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How Long Does Sculptra Last?

My plastic surgeon says that sculptra lasts 5 to 7 years. Everything I've read says 18 months to 2 years. Why is there a discrepancy?

Doctor Answers 10

Sculptra lasts at least 2 years, probably longer

Dear M. Landis,

Sculptra is a terrific product that lasts longer than any other commercially available filler. The following is a list of fillers and the lengths of time that I would expect each to actually last:

  • Old-fashioned collagen (human or animal): 6-12 weeks. These products don't last long enough for them to be worthwhile anymore.
  • Non-animal Stabilized Hyaluronic acids (such as Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane and Perlane, Elevess): 6-12 months. Closer to 6 months in the lips, but closer to 12 months in various folds. Botox may potentiate the length of efficacy of these products.
  • New collagen (known as Evolence): 6-9 months. This product has only been availabe in the USA since the summer of 2008, so no American has even 6-9 months of experience with it! My 6-9 month guess is based upon the experience of my European and Canadian colleagues.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite (known as Radiesse): 12-18 months. Initial experience was a bit overly optimistic; the first injectors thought that Radiesse lasted 1-3 years. The truth is that Radiesse usually lasts a full year or slightly longer.
  • Poly-L-Lactic Acid (known as Sculptra): >2 years. The FDA studies approving the use of the product ended after 2 years. Hence, the product cannot be marketed as lasting longer than 2 years. However, I have noticed efficacy for as long as I have been injecting the product--3 years. Since Sculptra has only been available in the USA for 3 1/2 years, no American has a longer experience. However, some European doctors report 5 years of persistence.

Also, there had been a permanent filler on the market--Artefill. However, its manufacturer Artes Medical recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and Artefill is no longer available.

Hope that you found all this information helpful!

Ventura Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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Sculptra can last up to 2 years

Sculptra can last up to 2 years. Price would depend on how much product is needed. Most patients start with 2 vials, which could range from $2200 to $2500. And if more is needed, we could inject at 4 to 6 weeks post your injection. There was a product called Artefill which last up to 5 years, a skin test was needed but that product has been pulled. Sculptra is a great way to go!

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Enthusiasm on your surgeon's part

Dear M.

Your plastic surgeon is perhaps a little over zealous. I have used Sculptra for three years now with results lasting 18-24 months. Sculptra has only been available in the U.S. for about 3 1/2 years. So, unless your surgeon practiced in Europe or Canada for 4 years prior to that, there is no way that his/her experience could account for a 5-7 year duration. It is a great product that does offer about a 2 year result. Good luck!

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Sculptra Longevity

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Typically, Sculptra can last 2-3 years.  It usually consists of a series of treatments.  It is a great volumizer.  

Sam Naficy, MD
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Sculptra Longevity

Sculptra injections look very natural due to its natural collagen building activity, and has longevity between 2-3 years. Typical treatment consists of 3 sessions over several months, and are excellent for younger patients that feel that they are looking hollow, and older patients that would like to regain the voluptuousness of youth.

How long does Sculptra last?

Sculptra is approved to say it lasts for 18-24 months.  As with everything, it varies from patient to patient. 

  • How much was injected?
  • What is your age?
  • What was your initial response?

Some people have a better response to product (ie they form more collagen when injected with a vial).  Some people have less to correct, so a little goes farther.  Some people will break down their collagen faster. Unlike other fillers when you hit the "end" of how long it lasts, it doesn't tend to be fully gone.  Regardless, the effects are lost over time, even if to nothing other than your continued aging (if we could only stop that!).

In general I like doctors who under-promise and over-deliver.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Sculptra lasting- why the discrepancy

Dear M Landis in Pace Fl,

Your question is a good one. The reason is because the owner of the product is not allowed to make claims regarding how long it lasts which exceed that in its AMERICAN research experience. Even though the product had European "FDA" approval a decade ago (which is when I started to use it outside the US), it had to pass through a totally new set of strictly AMERICAN research in order to be brought to the US market. The non-US data was not allowed by the FDA.

Having practiced outside of the US, I was able to use it nearly a decade ago in friends and family. Thus, I have been able to watch its extremely long term effects over such a long period of time. It lasts.

Best wishes and thanks for a great question.

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Sculptra lasts and lasts.

My patients have done well with 1 vial per month for 3 treatments and then a single vial every 12 months or so.  With this regimen the correction can be maintained.  In the rare patient who opts to not have maintenance treatments the correction seems drop off between 2 and 3 years.  

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sculptra lasts over 2 years in my hands.

In my hands Sculptra lasts at least 2 years. After 2 years you may need only one vial to top it off and keep the effect going. Studies out of Europe have shown results at over 3 years. Remember, people respond differently. Some need only 1 or 2 vials for a good result, others may need several vials.

Janet M. Neigel, MD
West Orange Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.