Sculptra is an FDA-approved subdermal injectable dermal filler used for the restoration or correction of the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Facial lipoatrophy is the loss of fat beneath the skin, which can result in sunken cheeks, indentations, and hollow eyes. Lipoatrophy is common among HIV patients.
Sculptra is a synthetic and biocompatible material that is injected below the surface of the skin in the area of fat loss. It contains microparticle beads of poly-L-lactic acid, a biocompatible, biodegradable, synthetic polymer from the alpha-hydroxy-acid. It provides a gradual and significant increase in skin thickness, improving the appearance of folds and sunken areas.
Visible results appear in the first few treatment sessions. From 3 to 6 sessions are conducted and additional touch-up treatment may be needed. Over time, the beads break down and may be replaced with natural collagen. A Sculptra clinical study showed that for most patients the treatment results lasted for up to two years after the first treatment session.
Is it right for me?
Side effects are moderate and generally last 2 to 4 weeks. Common side effects include temporary reactions at the treatment site such as tenderness, swelling, firmness, lumps/bumps, bruising, pain, redness, discoloration, and itching.
Scuptra is not appropriate for people allergic to any of its ingredients. It should also not be administered in areas of the skin where there is an infection or inflammation.
Where is it performed?
This procedure is routinely performed on an out-patient basis in Dr. Moran's office or is self-administered by the patient at home.
Anesthesia and medication
- For most patients, little to no recovery time is needed after Sculptra injections.