The evolution of the facial fillers has led to a highly effective product called Sculptra™. Sculptra™ is a bio stimulant and a volumizer. It replaces the natural volume fat loss that occurs in our face as we age. This volume loss is responsible for facial hollowness and signs of aging. A youthful face has fullness in the cheeks, around the eyes, in the lips and around the mouth. An otherwise youthful person may appear years older due to this volume loss.
Patients often feel their only way to dramatically change their aged and sagging face is with a face lift. In some cases, a surgical procedure IS necessary to improve lax and sagging facial skin. In other cases, volumizing the entire face can have dramatic and significant results. This is where the bio stimulant Sculptra™ comes into play. In a consultation with Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Doherty, patients are able to have their face evaluated and their interests discussed extensively before any surgical and/or non surgical plan is recommended.
An older face will show a loss of the fullness of the cheeks, the temples, the lips and the area around the mouth. These areas of hollowness may result in shadowing while a youthful, full face reflect light. By replacing lost volume, patients may reverse the creation of shadow and restore the reflection of light and the appearance of youth.
Sculptra™ provides volume replacement that fills the facial skin so that it appears fuller and lifted. This lift is created by the formation of one’s own collagen. Collagen is a building block substance in the layers of the skin. Sculptra™ is a unique product in that it helps improve the natural substrates of the skin. This improves collagen synthesis and fibroblast production. This improvement results in more youthful and vibrant facial skin in addition to volumization.
A facelift will surgically remove and improve excess skin. This is known to lessen the signs of facial aging. A modern facelift removes excess skin and also restores volume with fat injections. These procedures are done in the operating room with some post operative downtime. The introduction of Sculptra™ has allowed Dr. Doherty to provide significant facial volumization over time without having to go to the operating room. For some patients that are planning on having a facelift, Dr. Doherty recommends several injections of Sculptra™ BEFORE the surgical procedure to assist in the volumization process.
What makes up Sculptra™?
Sculptra™ is made of poly-L-lactic acid. This is a synthetic biodegradable polymer that is bio-combatable as well as resorbable. Poly-L-lactic acid has been used for many years in dissolvable sutures. It’s compatibility with the body is well known. Dr. Doherty feels very comfortable treating his patients with Sculptra™.
How does Sculptra™ work?
Sculptra™ is not a wrinkle filler or muscle relaxer. It is also not a permanent implant. It is a bio-activator that acts as a volumizer. It works by stimulating the body to produce new collagen. In this manner, Sculptra™ replaces lost volume and contours to restore a fuller, more youthful appearance.
Will the results from Sculptra™ be immediate?
Sculptra™ does not provide immediate results. There is a delay involved because the volume improvement is created by a patient’s own collagen. This collagen invigoration takes place over a period of several months. Patients typically receive more than one injection session to accomplish optimum volumization. An injection session is performed every 4-6 weeks.
At the initial consultation, Dr. Doherty will determine what the most effective injection plan will be. Patients often begin their volumization process with 3 or 4 Sculptra™ vials. Each vial is injected every 4 weeks.
Where can Sculptra™ be injected?
Sculptra™ can be used to restore volume to the temples, cheeks, and chin, as well as to define the jaw line. The facial deflation and volume loss leaves patients looking less full than they did when they were younger. It is not recommended for use in and around the lips or eyes. Lips are best volumized with Hyaluronic acid products such asJuvederm®Ultra XC, Juvederm®Ultra plus XC or Restylane™
How is Sculptra™ injected?
Each treatment consists of a few injections to the areas to be volumized. These typically include the temples, cheeks, chin and jaw line. Dr. Doherty places topical numbing cream to the skin prior to injection. This, in combination with the use of ice rollers, significantly decreases injection discomfort. Dr. Doherty prepares the Sculptra™ with an anesthetic as well.
What are the side effects of Sculptra™
As with all facial injections, there can be temporary swelling and bruising after any injection procedure. There is no significant ‘downtime’. Other risks include the temporary appearance of lumps under the skin where the Sculptra™ was injected. These are rarely visible and dissolve with time. They are a result of the Sculptra™ pooling in areas of the face. Dr. Doherty instructs patients how to effectively massage the treatment area after each Sculptra™ injection. This significantly diminishes the possibility of these lumps forming after the procedure.
How long does Sculptra™ last?
The effects of Sculptra™ vary from patient to patient, but Dr. Doherty has seen many Sculptra™ patients with results that last up to 2 years from their first treatment. These patients sometimes require more than the initial 4 vials. Periodic touch up treatments will maintain the desired effects.
Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Doherty is very pleased with the results he has seen with his many Sculptra™ patients. The volumization that it provides is safe and long lasting. Sculptra™ plays a role in many patients who are concerned with volume loss—whether or not they are planning on a face lift in the future. Please contact the office of Dr. Doherty in Boston or Brookline to set up a consultation to determine if Sculptra™ could be a part of your facial rejuvenation.