What is Sculptra?
Sculptra is a synthetic injectable material known as poly-L-lactic acid. Sculptra is a biocompatible, biodegradable material that has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other type of implants.
Known as the liquid facelift, Sculptra™ received FDA approval in 2004 “to restore and/or correct the signs of facial fat loss….” It was first approved in Europe to fill creases and wrinkles, and has been safely used in more than 150,000 patients in 30 countries.
Sculptra™ is a synthetic, biodegradable lactic acid polymer that restores lost volume in the face by increasing the thickness of the skin with new collagen production. The results are similar to autologous fat grafting, however Sculptra™ can be used in patients with very little fat where surgical fat harvesting is not possible. This compound has been used in dissolvable sutures for more than 40 years and does not require skin testing.
Who might benefit from Sculptra treatment?
Sculptra is intended for correction of moderate to severe facial fat loss which occurs with aging, atrophic scarring, and certain disease processes.
Are skin tests needed before treatment with Sculptra?
No skin testing is required prior to use.
How does Sculptra work?
Sculptra is injected below the surface of the skin in the area of fat loss and gradually stimulates an increase in skin thickness. Visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions.
Prior to injection, the areas to be treated are numbed with a topical aesthetic cream. Volume is restored gradually over a few weeks as the body forms new collagen. More than one treatment session is usually required to achieve the desired results. Side effects include short-term bruising, redness, mild soreness and slight swelling. Unlike some absorbable fillers that may last only a few months, Sculptra’s effects last for two years and longer with touch ups. Dr. Waibel is one of the premier US experts in the use of Sculptra™.
Are the results from Sculptra immediate?
No. At your first treatment visit it may appear that Sculptra worked immediately. That is because of swelling from the injections and the sterile water used to dilute the Sculptra. In a few days, when the swelling goes down, you may look like you did before the treatment. Sculptra takes time to gradually correct the depressions in your skin. Dr. Waibel will observe your skin to determine whether additional Sculptra treatment is warranted.
How many treatments are required?
Your physician will determine the exact number of treatments required. Patients with severe facial fat loss often require 3 to 6 treatment sessions. Touch-up treatments may be required to maintain the desired effect.
How long do treatment results last?
Treatment effects will differ for each person. In a clinical study, favorable results were evident up to 2 years after a series of treatments in most patients.
What are the possible side effects of treatment with Sculptra?
The most common side effects include bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising, or swelling at the sites of injections. These side effects typically last 3 to 17 days. Rarely, delayed side effects with Sculptra include bumps under the skin in the treatment area. The bumps may not be visible, and may be noticed only when the skin is stretched. They tend to occur within six to twelve months after the first treatment. Occasionally, the bumps go away on their own. Visible bumps, sometimes with redness or skin color changes in the treated areas, also have been rarely reported.
What can I expect after treatment?
Immediately following a treatment session with Sculptra, redness, swelling, pain, and/or bruising can occur in the treatment area. These signs usually go away in a few hours to a few days. Some have been known to last up to 17 days. The application of ice packs and at-home massage may be prescribed by your physician. Most patients feel comfortable returning to their normal activities on the day following treatment.