Sculptra is an injectable treatment that adds volume to the face. People think of it as a filler because it restores volume, but in fact it is a collagen stimulator. When the product is injected, it stimulates your own cells to make more collagen. Over time, several months, the collagen levels build up, restoring volume, and one starts to look very fresh but totally natural. Fillers are products such as Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane. These are made from hyaluronic acid and produce an immediate result. In contrast, the results from Sculptra develop over time and are the result of your own collagen levels building up. Dr. Pfeifer loves to use this product for patients who are in their mid-30s and slightly older to ward off the signs of aging and in older patients to correct signs of aging. Using Sculptra, Dr. Pfeifer can maintain and/or restore volume that has been slowly but surely decreasing.
This biodegradable product is highly-effective in treating a number of physical conditions that include laxity along the jaw line and the loss of facial volume along middle and lower sections of the face. Patients also seek out this form of treatment in order to remedy deficiencies in facial contours and depressions that appear along the cheeks. Additionally, surgeons are turning to this injection so that they can correct nasolabial folds for patients. The applications of this injection are rather extensive when it comes to dealing with skin volume and the loss of structural integrity. For example, patients with crepey, thin cheek skin often benefit from Sculptra. Dr. Pfeifer also uses it in the temple area to fill in this often neglected area. Loss of volume in the temples can lead to sagging of the outer part of the eyebrow as well as a hollowed out look around the eye.
Sculptra was specifically designed to treat the results of fat loss in the facial region. The body responds to Sculptra by breaking down the compound once it has been adsorbed by the facial tissue. During this process, the body begins to naturally produce collagen. This response continues for an extended period of time, leading to outstanding aesthetic results related to the fullness and richness of the facial structure. It is common for patients to see positive results that last for at least 18 months. Because the treatment is bio-compatible, it is also unnecessary for patients to undergo allergy tests prior to having the injections.
The results for patients generally become evident within 2-3 months of their first treatment. Most patients need 2-3 treatments, usually spaced 4 weeks apart. As the treatments continue, the results are expected to continually improve for periods that extend up to a full year.
The original research that led to the development of this product was related to treatments for lipoatrophy, a disease occurring in humans with an immunodeficiency virus. However, surgeons soon found the compound to be useful as an “off-label” treatment for use in cosmetic procedures as well. Following its clearance by the FDA in 2009, the product began to be marketed as a cosmetic treatment under the name “Sculptra Aesthetic.”
There are very few side effects associated with the treatment outside of the possibility of patients to develop granulomas. This occurrence is actually a risk that patients face with all facial fillers. They are often resolved through the body’s own healing process.