Sculptra is an injectable treatment that gradually replenishes lost collagen and volume. Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, it works as a biostimulator, slowly encouraging natural collagen production. It contains poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a safe, biocompatible compound that supports and strengthens the structural framework in the skin, increasing collagen regeneration (neocollagenesis) deep within the tissues with volumizing results.
In our youth, our faces are rounder, and our cheeks are plumper. However, over time, things start to change. While our bodies have an extraordinary ability to self-repair, the effects of aging become more and more apparent. As a result, we may experience a transfer of tissue volume in the face. Many people experience sunken eyes, sagging skin, and hollowed cheeks. Sculptra helps patients to achieve fuller, smoother, ageless facial contours with the gradual production of new, natural collagen.
Dr. Brian Arslanian, MD, FACS and the team at Arslanian Plastic Surgery help patients to restore facial volume with Sculptra dermal fillers. Sculptra helps our patients to present a full, well-contoured face to the world. If you’re interested in learning about Sculptra and how it can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, contact our Brookhaven office today at (678) 894-9200 or through our online contact form.
Sculptra addresses collagen loss with its active ingredient; PLLA. This synthetic polymer is not the same as most fillers with cosmetic uses. Its properties differ from traditional hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane, as HA fillers will wear off after four to six months. Conversely, an injection containing poly-L-lactic acid will stimulate the natural production of collagen in the body, resulting in self-sustaining neocollagenesis. Due to this longer-term regeneration, Sculptra lasts for up to two years.
What Is Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA)?
Poly-L-Lactic Acid is a compound used in soft tissue augmentation. As an injectable treatment it can address sagging, fine lines, wrinkles, folds, and volume loss in the cheeks. (1) However, it’s not just used cosmetically. PLLA is also frequently used in dissolvable sutures and intrabone implants. (2)
How Does Sculptra Work?
Sculptra treatments provide subtle facial enhancements over time that lead to a visibly improved appearance. PLLA is the biostimulatory agent in Sculptra, resulting in an improvement in the contours, volume, and overall appearance of your cheeks. But what makes it so effective? The answer is the size of its molecules! PLLA molecules are too large to be attacked by the body’s defensive cells, so they effectively “fly under the radar” of your immune system. Each microparticle of PLLA acts to stimulate a moderate inflammatory response, which enhances the collagen synthesis process. (2)
Benefits of Sculptra include:
- Restores cheek definition and fullness
- Achieves a fresh, dewy appearance
- Improves skin texture
- Low risk of allergic response
- High patient satisfaction rates
- Results last significantly longer than HA fillers
Dr. Arslanian recommends Sculptra as an effective alternative to surgery as it does not involve an extensive recovery time, and results look natural. Sculptra is a good choice for individuals who are looking to restore volume in their cheeks, temples, and lower face. Those who have developed a sunken look in the face due to the effects of aging make excellent candidates.
You may not be a candidate for Sculptra if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have an active infection on or near the treatment site
- You are allergic to lidocaine, added to the solution to reduce discomfort (3)
A cosmetic procedure from Dr. Arlasian helps patients across metro Atlanta to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, he provides attentive and empathetic care. He delivers effective treatments for his patients, allowing them to put their best selves forward. This all starts with your initial meeting. If you are interested in setting up a consultation and taking the first step toward developing a personalized treatment plan, contact our Brookhaven office today at (678) 894-9200.
Visit our blog to learn more about cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, and how we can help you achieve beautiful results.
Sculptra offers a minimally-invasive, non-surgical option for skin rejuvenation and facial volume loss. When preparing for your Sculptra treatment, we ask you to follow these directions as closely as possible to achieve the best results possible.
- You’ll need to stay out of the sun for around a week before Sculptra treatment. If you’re going to be outside for longer periods, use a sunscreen with high SPF.
- One week before treatment, avoid blood-thinning medications, supplements, and vitamins like aspirin, ibuprofen, NSAIDs, Vitamins A and E, and Ginkgo Biloba
- Two to three days before treatment, avoid applying topical skin treatments to the face (e.g. Retin-A, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide)
- Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before your procedure to prevent excess bruising
- Use a gentle cleanser on your face before coming to our office.
- Wear comfortable clothing on the day of your Sculptra treatment.
Sculptra treatment takes 20 to 30 minutes. There just three steps in the procedure:
- Step 1: Your injector will identify the injection sites. They will then cleanse the area.
- Step 2: We may administer a topical anesthetic to numb the treatment area and minimize discomfort.
- Step 3: The PLLA formulation will be injected into multiple sites in the cheeks. The mixture will include lidocaine, an anesthetic that also improves comfort during treatment.
After Sculptra treatment, you may experience mild swelling, soreness, and bruising that can last between 48 and 72 hours. The injection site may also be tender to the touch for a few days. We recommend non-NSAID medication such as Tylenol for any discomfort and may suggest arnica cream to reduce bruising and swelling.
Facial Massage Routine
To help distribute the injected Sculptra gel evenly throughout the treatment area, massage the treatment area five minutes per day, five times each day, for five days. You may find it easier to do this as you moisturize or wash your face. Dr. Arslanian will provide massage technique guidance so you get the most out of your aftercare routine.
Patients should also heed the following for an effective recovery. After Sculptra injections, patients should:
- Ice the area to reduce swelling.
- Avoid extreme UV exposure to prevent skin irritation as swelling subsides.
- Apply a high-SPF sunscreen before you go outside
- Avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 24 hours after treatment.
- Avoid skin treatments for two to three weeks.
- Avoid topical skincare treatments for one week.
Following Sculptra treatment, the body will start to generate new collagen after about two months. Results look and feel natural because your body has synthesized the collagen itself. Our Sculptra patients report a renewed plumpness to their face and a clear difference in the look and feel of their skin.
Depending on the patient, multiple treatments may be recommended to achieve ideal results. Dr. Arslanian usually advises 2-3 treatments for the most satisfying aesthetic. See our excellent results for yourself here!
Corresponding and Complementary Procedures
Facial Fat Transfer
If extensive volume restoration is required, speak with Dr. Arslanian about fat transfer to the face. A facial fat transfer procedure uses liposuction to remove fat for grafting. It can effectively restore lost volume in the cheeks, as well as providing a reduction in the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. This autologous procedure uses your own tissue, so there’s an extremely low risk of rejection. With a facial fat transfer, patients achieve a fuller, younger-looking face with natural-looking enhancement.
The classic minimally-invasive anti-aging treatment, Botox is beloved by doctors and patients alike. By disrupting nerve signals in the treatment area, Botox causes muscles to relax and visible signs of aging to smooth away. The most common areas for treatment are horizontal forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet, restoring a youthful appearance in the upper face.
Using radiofrequency (RF) energy is a non-invasive way to achieve facelift-like results. Profound RF is a cost-effective, non-surgical alternative to the facelift, providing patients with deep skin restructuring. The heat generated by the device causes skin to tighten, and stimulates collagen and elastin production in the targeted areas. It’s a great way to reduce the appearance of jowls, creating a striking jawline profile.
Cost Of Sculptra for Cheeks In Metro Atlanta, GA
Your Sculptra treatment can target the cheeks, and any other area of the face it is indicated for use. You will be able to discuss your treatment plan at your individual meeting with us. The cost of Sculptra injections in Atlanta will vary based on individual needs, and the number of treatmentsAdditional factors include the amount of dermal gel required to achieve the desired result, skin laxity, and geographic location.
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- Sickles, C.K., Nassereddin, A., Gross, G.P.. Poly-L-Lactic Acid. [Updated 2022 Jun 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507871/.
- Fitzgerald, R., Bass, L. M., Goldberg, D. J., Graivier, M. H., & Lorenc, Z. P. (2018). Physiochemical Characteristics of Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA). Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 38(suppl_1), S13–S17. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjy012
- Lafaille P, Benedetto A. Fillers: contraindications, side effects and precautions. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 2010 Jan; 3(1):16-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890129/.