Sculptra, also known as the "liquid facelift," works by both filling in lines and wrinkles and by stimulating the body to produce new collagen and underlying tissue, thereby creating a fuller, more youthful appearance. Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid) has been safely used outside the United States since 1999 in over 150,000 patients under the trade name New-Fill.
Facial fat loss, or lipoatrophy, is the loss of fat beneath the skin, which can result in sunken cheeks, indentations, and hollow eyes. Sculptra is a safe, synthetic, and biocompatible material that is injected below the surface of the skin in the area of fat loss. It provides a gradual and significant increase in skin thickness, improving the appearance of folds and sunken areas. No skin testing is required.
Results are natural-looking and appear gradually over a few weeks time. While the results of other fillers such as Restylane and Cosmoplast last only a few months, Sculptra can last two years or more because it causes the body to stimulate its own collagen. Side effects of the procedure are minimal, other than short-term swelling and redness.
A recent clinical study showed that the treatment results last for up to 2 years or longer. Some minor touch-up treatments may be needed to maintain the desired effect. The most common side effects with any injection include bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising or swelling. These side effects generally last, on average, 3 to 17 days.
During the Sculptra procedure, the area being treated is numbed with topical numbing cream and given a series of injections in the desired area. The material used in Sculptra, poly-L-lactic acid, is a synthetic version of the substance that is naturally produced by muscles during exercise. This particular material has been utilized in plastic and reconstructive surgery for more than 20 years.
Sculptra achieves excellent results in treating all parts of the face including the areas around the eyes and lips, between the mouth and nose, cheeks and neck. It adds volume to the cheeks, to folds around the chin, and to hollow areas around the eyes.
Following your initial visit, it may appear that Sculptra worked immediately, because some swelling will occur from the injections. The swelling goes down and the water is absorbed by your body. Sculptra takes time to gradually correct the depression in your skin. Your health care provider will see you again in a few weeks to decide if you need more Sculptra injections.
Be clear with your physician about your medical history and your expectations. Sculptra should not be injected while you have an active skin infection or inflammation in the treatment area, or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the solution.