is so happy and so am I. He keeps giving me these half smiling looks and it is so obvious how turned on he is! But he is not pushing it and letting me recover first.. haha.... I know that this is just the beginning, and that in the next week I will probably see my size going down a little bit as swelling and saline subsides. However, the doctor said the look of the initial fill is achievable after a few treatments as a long term result so I am INCREDIBLY happy!
Dr. Berger was saying for my next treatment I would only have to do 4 vials, but I usually go full speed when I go into something- so for round two I think I will stick with 8 again at least- or maybe even up it to 10. Treatments are spaced at 3 weeks apart minimum (only 18 days away and already scheduled) Also he said most people do two or three. I will most likely opt for 3 because I am looking for a more dramatic effect (similar to how my BBL looked immediately after surgery). It seems like I am getting there, and this time actually getting that hip projection I've always wanted!
I hope you are liking the updates- I'll try to do a few more before the next treatment :)
Today is the first day that I have noticed the initial saline fill and swelling going down. Dang, I was hoping it would just stay ;) I had similar feels with BBL, that first week is so exciting because the swelling actually looks great. I might need to exercise even more patience with this Sculptra Butt Lift, but at least I don't have to worry about fat cells dying from sitting too long or anything of that nature.
It seems like there is no definitive answer on how much collagen (in cc) one should expect per vial of sculptra. This makes sense to me since it is a simulator and everyone is going to react differently. I do have high hopes, though, because my body was pretty reactive to dissolvable sutures in previous procedures (dissolvable sutures are made from the same material as sculptra, polylactic acid).
The best I have found mentioned is that 1/3 the initial swelling amount can be appreciated with one treatment (also depending on dilution). I guess I can hope that after 3 treatments of 8 vials and a few months time, I will have a lasting result equal to the initial swelling seen on Day 1-3.... which would be amazing!
I included some pics taken just a minute ago. the bruising is progressing to deep purples and faded yellows. It looks like the bruising will be gone in a few days! Also no pain or discomfort to report :) My measurements have remained the same because the material was placed higher up on my butt and hips, instead of the widest point near the saddlebag area. I think with the next treatment I will see if he can inject a little lower than before- hip width is at the top of my list, and I think if you're going for a true heart shape it should be situated as low as possible without making the butt look saggy.
The initial swelling is still kind of there- my butt still feels heavier when I walk ;) However the bruising is nearly all gone, and I am counting down the days to treatment #2 and appreciating a lasting result. I still have zero discomfort and I am still doing the massages a couple of times a day. Life is good!
Shauntelle just called me out of the blue to check in on me and make sure everything is going well... She is awesome! It's a breath of fresh air with some of the staff vibes I've picked up on in other practices, and to me speaks super highly of their care for patients vs just trying to make a buck. So far it's been a wonderful experience, and I can't speak highly enough! So far so good on all fronts
After talking about money stuff, I think I will most likely be able to go for the 10 vials next time- which is very exciting to me! I'll keep you updated!
Today I think I've finally 'turned the corner' in terms of bruise healing. Yay!. I've always been a bit of a bruiser, so it wasn't really surprising to me that they were lasting a bit longer. I actually thought they were about to be healed, when a new bruise on my right side popped up 2 days ago- I think where my underwear's strap was one night while I was sleeping. It had me a lil worried for a day, but it's already diminishing a lot as of today.
I have no lumps, bumps, or irregularities to report. All of the injection sites have completely healed and my skin is smooth just the way it was before. I did have some pinprick scabs at a few of the sites but they fell off over the last few days. I have also been doing the light lymphatic style massage as directed.
Either I am still just swollen, or the Sculptra is already starting to work. The past couple of days I could have sworn the swelling was all gone, and today I am noticing a little bit of fullness returning. It could just be in my head, though :) Either way, I decided to make a comparison shot from before until just now. The fullness on my hips is undeniable. The second round will be very interesting.
Also as of last night, I'm starting to have a tingling sensation on my hips. It is halfway between a tickle and a bit of a warmth- it's as if I can feel my body doing something there. It's not uncomfortable at all, nor is it bothersome. I kind of like it, it gives me the sense that Sculptra is starting to work!
Shantel called me yesterday to check in. She is so nice!! I am all set for the second treatment, now just under two weeks away :) I am going to increase to 10 vials and see if Dr. Berger is okay with placing a few at the top of my upper thigh- just above the saddlebag area in addition to the area we already started on. I am very excited to see what happens after this next round because that is when everyone says the results truly start to become evident. I am hoping for no complications down the line, but it seems like the worst that could happen is an overcorrection- which would probably just make me happier and I would not consider it an overcorrection at all... lol. I'll take what I can get after two BBL's being kind of a calculated let down in the hip department.
This morning I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Berger and his staff again. I had him inject another 8 vials (same as the first round). This time I had him move the area of interest down about an inch and focus solely on the hips... or what a lot of docs would call the outer upper thighs near the saddlebag. Most docs seem reluctant to augment here because most women want to be less wide, so it's a relief to finally get what I want! There was about a 70% overlap of the area we treated compared to round one, which seems to make sense to me because you hear so often that sculptra builds over time so retreatment of the same area is the general idea. However I was thinking treating the same area as round one might give me more of an apple / round butt, and I am specifically going for a heart shape! Fuller at the bottom with a wider & lower hip flare.
Once again the procedure was painless, I had zero anxiety about it, and I was in and out in about an hour! This time I felt a little lumpy at first immediately following the injection, but after a massage and about an hour later it had totally smoothed out. I stopped by CVS to get some Arnicare gel on the way home- I am going to see if that helps prevent some of the bruising I had a la round 1. I am being a good girl with massaging!
Also attached are two photos: one from this morning before round 2 and immediately after. It should give you a good idea of how the injection site has been moved down slightly and how there is a marked difference in hip width!
Money permitting, I do already plan on doing a round 3. I asked Dr. Berger what the max number of rounds someone had done with him, he said he thought it was 6 rounds. I definitely cannot afford to do that with keeping them spaced at 3 weeks, but I really wanna see that result of the person who had 6 treatments.
The assistant told me at about 3 weeks after round 2 things should "balloon". I do hope he's right! I don't want to have to do 6 rounds to get a good result. This procedure ain't cheap to say the least, but at least there is zero downtime, zero pain, zero scar, natural feeling results, and you can pick and choose where you want to inject as you go. Honestly with pro's like that it really outweighs the cost for me. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have implants and be unhappy with the placement or have to get them removed down the line.
Since the injection was placed on the widest part of my hip this time, it actually made a difference to my measurements- which are now 28/40 waist/hip. An ideal 0.7 ratio. And, finally that measurement is somewhat accountable to my front/back profile which makes me so so happy! My shoulder to hip ratio is finally getting somewhere (if this is close to the result I see in the end).
I hope you like the update! More to come :)