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When more volume is needed for hollow & flat areas of the face:
What is Sculptra?
San Francisco is a pioneering city for using Sculptra. It is made of a material with the scientific name PLLA (poly-L-lactic acid), which is a material from which absorbable sutures have been made (i.e. surgical dissolving stitches) for decades. PLLA has a long history of proven safety in the human body and eventually dissolves to the point that it is completely gone from the system.
Actually, it’s almost better to think of this particular filler as a collagen stimulatorinstead of a filler. This is because the Sculptra material doesn’t actually do much “filling”. Each treatment vial has only a small amount of powdered material in it, but what’s amazing is that this product does stimulate collagen growth and this produces a dramatic amount of facial volume.
Sculptra is really different from the other fillers, in a few ways:
Treatment of larger facial volume areas is better done with Sculptra. San Francisco patients with thin, sunken faces or hollow cheeks would have a hard time treating these areas with other fillers because of the quantity required.
Sculptra does not get its fill from the actual material in the vial. It is from your body’s response to the product in the form of collagen produced
Sculptra does not have the instant gratification that other fillers do, but it has incredible longevity. Other fillers have instant gratification, with correction on the actual day of treatment. With this product there is a gradual degree of improvement that is achieved through a few treatment sessions over a period of months. For many patients this is a benefit because the transformation is gradual and it’s difficult for friends & peers to notice. Typically near the end of treatment a patient will have their friends tell them that they look fantastic but the friend can’t tell what change the patient’s made.
Are there any issues or complications with Sculptra treatments?
Early in the experience with Sculptra there were some reports of nodules, meaning firm areas that can be felt beneath the skin or very rarely visible near the skin. Though nodules have been reported to occur, for whatever reason I have only felt two nodules in the hundreds of injections of Sculptra in San Francisco that I have done, and I have never had a nodule in any of my patients that is visible on the surface of the skin. I believe that nodules are highly unlikely as long as a safe and careful technique is used. This product is never used in the lips or more superficial areas around the eyes, and following this one simple rule prevents a tremendous number of potential issues with this overall safe product.
Are there areas that Sculptra does not treat?
Sculptra can’t be used in the lips or the thin lower eyelid areas, but most of the other regions of the face are just fine for Sculptra treatments.
So how do I know if Sculptra is the right filler for me?
Since this product is better for larger amounts of volume, the perfect patient for Sculptra treatments are patients who look a bit sunken or gaunt in the cheek areas. When a patient says that they look better at a higher weight because their face appears softer or rounder, then these patients are usually the best candidates for Sculptra. If you’re only looking for a small amount of fill, in the smile line areas for example, then probably one of the other fillers is a better option.