Sculptra®

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Our Providence and East Greenwich, Rhode Island patients appreciate Sculptra because the results from these easy treatments are long lasting. Injected like other facial fillers, Sculptra works by stimulating collagen production.

Collagen and elastin decline as we age but Sculptra restores volume and fills out facial features, such as hollows under the eyes and sunken cheeks, quickly without surgery. Injectable fillers such as Sculptra can plump thin lips, soften facial wrinkles, enhance shallow contours of the cheeks and eyes, and correct drooping of the mouth corners and “marionette lines.”

Sculptra is made from a safe, synthetic injectable material known as “poly-L-lactic acid.” This filler is ideal for replacing facial fat loss, which occurs as a natural result of the aging process. It works by increasing collagen production, gradually and significantly increasing skin thickness, especially along the cheeks. Since poly-L-lactic acid is biocompatible (a material that does not harm the body), no skin test is required.

Dermal fillers, like Sculptra, have been referred to as the “liquid facelift” because they offer many of the benefits of a surgical facelift without the downtime. Although they cannot treat sagging skin, dermal fillers can rejuvenate the face by restoring volume to the cheeks, temples, and lower face. The results are immediate and at a lower cost than surgery. These treatments are not permanent and must be repeated to maintain the results. Dr. Doyle will evaluate your face to determine an individualized plan for the amount and type of filler needed to achieve the most natural looking results.

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What is Sculptra?

Dr. Doyle offers the entire Juvéderm and Restylane lines of dermal fillers, along with Sculptra. The Juvéderm and Restylane lines are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the human body, so they are classified as “natural” fillers. Sculptra is classified as a “synthetic” filler. It works in a different manner than the more well-known hyaluronic acids fillers. When those fillers are injected beneath a wrinkle or area of volume loss, the hyaluronic acid instantly binds with nearby water molecules, plumping, firming, and hydrating the skin.

Sculptra is different. It does not provide immediate results. Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which works within the skin to replace lost collagen. The PLLA microparticles are delivered in an aqueous gel. Sculptra is the first facial injectable that gives you subtle results over time as collagen is replaced. This makes for a natural-looking appearance that improves over time, not an instant change as with other fillers. Sculptra is injected in three sessions over three to four months for the best results. These results can then last for two years!

How does Sculptra work?

Dr. Doyle injects Sculptra into the deep dermal layer of the skin. This is the base of the skin’s second layer, beneath the epidermis and above the fat layer. Sculptra is injected in a series of three sessions over the course of three to four months.

Initially it behaves like hyaluronic acid fillers, as Sculptra’s aqueous gel provides volume where injected and pushes the depressed area back upward, but this is only temporary. After a week or so, the wrinkle can return, but to a lesser degree. This can be disconcerting, but it is completely normal.

This is when Sculptra really gets to work. Microparticles of PLLA work within the deep dermis to rebuild lost collagen and provide structural skin support. As the PLLA is absorbed a collagen framework is created. This reinforced collagen structure provides a foundation that gradually restores the look of fullness to shallow to deep wrinkles and folds. This new collagen framework provides results that last up to two years, about twice as long as most other fillers.

Who is a good candidate for Sculptra injections?

At the Centre for Aesthetic + Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Doyle has had good success with Sculptra for our patients. Sculptra is FDA approved and it is easily tolerated. This long-lasting filler is effective for treating fairly deep lines and creases, and it has few restrictions. If you have the typical lines that form around the mouth and from the nose to the mouth, Sculptra is a great, long-lasting solution.

Really, the only patients who cannot have Sculptra are those with a history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring.

How long does it take to have Sculptra injected?

Most dermal fillers are single session treatments, but Sculptra is different. Dr. Doyle injects Sculptra in three different injection sessions over the course of three to four months. We space these sessions out by 4-6 weeks. This allows the PLLA microparticles to keep building collagen production. This is how Sculptra provides such long-lasting volume replacement. Each injection session takes around 30 minutes.

How long will it take to see my results with Sculptra?

Unlike most other dermal fillers, Sculptra does not provide instant results; it takes time for the PLLA microparticles to trigger increased collagen production. Sculptra is designed to provide noticeable results that build gradually. Over the course of your three injections given over three or four months, the PLLA stimulates new collagen to build, and this provides gradual volume replacement. Over the weeks following your injections, your results will continue to build, but they will do so naturally and gradually.

How long will my results last with Sculptra?

This new collagen framework described above provides results that last up to two years.

What are the side effects associated with Sculptra?

The most common side effects with Sculptra are similar to those with any dermal filler:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Slight Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Formation of small lumps

All of these issues pass quickly. PLLA is a biocompatible, biodegradable substance that the body accepts; it has been used in dissolvable sutures for decades. Still, if you have numerous allergies, you should check with Dr. Doyle and she will share Sculptra’s ingredient list with you.

Ready to schedule your Sculptra consultation?

Dr. Andrea Doyle would love to discuss your Sculptra options during a private one-on-one consultation. Contact our office online or give us a call to get started on achieving your own aesthetic goals.

Dr. Doyle is a board certified Rhode Island plastic surgeon who performs aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries to help change the lives of her patients in positive and empowering ways.