What Is Sculptra?
Sculptra is composed of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) which is dissolved into sterile water for injection. It acts to stimulate collage synthesis to allow for skin thickening, improvement of folds and sunken areas, and it helps to mask fat loss in the face.
Candidates For Sculptra
Individuals who have lost volume in the face due to aging, weight loss, or other conditions, such as HIV Lipoatrophy may benefit from this product. Because it doesn’t provide immediate filling, it may not be ideal for the most severe situations, but is better for those looking for a gradual more subtle change, rather than the more rapid change in appearance of some of the other fillers.
How Is Sculptra Administered?
Sculptra is administered through a needle, and this is done under sterile conditions to avoid infection. The sculptra is reconstituted in sterile water along with lidocaine anesthetic, so the injections numb the treated area as they are performed. There is some burning associated with this, typical of local anesthetics. Areas treated include the cheeks and nasolabial folds as well as the temporal region. Several injection points are used, depending on the treatment areas, and afterwards the face is massaged five times a day for five minutes for five days. After the treatment, there may be some initial swelling, and as this subsides, the reactive process starts to stimulate collagen production.
How Many Sculptra Treatments Are Needed For Best Results?
Treatment with Sculptra doesn’t result an a rapid change in appearance. A series of three or four treatments several weeks apart can provide improvement that lasts up to two years.
What Other Procedures Compliment Sculptra?
Recovery After Sculptra
There may be some bruising and swelling associated with the treatment, though this is often less than what results from other products. Patients are advised to massage for five days, but during this time, there is little pain noted, and patients may conduct their normal activities.
Is Sculptra Painful?
The product is administered with local anesthetic mixed into it, so there is some burning associated with the injection, but no significant pain afterwards.
How is Sculptra Different from Other Dermal Fillers?
Sculptra provides the longest-lasting results because it is different from other fillers. Sculptra is categorized as a “synthetic” filler because of its poly-L-lactic acid microparticles.
Fillers such as Juvéderm and Restylane are categorized as “natural” fillers because they are made primarily of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that is responsible for plumping and hydrating the skin. When these fillers are injected beneath a wrinkle, the hyaluronic acid binds with nearby water molecules and instantly plumps the skin, erasing the wrinkle. This is a more ephemeral treatment, as these fillers do not encourage new collagen production. When the body eventually absorbs the hyaluronic acid in 9-12 months (the duration of most fillers), the wrinkle or crease will return.
Sculptra provides results for up to two years because the PLLA microparticles stimulate the body to produce new collagen in the areas of the injections. Once injected, the body begins to absorb the PLLA, and this triggers new collagen to be produced. These new collagen strands gradually restore facial volume naturally, and the wrinkles and folds are erased or dramatically lessened in appearance.
Unlike other fillers, Sculptra needs to be injected in three sessions over the course of three to four months.
What Are the Benefits of Sculptra?
Sculptra gives you natural looking results because it’s your body that is doing the filling of hollow areas and lines and creases. It is doing so by producing new amounts of collagen. This is different than simply injecting volume beneath a crease.
Sculptra also has the added benefit of endurance. Most other fillers last up to one year, often less. Our patients from Boston, Worcester, Newton, and the surrounding areas love that Sculptra provides results that last for two years!
What Areas Can Sculptra Be Used?
Sculptra is effective for the treating moderate to deeper lines. It is used for these typical lines and creases that develop around the mouth:
- Marionette lines (extending downward from the corners of your mouth)
- Parentheses lines (framing both sides of your mouth)
- Nasolabial folds (running from your nose down to the corners of your mouth, also called smile lines)
- Chin wrinkles
Will I Have Any Swelling After My Sculptra Injections?
There can be some swelling, as Dr. Silverman needs to inject Sculptra more deeply than other dermal fillers, down into the dermis layer of the skin. But the swelling isn’t pronounced and doesn’t last long.
Are My Results Immediate with Sculptra?
Sculptra isn’t like dermal fillers that instantly add volume. As noted above, Sculptra has some initial plumping due to the gel that is used the deliver the poly-L-lactic acid, but this is a short-term event that passes as the gel spreads under the skin. The PLLA stimulates the production of new collagen, and that’s where Sculptra does its work. This takes about two weeks to fully take effect.
How Long Does Sculptra Provide Results?
Sculptra is the longest-lasting dermal filler providing results that last up to two years.
What Are the Risks Associated with Sculptra?
The most common side effects with Sculptra are similar to those with any dermal filler:
- Slight Bleeding
- Formation of small lumps
These issues pass quickly. If you’re wondering about the poly-L-lactic acid that is the centerpiece of Sculptra, PLLA is a biocompatible, biodegradable substance that the body accepts. It has been used for over 20 years in surgical applications, including dissolvable sutures.
Read what our patients are saying!
" As a competitor and a judge in the sport, [Dr. Rick] brings a unique perspective to the surgical care of bodybuilders. "
Click here to read more reviews.