sculptra-logoI feel that Sculptra® Aesthetic is an outstanding treatment to restore volume to the thinning face. As we age, there are fundamentally two things that happen: the soft tissue of the face descends, and we slowly lose facial volume. The decent of facial soft tissue can be addressed surgically (with a facelift) or non-surgically (with Ultherapy®). If a patient is going to the operating room, I often choose to perform fat transfer to restore facial volume. However, if the patient prefers not to go to the OR, Sculptra® Aesthetic can be a terrific non-surgical option.

Sculptra® Aesthetic (sometimes known as a Liquid Face Lift) is a longer-lasting anti-aging facial injectable used for loss of facial volume, particularly the “flatter” areas of the face such as the cheeks and the temple areas. By contrast, for the natural “grooves” of the face, such as the nasolabial folds, tear troughs, and marionette lines, I prefer to use a hyaluronic acid injectable such as Perlane®, Restylane®, or JUVÉDERM®. The main ingredient in Sculptra® Aesthetic is Poly-L-Lactic Acid. Poly-L-Lactic acid is a safe material in the alpha-hydroxy acid family that helps to restore and stimulate lost collagen with a series of treatments. Research studies reveal that 84.9% of patients were satisfied with their Sculptra® Aesthetic injections at 13 months and 80% were satisfied at 2 years.

For more information on Sculptra® Aesthetic, or to schedule a consultation with our experienced Facial Plastic Surgeon, Paul Leong, MD, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Leong is the consummate professional. I am a 63 year old male and had Ultherapy®, Botox®, and Sculptra® (as well as a few other fillers) and now look 10 years younger! I couldn’t be happier.
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The History of Sculptra® Aesthetic

Sculptra® Aesthetic has been used for years in dissolvable stitches, implants, and to treat patients with facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) due to the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The use of Sculptra® was first permitted in 1999 and has been utilized in more than 30 countries and in over 150,000 treatments. Sculptra® Aesthetic has been injected as a filler for many years. It is FDA approved and is considered safe and effective.

How does Sculptra® Aesthetic Work?

Sculptra® Aesthetic works by penetrating deep into the dermis, stimulating the growth of collagen. Sculptra® Aesthetic absorbs over a period of several months. During that time, it promotes the development of the patient’s own collagen and volumizes the face by restoring and rejuvenating sunken areas. Due to minor swelling and fullness after the initial injections, many people think that Sculptra® Aesthetic begins working within a few days, but the true results are typically seen after several months and will often last approximately 2-2.5 years. Many patients benefit from having one vial every 6 weeks for a total of four vials. However, some patients require somewhat more and others require less. Maintenance treatments are occasionally needed to sustain the results.

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As with everything in facial plastic surgery, each patient is unique. During your consultation, I will determine how many treatments of Sculptra® Aesthetic you will require.

Does Sculptra® have any side effects?

Possible side effects include, but are not limited to: swelling, infection, redness, tenderness, bruising, bleeding, and nodules. Applying ice packs after treatment helps to minimize redness and swelling, but this is rarely necessary. I use a microcannula to reduce the risk of bruising, lessen the recovery time, and minimize discomfort. The microcannula is a flexible, rounded-tip needle that has revolutionized the world of dermal fillers. There are only a handful of providers in Pittsburgh that inject Sculptra® Aesthetic with microcannulas. Using a microcannula improves the safety of the procedure and dramatically reduces the chance of bruising.

The issue of nodules or papules caused by the use of Sculptra® Aesthetic deserves special mention. I find that patients are sometimes nervous about the use of Sculptra® Aesthetic because they have heard of the possibility of nodules or papules, sometimes occurring many months after the treatment. Certainly, nodules or papules are a risk after the use of this product. However, the likelihood of this complication is very low. As mentioned above, Sculptra® Aesthetic builds volume by promoting the production of your own collagen. These nodules are simply your own collagen that has formed a little too much in one area. Fortunately, these nodules occur less than 1% of the time and typically resolve on their own without any intervention. Critical to reducing the chances of a nodule is the level of expertise of the injector. I believe that my extensive experience with this product, in addition to my use of microcannulas to inject Sculptra® Aesthetic, significantly reduces the chances of complications.

Instructions After Treatment

I will give you detailed instructions on Sculptra® Aesthetic post-care, which includes directions on gently massaging the treated area. It is important to stay out of the sun and avoid UV rays until swelling has subsided. Normal activities typically may be resumed after treatment.

Who is a good candidate for Sculptra® Aesthetic?

Many people find that as they age, they lose facial volume and collagen. The best candidate for Sculptra® Aesthetic is someone with facial hollowness, wrinkles, and folds and desires a long-lasting revolumization. I will have a one-on-one consultation with you to determine if Sculptra® Aesthetic is right for you.

Do Sculptra® Aesthetic injections hurt?

Any time you are injecting under the skin, there may be some discomfort; however, I have years of experience and use a specialized technique with microcannulas to minimize pain and reduce discomfort. In addition, a local anesthetic can be applied to numb the treatment area.

What is the cost of Sculptra® Aesthetic Injections in Pittsburgh?

The price of Sculptra® Aesthetic injections can fluctuate depending on the injector’s skill level as well as their geographic location. The cost of a dermal filler such as Sculptra® Aesthetic can generally range from $800 to $1200 per vial. Dr. Leong and his staff will perform a very detailed consultation to determine each patient’s particular needs and goals. After formulating these goals, Dr. Leong and his staff will guide you on a treatment plan and cost. Please contact our Patient Care Coordinator at 412-693-6475 if you have more questions.

Can I combine Sculptra® Aesthetic treatment with Fillers, BOTOX® and Ultherapy®?

Yes, you can combine Sculptra® Aesthetic injections with BOTOX® Cosmetic, other facial fillers (like Restylane®, JUVÉDERM®, or Radiesse®), or Ultherapy®. I often combine different surgical and non-surgical procedures for a treatment plan that is designed specifically for you.

Contact Sistine Plastic Surgery

If you would like more information on Sculptra® Aesthetic or other non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery. We will be happy to help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Leong.