It is correct to assume that the industry standard cost is $1,000 per vial and first time patients need about 3 injections (1 vial/injection) during the first year?
Is It Pretty Standard for 40 Year Olds to Spend $3,000 for the First Year of Sculptra Treatments?
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Cost of Sculptra
The cost of Sculptra varies based on the number of vials injected. The price of the vial may vary from State based on the market and the experience of the injector. Most patients need a series of two or three injections spaced 6 weeks apart. Depending on how much volume you need to correct that can be one or two vials the first visit followed by usually one vial during the second visit. The volume needed to correct the area is really the factor that changes the cost. If you only need one vial then it is much less expensive than two vials (which generally cost $1,000 each). The most important reminder is to find a board certified experienced Dermatologist with a lot of experience in cosmetic dermatology and facial injections.
The cost of treatment depends on the number of vials used. That number is generally determined by the goals and amount you plan or want to spend. Sometimes those two things do not mesh. In general, the first treatment could use several vials. Additional treatments use the same or less, again depending on the degree of correction desired and the amount one is willing to spend. Since Sculptra is a volumizer as opposed to fillers, there is a delayed gratification with higher up front cost for a longer result.
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Sculptra replaces volume loss from facial fat atrophy & osteoporosis of the skull
I am a trainer for Sculptra, I educate every patient about the three layers of aging in the face starting at the age of 30. Not everyone loses volume in the same way (not all layers age the same in different people).
- Metalloproteinases begin to degrade the collagen in the skin layer
- The nine fat pads below the surface of the skin of the face begin to atrophy and descend with age
- The facial bones (skull and jaw) lose bone which is most significant around the mouth.
Sculptra does an excellent job replacing the volume loss occurring in all three layers. A simple study of your photos can determine how you are aging. Correction with Sculptra can be around the mouth, cheeks & mid-face and temples. The more areas of treatment, the better overall improvement. All considered, Sculptra is a very good value compared with other Injectable treatments, given its scope of correction.
Cost of Sculptra Injections
In my office we typically charge $650 per vial of Sculptra which is obviously much lower than what you paid. Clearly some offices simply have a big mark up in price. Don't be fooled into thinking that a higher price will give you a better injector or better result. I have been injecting Sculptra for over 8 years and am also on the Medical Education Faculty for Radiesse. I am only a few minutes from the airport in Burlington, Vermont and we frequently have patients flying in for treatment from many of the major East Coast cities and Montreal because of the tremendous potential savings with a series of treatments. I usually recommend a minimum of three treatments, each four to six weeks apart. After your treatment series, the final result takes many months to appear but should last for years.
Sculptra aesthetic treatment often involves three in-office treatment sessions to replace lost facial volume
Sculptra aesthetic treatment often involves three in-office treatment sessions to replace lost facial volume. I don't think that the number of vials injected (three) is unusual. Obviously this will vary depending on how much volume has been lost and how widespread the lost volume is. WIth that said, $1000 per vial is on the expensive side but this also varies by market. I agree with the range quoted by Dr. Oppenheim. This is more reasonable for the two markets that I have practiced in. Find an experienced injector that is comfortable with the product. Sculptra is very safe in the hands of an experienced injector.
Thank you for your question.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Filler-necessary versus optional
I don't think there is a minimum number of syringes of any substance that are truly necessary. My patient population, in Queens, NY is financially conscious, and rightfully so in this economy. Some patients who have historically used two syringes of Restylane or Radiesse per session have cut back to one for economic reasons. Treatment can be tailored to an individual's pocketbook but it's important to take the time to explain just how far a syringe will go and let the patient make the decision as to which areas trouble them most. Very few of my patients are comfortable spending $3000 on filler within one year. At that rate, they are more inclined to use less product now and to save up for facial rejuvenation surgery which has a much longer life expectancy than any filler currently on the market.
As a rule of thumb, a patient will need one vial per decade, so 4 vials may be a bit more accurate. However, this obviously varies as some patients need more and there will be others for which 3 vials suffice.
As far as cost, that price seems a bit high to me, 600-800 per vial is more the going rate. This may seem a bit pricey, but please realize that Sculptra will last two plus years.
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.