I really liked the results I had attained from the swelling of my first session of Sculptra. But now, after three vials, I am still left waiting to see those same results. I read that it takes approximately five vials of Sculptra to achieve the same effect as obtained from the initial swelling form the Sculptra and Lidocaine. Yet, a physician told me that each particular session of Sculptra should produce the results obtained from the swelling of that particular session. Which is the case? Will I need more sessions or should I wait it out?
How Many Vials of Sculptra to Obtain Results Like Initial Swelling?
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No magic number
I don't think there is a magic number such as 5 vials. This is because everyone reacts and metabolizes the material differently and swells differently. I would recommend waiting and observing for now.
Depends on the amount of volume correction needed
The number of vials of Sculptra needed to obtain the ultimate result depends on the amount of volume correction needed and the surface area of the treatment in each patient. If you are treating the full face, you would typically need two vials. The upper face or the lower face would require only 1 vile each. The amount of treatments needed also depends on the volume correction of each individual. For example, on a very thin runner, you may need three treatments to reach the ultimate result.
If you are treating a patient who is pretty full in the face, but needs contouring, they may only need two treatments. And, if you are treating someone with HIV, they may need up to five treatments. With Sculptra, the initial fullness you see is mostly water and then eventually the water dissipates and is replaced by your own collagen so it is vital to find a physician who is very familiar with the product and has a lot of experience injecting it.
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Sculptra results take time
Sculptra is unique in the world of fillers-- instead of filling the tissue up with a product, such as hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Restylane), as you would fill a tire with air, with Sculptra we are trying to "grow" your own, natural collagen. This seeding and growth takes time, with the ultimate goal replicating what you see immediately after injection.
Results will often vary, mostly depending upon the amount of volume we are trying to restore. Typically, I find most patients need between 3-6 injections to get the results they need, often spaced about 2months between injections. Also keep in mind that new collagen may continue to be formed for 4-6 months after your last injection.
Predicting Sculptra Results
It is very hard to predict the eventual result. It depends on the dilution used by your physician. If it is a 10ml dilution, then you could expect around 6 sessions with one vial each to give you that final result.
Please remember that is an estimate and individuals can vary to get that result between 3 to 10 sessions.
Numbers of vials of Sculptra
I have not found that postoperative swelling correlates with the amount of collagen that is produced by Sculptra. The swelling that is immediate is partly caused by the water and anesthetic that is mixed with the Sculptra and different physicians add different amounts of fluid in the Sculptra so the intial swelling can be different with the same number of vials of the product. Many patients who do not see significant improvement do see volume increasing after the third treatment and it can take a couple of months after the last treatment to be evident. If six to nine months have gone by after the last treatment and you wish to have more volume, then it would be time to repeat the treatment or try a different filler or fat injections.
Results can vary
Sculptra works by initiating an immune response that results in collagen production. The effect takes anywhere from 2-6 vials in most healthy individuals. The results typically are appreciated 6 months from the start of injections. If it has been more than 6 months, and photos verify that you have had NO effect, I'd add a different filler. If the photos show improvement, you need more Sculptra. Remember, the payoff is that the results are usually appreciable and noticeable for 24 months.