What are the advantages/disadvantages of using Sculptra versus fat for facial filler?
Advantages of Sculptra over Fat Injection?
Doctor Answers (5)
Sculptra has more disadvantages then advantages
In my opinion Sculptra is a great product for certain situations. It doesn't require surgery to harvest fat.
However it is expensive, can cause granuloma formation, and is unpredictable in my opinion of how much delayed collagen formation you would expect to see.
Fat also has some problems with more swelling and bruising after the procedure, variable resorption rate, and the possibility of lumpiness.
In my hands at least, I prefer fat augmentation over Sculptra, as I feel I have more control and in most cases, it's less expensive.
Advantages or disadvantages of Sculptra over fat for facial filler
Sculptra has advantages of convenience and non-surgical aspects. It is pre-packaged and on the shelf.
The disadvantages are the cost, time to achieve correction (multiple stages), temporary results, potential granuloma formation.
Fat vs Sculptra
I do a lot of both. Let me dispel the notion that fat grafts are unpredictable. When done in a certain way, following techniques well described by Sidney Coleman, fat grafts are predictable.
I love Sculptra, but like Dr. Moelleken states, it is less than ideal in the eyes, lips, superficial areas.
Sculptra is quick and lasts a long time (2-5 years). There is no recovery or down time. But it is not permanent. It can be done in the examining room and I mix it with a local anesthetic to diminish pain and bruising. I find that sometimes I have to do 2 or three separate sessions to get the right amount of fill.
Fat injection is done frequently under local anesthesia but it is a "procedure". I need a nurse and a tech to help me. There is down time where you are swollen. But the result is great and feels great. Even the skin looks better. There is evidence that stem cells present in the fat tissues may help the skin the skin.
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Sculptra vs. fat injections
Sculptra is best at filling deep defects in the face, such as those caused by AIDS facial hollowing. It is terrible, in my opinion, for the eye area, lips and any superficial area. We have had to operate on many patients who have formed Sculptra granulomas, permanent lumps in the face, hands, etc.
Fat injection has its own set of problems, with uneven take, lumpiness, visibility of grafts, etc.
In our practice we prefer LiveFill (TM) grafts, which are nontraumatized fat-fascial grafts. We have shown in published studies that the survival of LiveFill grafts is superior to those of fat injection. Microscopically, the appearance of LiveFill grafts is less damaged than grafts that have been obtained by suction and then injected.
As with any of these techniques, it is the surgeon performing the procedure, hopefully with a conservative and well-informed attitude, who has great respect for the patient's future recovery, that will give the patient the highest likelihood of a beautiful result.
Sculptra is easier to have done than fat becasue it is a non-surgical dermal stimulator
Sculptra is an easier treatment option but is does have the risk of granulomas which are hard bumps under the skin composed of sculptra material and a foreign body reaction. Sculptra is composed of material that stimulates the immune system and therefore it can lead to reactions.
Fat is a minor surgery, and can be unpredictable. The unpredictable part is how long and how much of the fat will last.
So, if you have sensitive skin and alot of allergies, I would veer away from Sculptra and toward fat transfer.
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