Qwo vs. Sculptra: What’s The Difference?

By Brian Arslanian, MD

The difference between Qwo and Sculptra is that one clears away troublesome signs of cellulite, and the other gives the buttocks a naturally smooth, rounded lift. The two provide confidence-boosting results as standalone procedures, but when performed in tandem by a board-certified plastic surgeon, Qwo and Sculptra can create the perfect, blemish-free silhouette for your backside. As one of Atlanta’s most sought-after plastic surgeons, Dr. Brian Arslanian has helped hundreds of patients achieve their desired physical aesthetic. 

Rear-End Dilemmas

An elegantly full, round backside is increasingly popular in today’s culture, fast becoming a prominent beauty standard. To achieve this voluptuous rear, many health gurus advise a proper diet and fitness regimen.

But, for many women, clean eating and exercise do not change the appearance and texture of their butt. This is because dieting and working out do not affect the two main problems our patients typically have with their backside: cellulite and its shape


Affecting 80-90% of women after puberty,[1] cellulite is a condition where fat under the skin creates noticeable divots in the texture and appearance of the area. Common areas where cellulite exists are around the buttocks, the thighs, and sometimes the abdomen. Though some men experience signs of cellulite, the condition predominantly affects the female sex and, because cellulite naturally worsens through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause,[2] researchers assume estrogen plays a vital role in the development of the condition. While cellulite is caused by the existence of fatty tissue in the area, diet and fitness levels have not been shown to diminish the appearance of cellulite. This is because cellulite is caused by the vertical orientation of a woman’s fibrous septa. Fibrous septa are the thick bands that keep the skin attached to the underlying muscle. In men, these bands are horizontal, allowing the subcutaneous layer of fatty tissue between the skin and muscle to rest undivided. However, in women, these bands are vertical and keep the subcutaneous fatty layer squeezed between the skin and muscle, creating uneven divots and pockmarks in the skin. Though many workouts, diets, and supplements advertise a cure for cellulite, all of them have come up short. That is until Qwo debuted on the cosmetic market. 

Less Than Desired Shape

While diet and exercise can tone and define the gluteal muscles, the shape of your butt is an inherited trait. Commonly, there are four shapes of rear ends: V-shaped, upside-down heart, round, and square. When researchers studied the ideal shape of buttocks, they formulated what is known as the hip-to-waist ratio. By measuring the difference between the circumference of a woman’s hip and her waist and analyzing different studies of what subjects deemed as “attractive,” they found that the ideal hip-to-waist ratio was 0.7 with an upside-down heart-shaped bum.[3] However, since the shape of one’s butt is heavily decided by their genes, diet and exercise alone cannot alter it. 

Science Behind Qwo & Sculptra

Understanding how these two simple injectables work is crucial when choosing which one is just right for you. 


When treating cellulite, the vertical fibrous bands need to be addressed to allow the subcutaneous fat to rest uninhibited. A simple Qwo injection does just that. Qwo is composed of a natural enzyme called collagenases clostridium histolyticum-aaes (CCH) that targets the fibrous septa bands and breaks them down. Once the tension in these bands is released, the subcutaneous fat cells spread out more evenly around the butt, causing the divots and pockmarks to disappear from the butt’s appearance. 


Sculptra harnesses the restorative power of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). When injected into the dermis, PLLA incites a gradual revamp in collagen growth for the next eight to twenty-four months.[4] This new flood of fresh collagen helps to build new skin tissue, adding volume to the targeted areas. With newly produced collagen, the inner structure and framework of the skin expand, creating a lifted appearance. As a biodegradable, natural chemical, PLLA gradually breaks down in our skin over time. 

Which One Is Right For Me?

Though one simple procedure can combine the two, Qwo and Sculptra may best be standalone procedures for some patients. The difference between the two is clear: Sculptra adds volume to the butt, while Qwo smooths out its appearance. For those just interested in a non-surgical lift to their behind, we recommend Dr. Arslanian’s Peach Pop Booty – a procedure that utilizes Sculptra injections to give the buttocks a rounded, lifted appearance. And for those patients content with the shape of their butt but who wish to diminish the sight of cellulite, we recommend scheduling a personal consultation with Dr. Arslanian to learn more about Qwo treatments. 

Personal Consultation

Dr. Brian Arslanian specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, and received rigorous surgical training at the nation’s top plastic surgery university hospitals. From there, Dr. Arslanian set out to help each one of his patients achieve their desired appearance. Now, Dr. Arslanian is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with hundreds of satisfied clients

Your Consultation

We will begin your private consultation with a new patient intake interview and a physical examination. Next, Dr. Arslanian will ask about your desired aesthetic for your butt. He will explain how Qwo and Sculptra work and examine your signs of cellulite. This will help him determine if Qwo would be a good fit for your personalized treatment plan and what areas around the buttocks he should treat. Next, he will look for areas he can treat with Sculptra. As he is very strategic with his Peach Pop Booty approach, Dr. Arslanian will carefully determine what areas – when lifted – will achieve the greatest results. Once he has created your treatment plan, he will explain each procedure and answer any questions you may have regarding these or any of our other services. 


Qwo and Sculptra’s procedures are fairly similar. First, we will have you comfortably lie down on your stomach. Next, we will sanitize the skin on your butt. Then, we will carefully inject either solution at strategic points around your backside. For those who experience more than normal discomfort with needles, we may offer a local anesthetic to dull any pain during this procedure. Once we have treated all the appropriate areas, you will be able to walk out of our offices and back into the current of your daily routine.

Qwo injections Atlanta

Recovery & Results

Recovery from Qwo and Sculptra is as easy and simple as their procedure. After Qwo, you may experience slight bruising in the treated areas, but this will subside over the next couple of days. For both of these procedures, you can expect to see real, noticeable changes. Patients report seeing a smoother, rounder, and fuller behind that adds contoured balance to their frame. 

A Surgical Alternative

For those who want to see more permanent results to their lifted behind, we recommend the ever-popular Brazilian butt lift (BBL). With a BBL, our patients see a natural, noticeable lift. During a BBL, Dr. Arslanian removes unwanted fat cells from different areas around your body through liposuction. Next, he purifies this tissue and relocates it to the patient’s behind.

By injecting the fat subcutaneously, Dr. Arslanian can sculpt and shape the butt to a rounder, more lifted appearance. If you would like to see how a BBL can improve your silhouette, please schedule a consultation at our Atlanta offices.


The cost of your Sculptra and Qwo treatment will depend on which procedure you have performed and how many injections are required to achieve your desired appearance. We will determine your exact price during your consultation. If you would like to learn more about our pricing, please visit our financing page or call our friendly front desk at (678) 894-9200.

What is Qwo?

Qwo is the first and only FDA-approved injection to fight cellulite in the buttocks. It uses an enzyme called collagenases clostridium histolyticum-aaes to break up the fibrous bands that cause the divots and pockmarks in the skin. 

What is Sculptra?

Made up of poly-L-lactic acid, Sculptra is a simple injection that triggers fresh collagen production in the treated areas. With new, healthier collagen fibers, patients who choose Sculptra can see more volume and smoothness in the treated areas.

Can you combine Qwo and Sculptra?

Yes! When combined, Qwo and Sculptra can add a lift to the buttocks while quelling any signs of cellulite.


  1. Luebberding, S., Krueger, N., & Sadick, N. S. (2015). Cellulite: an evidence-based review. American journal of clinical dermatology, 16(4), 243–256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40257-015-0129-5
  2. Tokarska, K., Tokarski, S., Woźniacka, A., Sysa-Jędrzejowska, A., & Bogaczewicz, J. (2018). Cellulite: a cosmetic or systemic issue? Contemporary views on the etiopathogenesis of cellulite. Postepy dermatologii i alergologii, 35(5), 442–446. https://doi.org/10.5114/ada.2018.77235
  3. Cuzalina, A., & Retana, A. (8 C.E., March). Creating the Ideal Buttock (Lifting, Implanting or Fat Grafting). Intech Open. https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/66046
  4. Bauer, U., & Graivier, M. H. (2011). Optimizing injectable poly-L-lactic acid administration for soft tissue augmentation: The rationale for three treatment sessions. The Canadian journal of plastic surgery = Journal canadien de chirurgie plastique, 19(3), e22–e27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269336/

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