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What is the Safer Option for Filling in Temples: Radiesse or Sculptra. Which is More Likely to Cause Bumps?

I want to get my temples filled as there is a hollowness in that area. I was wondering what is safer for filling that area? The last time I had sculptra,, in the temples, it caused bumps that lasted for three years. I had Radiesse, that was diluted by 30%, and when the swelling went down, one siringe of Radiesse, really didn't help much. How much would be needed of both products, and which is less likely to cause bumps? I was told that fat trasfer is not an option for me because I am thin.

Doctor Answers 15

Options for filling temples

Many fillers are used in the temple region and the "best" one depends on each patient's needs. Personally, I prefer Radiesse or Restylane in this region, or often a combination with Radiesse underneath and Resty on top of it. As long as you are visiting a good injector, you should get a good result. There are no counter products to either Radiesse or Sculptra, so if there are any bumps or lumpiness, these have to resolve on their own over time.

Safety of Radiesse vs. Sculptra in the Temples

The simple answer to your question is that both Radiesse and Sculptra are safe and effective in the temple region when injected properly, and when appropriate volume is injected.  There are several differences between the two products.  Sculptra, made of L-poly lactic acid, must be reconstituted with saline 5-7 days prior to injection, must be injected in a plane deep to the temporalis muscle, and must be allowed 4-6 weeks for appropriate volume to be generated.  Sculptra may require several treatments in order to be efficacious, depending on the indications.  Lumps and bumps in the temporal region are likely to have been related to inadequate reconstitution time, or a superficial injection.  Radiesse, made from calcium hydroxylapatite, does not require reconstitution, and can be injected more superficially with immediate effect.  If the patient has deep temple hollows and only receives one syringe of Radiesse, a lack of satisfaction is virtually inevitable.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Options for filling temples

Both Radiesse and Sculptra could be used to fill the temples.  When used correctly, both of them should be very safe with a low chance of bumps.  While bumps can occur with any filler, because Sculptra is longer lasting, bumps may last longer than with Radiesse.  Without pictures, it's difficult to tell how much of either product would be recommended for you.  With the Sculptra, I would say that you would need half a vial to a vial per treatment.  With Radiesse, you might need between 0.8cc and 1.5cc.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

There is another answer that may be better than either Radiesse or Sculptura....

...because, unfortunately these fillers are temporary and need to be redone sometimes frequently. There is one filler that is permanent, that being Bellafill. It was re-branded recently with a new name but it is the same product. I have obtained some really nice results from this product when used in the temples, and the results seem to continue to improve over time (years). The main downside of Bellafill, is that a skin test needs to be done to be sure you do not have an allergy to the carrier of the actual product which are microscopic beads. These beads distribute in the area that volume is needed and promote your  body to produce collagen which builds over several weeks to months to create a very natural filling of the temporal hollows that never has to be repeated! It has a fantastic record of safety and the enhancement takes time, but lasts and lasts. 
It is not only approved as a filler for facial fat loss but also to correct deep scars from acne.

Douglas Hendricks, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

What is the safer option for filling in the temples, Radiesse or Sculptra?

I generally like to use Radiesse for the temple. In the hands of an experienced specialist, Radiesse for this area yields a fantastic result. If the injections are not performed properly, this may result in a poor outcome. A board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or dermatologist are all great options. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Radiesse or sculptra for Temples?

If you had lumps from Sculptra last time, you could try Radiesse this time.  It is not likely to make lumps if injected correctly and they wouldn't last 3 years.  Without seeing you I have no way to telling you how many syringes you would need but the minimum is usually 1 syringe per side. If temples are very hollow it could take 1 1/2 - 2 syringes per side.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Sculptra or Radiesse to the Temples

   Sculptra and Radiesse can both produce bumps and can both be used.  I must admit, however, that I have never seen an individual from whom I could not get enough fat for fat grafting to that area.

Radiesse Combined With Juvederm UltraPlus XC Works Well For Temple Augmentation

Diluting Radiesse with local anesthetic has been recommended in the literature for treating temples (just as it has recommended for treating the backs of the hands). The exact dilution can be individualized according to the specific need. I have found, however, that combining Radiesse with a smooth volumizing agent, such as Juvederm UltraXC, works well in the temple area and gives a smooth (non-lumpy bumpy) result with excellent durability.

I am not a big fan of Sculptra in general since several treatment sessions are typically required to achieve results, the results are not immediate (as they are with Radiesse and other volumizers), and the cost is relatively high.

I strongly suggest that you seek out a board certified aesthetic physician injector who has experience with all available injectable agents and is thoroughly familiar with the ways that they can modified in concentration, amounts injected, and injection techniques to better achieve the desired results in this important cosmetic region.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Sculptra and Radiesse both safe

When injected at the appropriate depth, deep to the temporalis muscle and away from the vessels, both products are safe with low risk for nodules or bumps.  However, Sculptra probably has somewhat of an edge because it is easier to draw back into the syringe to ensure that the needle is not in a vessel before injecting.  I have also used a technique of injecting diluted Restylane above the temporalis muscle with a cannula followed by vigorous massage with very nice results and no bumps.  This technique requires an average of 2 syringes of Restylane and lasts up to one year. 

Michael Contreras, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Both Product Cause Bumps in Temple Area

Thank you for your question.  Both Radiesse and Sculptra can cause bumps in the temple area because the tissues are so thin and immediately overlying bone in this area.  All fillers have this risk in this location.  Fat is a great option and some can usually be found on practically everyone.  A dilute Sculptra  injection would help but is costly and requires months to get significant improvement. Radiesse works immediately but requires some massage to soften the lumps.  Consider consulting a surgeon with experience treating lipoatrophy for the best results.  Best wishes.

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 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.