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How much does Sculptra cost?

Sculptra, also known as Sculptra Aesthetic, is an extremely popular cosmetic dermal filler, used to treat the fine lines and deeper wrinkles on the face. Dr. Michele Green was one of the first dermatologists in NYC to utilize Sculptra to reverse the visible signs of aging on the face and body. She is consistently voted one of the best dermatologists in New York based on her aesthetic artistry and caring approach. Dr. Green incorporates Sculptra into many treatment rejuvenating protocols due to its longevity and its ability to increase collagen production in the skin. The overall cost of Sculptra may be more than traditional dermal fillers, but Sculptra lasts more than twice as long as hyaluronic fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. Dr. Green is internationally known for her facial cosmetic injections and loves using Sculptra for her patients in NYC, both for its natural appearance and longevity.

What is Sculptra?

Sculptra is a synthetic, biodegradable injectable filler, whose active ingredient is poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). PLLA is a derivative of alpha-hydroxy acid and has been used in many medical applications. Sculptra was first FDA approved in 2009 to treat facial wasting or hollows, lipoatrophy, in patients who were immune compromised with HIV. Sculptra was approved in Europe for this same indication much earlier, in 1999. After Sculptra’s success in replacing lost volume, and its safety profile was established, Sculptra was introduced into the market to treat both medium and deep facial lines, and volume loss.

How does Sculptra work?

Sculptra is a “stimulatory” filler, which means that is a unique product that stimulates the body to produce its own collagen and help build structural support for lost volume. Unlike Juvederm, or a traditional hyaluronic acid filler, Sculptra is a water based product and the effects will disappear within a few hours after injection. Over the course of the next 4 to 6 weeks from Sculptra injection, your body will produce its own new collagen. With Sculptra injections, a series of treatment sessions are required to achieve optimal cosmetic results. Typically, at least three treatment sessions are needed, 4 to 6 weeks apart, to correct lost volume. Maintenance sessions may be needed annually and the results typically last over two years in duration.

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How many vials of Sculptra will I need?

The most common question that patients ask is “how many vials of Sculptra will I need?” The answer really depends on the area of the body where the Sculptra is being injected, the extent of correction needed, and the age of the individual being treated. In general, the rule of thumb for facial Sculptra correction is one vial per decade of life. For example, if you are in your 30’s, you may need 3 vials for total correction, 40’s, 4 vials. There are, of course, exceptions for this rule, depending on how much volume is lost in your particular case.

The area of the body also will determine the number of vials of Sculptra which will be needed to correct the treated area. For example, it is common to us 10 vials (5 vials for each buttock) for butt augmentation. For hip dips, a lesser amount of Sculptra may be needed. Generally, three sessions will be needed to achieve the full effect of the Sculptra injections with yearly maintenance treatments.

One of the many cosmetic benefits of Sculptra, is that new collagen continues to build up, even after one year after injection. One study even demonstrated that 40 percent of patients injected still maintained their results even 3 years after treatment.

What are the side effects of sculptra?

The most common side effect of Sculptra injections is bruising at the injection site. The other side effects of injection are redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, and tenderness at the treatment area. Other rarer side effects include infection and subcutaneous nodules. Proper injection technique is critical to the best and safest outcome and it is very important to have a skilled and experienced physician to perform your Sculptra aesthetic injections.

What is the recovery from Sculptra?

There is very little recovery time from Sculptra injections, except for some mild bruising or swelling. To minimize any facial swelling, cold compresses are suggested for the first 24 hours. It is important to also avoid any excess heat or sunlight or UV treatment since this can exacerbate the swelling and redness of the area. It is important to continue the “rule of 5’s” in terms of massaging the treated area after the injections, to evenly distribute the product and induce new collagen formation in the desired treatment area.

What makes Sculptra treatment unique?

Sculptra treatment is unique in that the long term results of Sculptra injections can last up to three years. Traditional hyaluronic fillers like Restylane typically last 6 to 9 months, and Juvederm lasts 9 to 12 months. There is no other product, when full correction is achieved, which has this longevity. So while the overall cost for vials may be a little more expensive than one syringe of Juvederm, it is the longevity of the correction that makes it more cost effective than most other dermal fillers.

What can you expect from your Sculptra injections?

During your consultation, photographs from every angle will be taken before your procedure, in order to follow your progress over the course of your injections. This will allow you to see your progress and compare your final results with the procedure several months later.

The treatment area is numbed with a topical local lidocaine cream. The numbing cream is applied 30 minutes before the injection process to make the procedure more comfortable. Sculptra is dissolved ahead of time and compounded with lidocaine, to further make the procedure less painful.

The treatment itself is not painful, and takes between 15 and 30 minutes depending on how many vials are needed.  Dr. Green uses a very thin needle to inject Sculptra deep into the skin, and uses a “cross-hatching” technique to completely cover the targeted area.  This deep injection will stimulate collagen production over the next 4 to 6 weeks.

After the injections are completed, Dr. Green’s nurse will massage the treated area to ensure an even distribution deeply of the Sculptra and prevent any nodule formation. At home, the patient is required to massage the treated area five times a day, for five minutes, for five days. It is important to follow this “rule of 5’s” to allow even distribution of product and prevent nodules.

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How does Sculptra aesthetic work?

As we age, the amount of collagen and elastin decreases in our skin. This decrease causes sagging, jowls, skin laxity, wrinkles, and dry skin, which gives our skin an older appearance.  Since Sculptra is a “stimulatory” filler, it allows our body to stimulate its own elastin and collagen production, and return the skin to a more youthful appearance. With each injection of Sculptra, new collagen is produced, the skin is tighter and firmer, and volume is restored.

Can I have Botox with Sculptra injections?

Dr. Green commonly injects Botox and other cosmetic dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, at the same time as Sculptra injections. Botox is a neuromodulator and works by relaxing the muscles of facial expression, such as the forehead and around the eye area. Sculptra is not used in these areas. Sculptra is a deep injection, and not indicated for the delicate under eye area or for lip enhancement. Dr. Green will combine the best dermal fillers to layer with Sculptra to perform a “liquid facelift” and contour the jaw area, jowls, cheeks, and other areas of volume loss and wrinkles.

What is the cost of Sculptra?

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the average cost per treatment for Sculptra in the United States was $1,000 per vial. An experience board certified dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green, will be more expensive than a nurse clinician who is injecting Sculptra. Since the ultimate results of Sculptra last longer than a hyaluronic acid filler, the overall cost of Sculptra can be less than a dermal filler. There is a range of prices for Sculptra around the country, depending on the number of vials used, and the expertise of the cosmetic injector.

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For example, when patients are having a BBL, or buttock augmentation with Sculptra, ten vials may be required per treatment, and there may be a discount in price due to the amount of vials needed per session. It is most important to consult a qualified and experienced board certified dermatologist for your Sculptra aesthetic injections to have the best results. You should google the physician’s qualifications and look at their treatment photos to ascertain their experience and aesthetic.

Sculptra Cost and Consultation

During your consultation with Dr. Green, photos will be taken of the desired treatment area. During the consultation, Dr. Green will determine if Sculptra injections are the best treatment option for you and discuss with you the cost of the procedure. There are times, because of facial skin laxity, that Dr. Green may refer certain patients to an experienced plastic surgeon for a facelift. In other cases, a combination of hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm, Belotero, or Restylane, may be used to give an immediate lift to the skin. Since Sculptra requires a patient to return to the office for at least 3 visits to correct an area, there may be times that patients prefer a hyaluronic acid filler alone.

Who is a good candidate for Sculptra injections?

A good candidate for Sculptra is a patient 18 years of older and who has a healthy immune system. Patients who are pregnant or breast feeding, should not have Sculptra injected. In addition, patients with a history of keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring should not be injected with Sculptra. Patients with a history of autoimmune disease, such as Lupus, are also not good candidates for Sculptra injection.

Sculptra is indicated for patients who wish to correct facial or body volume loss, and are in good physical and emotional health.

Which areas of the face can be treated with Sculptra?

Sculptra is most popular for treating deep facial folds, wrinkles, and restoring volume loss in the following areas of the face:

  • Hollows or depressions such as the cheeks and malar groove
  • Marionette lines and pre-jowl depression
  • Smile lines (nasolabial folds)
  • Temples
  • Chin creases and dimpling
  • Neck and jawline
  • Forehead
  • Acne scars

Sculptra should not be used in the area under the eyes or the lips as the skin is too delicate and is not indicated in these areas.

Sculptra can also be used in various areas of the body to treat:

  • Butt augmentation (BBL)
  • Hip augmentation (Sculptra hip dips)
  • Cellulite
  • Decolettage and chest wrinkles
  • Arms, elbows, knees
  • Stretch marks
  • Augmentation of calves, pecks, and biceps in male patients

Is Sculptra worth the money?

Sculptra will last 2 to 3 years in duration, once the full correction is complete with a series of treatments. While the initial investment is more expensive with Sculptra, you can justify spending a little more up front since the results will laser much longer than a traditional fillers, which lasts up to a year. It is important to consult an expert, like Dr. Michele Green in NYC, to see if Sculptra is the best treatment for you. Sculptra is an incredibly popular and effective procedure but it takes advanced skill and training to have the best cosmetic results from these injections. If you are interesting in long term correction of volume loss, fine lines, and wrinkles, call Dr. Green’s office in New York at 212-535-3088 or contact us online

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