Every aesthetic physician and virtually every potential patient in the US has heard of the fabled “Brazilian Butt Lift.” It seems that Americans are obsessed with the perfect “booty,” and scrupulous and non-scrupulous providers both are coming forward to offer minimally invasive solutions. However, results have ranged from sub-optimal to life-threatening. That's where Emsculpt is emerging as a game changer, offering a non-invasive solution to firming, toning, and lifting the buttocks that is both safe and effective.

Why Emsculpt

Emsculpt is the first device that is able to activate muscle as well as target fat through the delivery of high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy. When targeting the buttocks, this should result in a more natural, aesthetically pleasing result with no significant safety concerns.

“You know that the surgical societies have been quite concerned in the last few years about patients dying from buttock injections. This comes from fat getting into the large veins and traveling up into the vena cava, into the lungs, and even into part of the internal organs,” says Brian Kinney, MD, who participated in the initial trials of Emsculpt. These safety concerns alone should give aesthetic physicians pause. Setting those concerns aside, the injection-based approach to buttock enhancement isn't intuitive, he argues. Calling to mind athletes like volleyball players and rowers, Dr. Kinney notes that it's solid musculature that truly forms the ideal posterior.

“What we've been doing is making the buttock bigger and rounder, but not necessarily more healthy or more physiologic,” Dr. Kinney argues. “The reason Emsculpt is so appealing to me in the buttock is that we are tightening and firming and toning the gluteus muscles and we think we're lifting them.” Additional studies are underway to confirm and quantify this lifting effect.

A Targeted Approach

Because treatment is calibrated to patient tolerance, Dr. Busso says, “It's very comfortable.” When it comes to buttocks treatments, “you see a unique lifting and tightening of the area. Of course, if someone has a more muscular butt, they will benefit more than one who doesn't.” Like Dr. Kinney, Dr. Busso emphasizes that muscles—the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus—“are responsible for the shape and fullness of the buttocks.”

Emsculpt can activate muscles in ways that the body simply cannot through exercise alone. “You cannot possibly perform so many squats,” Dr. Busso says. “Patients who are going to the gym, or athletes, who have acquired muscles to a certain degree, cannot go beyond that, because there's not enough hours in the day. This puts them into another level.”

When it comes to treating the buttocks, there is unique benefit to isolated muscle targeting with Emscuplt, Dr. Busso suggests. “Another benefit of treating the buttocks with this technology, as opposed to trying to create more muscle, is that you can isolate the muscle group that you're treating. Typically, if you do a lot of squats, your thighs will become bigger, too, and that might not be the desired result. You want just to isolate and reshape and tighten the buttocks, not the whole thigh.”

Balancing Act

Experts agree that achieving the ideal, lifted, natural-looking buttock requires not just a reduction of excess fat but also the toning of muscles. Emsculpt is uniquely positioned to deliver this a result. As Bruce Katz, MD summarizes, “A lot devices out there are used for fat melting, non-invasively, but with Emsculpt, not only do you get improvement in terms of fat reduction, but you get toning of the muscles. It's the first time we're using this type of energy source, and also the first time we're using any energy to tone and tighten muscles in addition to taking away fat.”

The effect of this treatment is unmistakable, Dr. Busso says. Patients feel and see the difference, even if it's difficult to track through photography or standard measurements. He is optimistic about the potential of the device. “We might not be able to do everything with every single type of butt, but it definitely adds a new dimension by being able to work on the muscle,” he says.

Body by BTL Patient Perspectives

“It really made a difference in my backside. It got more lifted and more ‘put in place'…I feel more confident. I just know that my butt is in the right place.”

—Kathrin, Mother and BTL Emsculpt Patient btlaesthetics.com