Dr. Francis has had some of the most extensive experience in the United States with the injection of this recently introduced, volume enhancing, facial rejuvenation product. In fact, he has been recognized as one of only a few select aesthetic plastic surgeons chosen to teach the injection technique of the material to other aesthetic surgeons throughout the country by Dermik/Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Sculptra.
The material itself has first introduced in Europe a decade or more ago as New Fill and has a long history of safety. The base material, poly-L-lactic acid, is a substance that has been used in dissolving sutures (stitches) for several decades.
Its migration to the United States has been accompanied by its application to the cosmetic and facial rejuvenation population.
Sculptra is a useful tool in the armamentarium of the cosmetic surgeon for rejuvenation of the face. It is considered a volumizing agent and is effective in thickening skin and producing collagen to return the face to a fuller, more youthful appearance.
Once injected into the face the material promotes a growth of the patients’ own natural collagen, which we all know by now, is the building block of the skin and synonymous with youthfulness.
Its use is becoming commonplace in aesthetic surgery circles throughout the world and an FDA cosmetic indication approval has been obtained. Sculptra affords an essentially “no downtime” facial rejuvenation.
Patients usually return directly to work or other activities immediately after a treatment session.
As with ANY treatment, the risk of adverse events is present but is mainly limited to the consequences of inserting a needle into the skin.
These risks are similar to the risks of almost any facial injectable material and may include redness, bruising, and infection.
Risks specific to the Sculptra material itself are extremely rare and may include small bumps or papules under the skin, which subside over time as the material is dissolved by the body.
To achieve maximal effect, several Sculptra treatment sessions may be required, depending on the amount of aging or volume loss. In general, younger patients require fewer treatment sessions.
Once the maximal effect has been achieved, results may last up to 2 years, with maintenance touchup treatments recommended annually after that.
Sculptra is a highly versatile material, which can be used in a rejuvenation of many areas of the face. Each treatment session with Sculptra takes approximately 30 minutes or less and, as mentioned, return to work or activities is relatively immediate depending on whether bruising occurs.
Repeat treatment sessions are usually scheduled for 4-6 week intervals. Sculptra is not used to the exclusion of other injectable products and may be combined with hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm), Radiesse, Botox, and Artefill to offer an all-inclusive approach to rejuvenation of the face.