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 (Sculptra™) acid has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other types of implants, and are now FDA approved for correction of fat loss. Sculptra™ is injected below the surface of the skin in the area of fat loss to encourage a gradual increase in skin thickness. Visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions.
Sculptra™ will not correct the underlying cause of the facial fat loss, but will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness in the treated area. No skin testing is required prior to use.
At your first treatment visit, it may appear that Sculptra™ worked immediately because of swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra™. In a few days, when the swelling goes down and the water is absorbed by your body, you may look as you did before your treatment. Sculptra™ works over time to gradually correct the depression in your skin. Dr. C will see you again in a few weeks to observe the results and at that time he will decide the appropriate number of treatment sessions and the amount of Sculptra™ you will need.
Patients with severe facial fat loss may require 3 to 6 Sculptra™ treatments. Treatment results will differ for each person. In a clinical study, the treatment results lasted for up to 2 years or longer after the first treatment. In some patients however, touch-up treatments may be needed to maintain the desired effect.
Most patients feel comfortable going back to their normal activities following treatment and make-up may be applied a few hours after treatment if no complications are present. The most common side effects with the use of Sculptra™ include injection-related side effects at the site of the injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising, or swelling. These side effects generally last, on average, 3 to 7 days.
One possible delayed side effect with Sculptra™ can be small bumps under the skin in the treated area. These small bumps may not be visible, and you may notice them only when you press on the treated skin. These bumps tend to happen within the first 6 to 12 months after the first treatment, and occasionally go away on their own.
Copyright 2012 Andrew Coundouriotis, M.D./HealthPlus Media
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