Sculptra was approved by the FDA in 2004 to treat facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with HIV and has been clinically proven to be an effective, well-tolerated and long-lasting treatment for the signs of this condition. It was then used to restore lost volume in people’s faces and hands due to sun damage and the normal aging process. Sculptra is the only filler on the market that is a “volumizing” agent designed to add volume and contour to the face and hands. It does so by stimulating your own bodies collagen production, so that long-term, sustained improvement is seen in most patients. Dr. Loucas has been using Sculptra since 2006 with great success, and feels Sculptra is a unique product, that gives predictable results.
Over the years, we have learned that many people seeking consultation for a surgical facelift, may only be lacking in volume that can be restored using Sculptra, along with other fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm. Dr. Loucas states that our thinking of facial symmetry has evolved. Most faces should have an “upside down egg” appearance-meaning your face should be wider at the top then at the bottom of your face. In the past, many cosmetic surgeons concentrated only on filling the lower face. That means, we should be restoring lost volume in the temple region and cheek region to give that needed lost volume that will lift the lower face as well.
Sculptra is known as “poly-L-lactic acid”. Sculptra is biocompatible (a material that does not harm the body) and biodegradable(able to be broken down by the body). Poly-L-lactic acid has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other type of implants, and has been shown to be a safe and effective product. Sculptra is best described as a volumizer. It is injected below the skin in areas of fat loss, allowing you to safely place it in large areas. Because it is injected as microscopic particles diluted in water, it will cause the body to produce its own tissue in the form of collagen over a series of treatments. The most common areas to treat are the mid face, nasal folds, temples, and chin area.
Dr. Loucas describes the use Sculptra as building a“good foundation” that is often needed when building any structure. It is often used in conjunction with other fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, which can be used to fill in more superficial lines and depressions. Dr. Loucas has found that people who undergo a series of Sculptra treatments to replace lost facial volume will require smaller volumes of other fillers to fill superficial lines and get better results, because they have “laid down a good foundation to work on”.
Dr. Loucas goes on to say, Sculptra does require a series of 2-5 injection sessions to get a good result. Following injection of the Sculptra mixed with water, you can see the fullness caused by the water. This will often dissipate within days. The micro particles will remain and begin to stimulate collagen growth. The first effects of Sculptra injections will be noticeable about 1 month following injection, and collagen growth will continue for about 4-6months. The volume achieved with Sculptra often lasts 2-3 years, and patients may only require touch-up sessions thereafter to maintain their results. A topical anesthetic is often used to numb the area prior to treatment, but the injections often are painless due to the fact the product has anesthetic mixed in with it at the time of treatment.
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