Sculptra is one of the newest dermal and soft tissue fillers available in the U.S. In August 2004, Sculptra won FDA approval for the restoration of facial deficiencies due to facial fat loss (lipoatrophy). Sculptra is a synthetic and biodegradable substance (poly-L-lactic acid).
This compound has been used safely for decades as absorbable surgical sutures left under the skin in plastic and reconstructive surgery, face & neck surgery and general surgery.
Sculptra (well-known in Europe as NewFill) has been used extensively for purely cosmetic indications around the world. Dr. Fechner has extensive experience with various soft tissue fillers and he uses Sculptra for cosmetic indications as well as for a condition called lipoatrophy (disease related facial fat loss). Sculptra has proven effective in filling in deep furrows and creases such as the nasolabial creases. A youthful face features soft transitions and fullness. This is where Sculptra has been effective in volume enhancement of the cheeks, temples and for camouflaging other problem regions of the face.
Right in the office, Sculptra is injected carefully with a small needle below the surface of the skin in the area of volume deficiency and provides a gradual increase in soft tissue thickness. For maximal patient comfort, Dr. Fechner adds lidocaine (a local anesthetic) to the Sculptra suspension. Visible results appear after the first treatment sessions. The product will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness and facial volume in the treated areas. Because of the lack of allergic reactions, no skin testing is required prior to use of Sculptra.
Each Sculptra session takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Because of the time it takes for the volume enhancement to be complete, additional Sculptra treatments of your face are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. Sculptra is provided by the manufacturer as a powder that is prepared 24 hours before treatment for maximal solution.
You should expect some mild swelling in the facial regions treated with Sculptra. Commonly, this puffiness is mild and may resemble the enhancement you were looking to achieve in the first place. Therefore, most patients continue their usual lifestyle after a Sculptra session. After 24 to 48 hours, the soft puffiness will resolve. Although bruising is possible, this is rather rare and if it appears, it is usually short-lived and easy to camouflage.
Studies show that the effect of Sculptra lasts 1 ½ years or longer. In order to maintain the result, patients may seek a touch-up procedure after 1 ½ to 2 years. In mobile regions of the face (i.e., lips and forehead), Sculptra may not last quiet as long as in regions with less muscle movement such as the cheeks.
Sculptra has been shown to be effective in the correction of facial lipoatrophy in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. Dr. Fechner’s experience shows that Sculptra is well-tolerated and long lasting in these patients.