Should You Try Vacuum Therapy?

Vacuum therapy is a noninvasive procedure that increases circulation to the buttocks, to "lift" your buttocks and make the skin appear smoother and firmer. This treatment can also break down fat tissue and cellulite, and remove toxins from your muscles. Vacuum therapy uses suction and mechanical massage to temporarily make your buttocks look firmer and more toned.

This article discusses vacuum therapy for the buttocks—how it works, possible benefits, potential side effects, what to expect during treatment, and where to find these services.

Woman's backside

FluxFactory / Getty Images

How Vacuum Therapy Works

Vacuum therapy uses suction to lift the skin over your buttocks. It then massages the tissues with mechanical rollers. A vacuum butt lift is significantly different than a Brazilian butt lift—a procedure that involves suctioning or removing fat out of one area of the body and injecting or transferring it into your butt cheeks. Vacuum therapy, on the other hand, is noninvasive.

Possible Benefits of Vacuum Therapy

Vacuum therapy was originally developed to treat scarring from burns, and it originated from cupping therapy—an ancient Chinese medicine treatment that uses heated cups to create suction on the skin to increase blood flow to a specific area of the body. During these treatments, it was also noticed that vacuum therapy reduced the appearance of cellulite.

Other suggested benefits of vacuum therapy include:

  • Firmer skin
  • Increased skin elasticity (less "sagging")
  • Decreased muscle tension and soreness
  • Improved blood circulation and removal of toxins
  • Larger, rounder-looking butt

Vacuum Therapy Side Effects

Because vacuum therapy is a noninvasive, or nonsurgical, procedure, there are minimal negative side effects. It does not typically cause pain, although you might have momentary discomfort when the suction is first started or turned off.

Your skin might also feel "tight" or "tingly," or look a little puffy immediately after treatment, but this is temporary. Vacuum therapy can also cause temporary redness in the affected area, but it doesn't usually cause bruising.

Vacuum Butt Lift Procedure

During a vacuum butt lift session, one large suction cup is placed on each butt cheek. The suction machine is then turned on and adjusted to a level that is comfortable for you. The suction cups are clear to allow your technician to see how your skin is responding to treatment.

Treatment times vary but generally last around 30–45 minutes. After your session, you'll be encouraged to drink a lot of water to help flush toxins out of your body. There's no required "downtime" after treatment, but if you experience discomfort, it might also be helpful to rest until the side effects have subsided and avoid exercise until the following day.

Initial treatments are performed one or two times per week, for a total of six to 10 sessions. After this point, monthly sessions are recommended to help maintain your results.

Where Is Vacuum Therapy Provided?

Vacuum therapy services can be found in spas or other wellness centers. It is also sometimes performed in a plastic surgeon's office. Vacuum therapy sessions vary in cost, generally ranging from $85–$150 per session.

When to Avoid Vacuum Therapy

Vacuum therapy might not be safe for everyone. Avoid this treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have active cancer, or if you take blood-thinning medications.

Managing Expectations

Vacuum therapy does not work for everyone. When it does, it produces temporary results—and they will not be as drastic as a surgical butt lift. Plan to invest in six to eight treatments to determine what your results will be. However, even with this investment, vacuum therapy is still significantly cheaper than surgical methods of butt enhancement.


Vacuum butt lift uses suction and mechanical massage to "lift" your buttocks and improve the overall appearance of your skin. Vacuum therapy is non-invasive, with minimal side effects. Treatment sessions typically last 30–45 minutes, once or twice a week. The best results usually require around six to 10 sessions. Monthly treatments are necessary to maintain results of a vacuum butt lift.

A Word From Verywell

Vacuum therapy is a relatively safe way to alter the look of your buttocks. This can also be achieved through less costly means, such as exercise or the use of shape wear under your clothing. However, if you're looking for long-term or permanent results, you might want to consider a surgical butt lift procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take for vacuum therapy to wear off?

    After your initial six to 10 sessions, vacuum therapy results can be maintained for several years with monthly sessions.

  • Do you need anesthesia during vacuum therapy?

    Vacuum therapy does not involve surgery, and no anesthesia is needed.

  • How does vacuum therapy feel?

    Vacuum therapy uses suction and mechanical massage. While this treatment is not painful, you might feel some stretching or "pulling" sensations during your session. Your provider can adjust the amount of suction to make you comfortable during treatment.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Moortgat P, Anthonissen M, Meirte J, Van Daele U, Maertens K. The physical and physiological effects of vacuum massage on the different skin layers: A current status of the literature. Burns Trauma. 2016;4:34. doi:10.1186%2Fs41038-016-0053-9

  2. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Brazilian butt lift.

By Aubrey Bailey, PT, DPT, CHT
Aubrey Bailey is a physical therapist and professor of anatomy and physiology with over a decade of experience providing in-person and online education for medical personnel and the general public, specializing in the areas of orthopedic injury, neurologic diseases, developmental disorders, and healthy living.