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What is Sculptra?

An alternative injectable treatment to facial fillers is Sculptra. Sculptra is not a filler but a chemical that encourages your body to form new natural collagen to enhance your appearance. It is made from a material called poly-L-lactic acid, rather than from animal or human material. As a poly-L-lactic acid, it is biocompatible (doesn’t harm the body, cause allergies, etc.), biodegradable (can be broken down by the body), and has been successfully used in other surgical products within the cosmetic world.

Sculptra originated and was approved by the FDA in 2004, for treatment in cases of facial fat loss (called lipoatrophy) for individuals suffering from human immunodeficiency virus.

Candidates for a Sculptra Treatment

Sculptra is an excellent choice for many adults who wish to rejuvenate their facial appearance. The unique properties of this injectable suspension make it appealing to individuals who want to be more subtle about their cosmetic enhancements. Rather than looking immediately wrinkle-free or more contoured, our Sculptra patients appear to age in reverse for several months as their body naturally rebuilds its foundation of collagen beneath the skin. Sculptra can be used to generally improve fine lines and wrinkles and is also commonly used to augment emptiness in various parts of the face. It can be especially helpful for people who have lost significant volume in the low cheek area.

Benefits of Sculptra Injections

When our faces lose their underlying supplies of fat, we begin to look sunken-cheeked and our eyes start to hollow. With the success of Sculptra as a cosmetic enhancement, it was then released for administration to any other individuals who want similar benefits.

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It is a less-expensive, less invasive comparable alternative for patients who desire but don’t yet require, the benefits of a cheek lift, neck lift, full or mid-facelift. Sculptra can be used with any kind of skin and does not require a skin test.

The Sculptra Procedure

Sculptra is a synthetic and biocompatible substance that can be injected below the skin in hollowed-out areas to plump them up again. It works by gradually thickening the skin, for a more natural appearance.

  • First, A local anesthetic is first applied.
  • Sculptra™ is then injected in the desired area.
  • You will undergo treatments once a month until the results are what you want. Typically this requires three to four sessions.

Sculptra results are not immediately visible; they happen gradually and can eventually end in a dramatic change.

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For some people, Sculptra may be an alternative to Juvéderm® Voluma XC for cheek augmentation.

Sculptra Before and After

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How Long Does Sculptra Last?

Sculptra works with the body to build new collagen in a target area. This renewed foundation for the dermis can stay active for more than two years. After the two to three years, some patients will choose to have a touch-up treatment every few years to continue supporting necessary collagen production.

Recovery From the Sculptra Treatment

Almost all patients are able to return to their daily activities immediately after treatment. The side effects of these injections are minimal and subtle. They are usually limited to short-lived redness, bruising, or swelling at injection sites. You may want to avoid sun exposure, heat, and strenuous exercise right after your appointment to avoid unnecessarily exacerbating the mild side effects that occur. However, you may be able to go back to work or other activities immediately since make-up can be applied immediately if needed.

The recovery from Sculptra also involves how long it takes to see results from this treatment. The initial improvement that is immediately visible after Sculptra injections comes from the water that is used to reconstitute the product in its vial. Water gets absorbed over 24 hours and the face goes back to normal. The effects of this unique dermal filler build gradually as new collagen forms in the area of the poly-L-lactic acid particles. Within a few months, and a few treatments, noticeable improvement is usually apparent. You look like you, only younger.

Is Sculptra Safe?

Sculptra was approved by the FDA in 2009 for cosmetic correction of facial wrinkles, contour deficiencies, smile lines and other problems for the public. It is the first facial injectable that gives you noticeable results that emerge subtly and can last up to two years.

Cost of Sculptra Injections

A full series of Sculptra treatments is approximately half the cost of a cheek lift but can achieve similar results after you have the completed the full regimen.

Is Sculptra Covered by Insurance?

In most situations, Sculptra is not covered by insurance. This is because it is typically performed to improve the cosmetic appearance of the face by reducing common signs of aging, such as wrinkles or decreased cheek contours. An exception to this standard is when Sculptra is used to correct changes caused by HIV associated lipoatrophy. In such instances, the drug is considered medically necessary.

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Is Sculptra Painful?

We use topical and local anesthetics to make Sculptra injections as painless as possible. Our skilled doctors are all about your comfort! Before your injections, we can apply a topical anesthetic that reduces nerve sensitivity on the skin. This may not fully numb the skin but will significantly lessen sensations. The needle used to administer Sculptra is also very small, so only a minor pinch is usually felt with each injection.

Side Effects of Sculptra

Some patients experience:

  • redness
  • minor swelling
  • bruising
  • slight discomfort

These symptoms typically disappear within a day or two. You can utilize icepacks when your treatment has finished, to minimize these after-effects. You will be shown how to massage the treated areas five times a day for up to five days

Schedule a Consultation

If you have questions about Sculptra, please call 303-839-1616 to schedule a consultation at our practice in Denver with our surgeons, Dr. Robert Fante.

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Office Hours

We are closed every day from 12 PM – 1 PM for lunch. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our patients.

Mon-Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat & Sun: Closed

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