If You Are Afraid of Sculptra, but Want It, Know the Technology Has Advanced and the Expertise of the Physician is Crucial!
16 October 2012: I had my first filler in March of...
- 16 Oct 2012
16 October 2012: I had my first filler in March of 2012. I had never really heard of any of this stuff until I recently moved to Malibu, and then decided to check it out. I spoke to a friend back east, who was familiar with all these procedures, and she said that she had had Sculptra in the past and loved the results, but had small bumps under her skin for 3 years, which she didn't like. After researching and reading all the horror stories, I totally ruled out Sculptra. I was very wary and decided on the safest bet. I choose Juvederm for my cheeks and lips and have been very happy with the results.
While researching Dr. P's web-site, I watched the video series he has on Sculptra. I urge anyone considering fillers to view this information - www.drpersky.com - to better understand why there were problems in the past with Sculptra, what has been learned from the unfortunate mistakes in the past, and trust that a lot of the 'kinks' with this product have been worked out. But it is very important that you get the right Dr., who you can trust and have confidence in!
My first consult with Dr. Persky was for Cool-Sculpting and mini facelift. I asked Dr. P, "What would you suggest if I were your wife, or your sister?" He suggested Sculptra and perhaps Ultherapy, stating that he has many happy patients who have been and are receiving that combination. He states on his videos that he didn't use Sculptra for a long time because he "couldn't afford to have one bump on one patient". He showed me before and after pictures of his many highly satisfied current and former patients, and spoke to me at length about these procedures. I was so excited that I almost had the Sculptra done that day following the CoolSculpting, but I would have had to wait and hit rush hour traffic.
On 09 October, I received 2 vials of Sculptra at $950 each. Dr. P first explained to me (using a real wall mirror and not a hand mirror; I never got why doctors don't use wall mirrors!) what he was going to do, where, and why. Although it was a touch uncomfortable getting what we both agreed was "a lot of needles in my face", I was amazed and totally confident with Dr. P's skill and artistry as he moved deftly around my face to multiple injections sites - varying the needle angles, amount injected, and depth of tissue being treated. He used different techniques to minimize the discomfort as he worked. He would work on an area for a bit, stand back, look and assess, and then come back in and fine tune … over and over … crafting around my entire face. I mean, you really are having your face "sculpted" with this procedure. I can't imagine ever trusting anyone else (other than his partner, Dr. Sunder) with this or any kind of treatment or surgery of my face!
Lots of deep breathing helped me to get through the actual treatment. Dr. P then did a few minutes of massage on my face, which felt wonderfully soothing after the needles. The only thing I would suggest is to be told before-hand that I would have some homework of doing these massages for 5 minutes/5 times a day for 5 days at home. I would have then paid more attention to precisely how he was massaging and would have asked what the purpose of the massage was, so I could visualize what I was doing beneath the skin. I believe the purpose of the massaging is to spread the material? keep it from clumping? preventing bumps? Feel free to correct me here, or add any comments, Dr. P.
The next few days, my face was pretty inflamed and marked with a couple of dozen puncture wounds. Doing the massage was a bit difficult b/c the tissue was tender after the anesthesia wore off. I would suggest perhaps using a warm (or hot) washcloth placed over the entire face at first, then moving around with your fingers on the washcloth to do the massage. This felt a lot better than just my bare fingers on my face. I would do at least 5 minutes, but often more, making sure to go over each area thoroughly. After massaging, I would do an ice massage by rubbing one or two small gel-pacs over each area for several minutes. This felt sooooo good, especially over the temples, which were the most tender.
Bruising was really minimal (amazing considering all the “work” that was done in there!). I started Arnica the night before my treatment and continued for a day or two after. A few small bruises did eventually develop and some yellowing under my R eye, but nothing that was very noticeable at all. The most unsightly part was the inflammation and red sores at some of the injection sites, which is unavoidable, and thankfully healed within a week's time.
Yesterday, 15 October 2012, was day 7, and it was the first day that I felt really good; the tenderness was gone and I felt that my face looked good enough to put on some sunscreen and make-up and go out to the gym. I would suggest giving yourself some time to recover, especially if your treatment is as extensive as mine was with my gratefully perfectionistic doctor :-D. I have to add that I have a knee injury and an unrelated neck injury that likely added to my feeling a bit wiped-out and fragile for a few days.
I know it will be worth it. Right after the procedure, my face looked 15 years younger! It was explained that this was from the volume of fluid mixed with the Sculptra (including saline and, I believe, Lidocaine as a local anesthetic), but would be absorbed by my body. It looked fuller and really cool for a couple of days, but has gone down to some extent. (Perhaps it is my imagination again, but) I already feel my face filling out in the hollow areas (Temples, cheeks) and my 54 y/o jowls are not quite so irksome.
I definitely think my face looks fuller at day 8, although I know that the effects will continue for 3 -6 months, as my body continues to re-build its own collagen infrastructure under my skin. This, to me, is a big reason that I highly recommend Sculptra. The Sculptra dissolves, but the lasting effects of your own physiology regenerating itself to a more youthful presentation that will last for 2-3 years is just so cool.
I will follow-up on my progress in the months (years?) to come.
Again, I can’t over-emphasize the importance of finding a doctor you can really trust for this procedure, especially as it involves the face. Facial Plastic Surgeons, such as Drs. Persky and Sunder, have continued their education and experience beyond even that of Plastic Surgery. Do your homework; the information is out there on the web. Be creative on how you do your searches (for example, when I am considering a procedure, I google, “Problems with XYZ”).
And if your face is involved, well, it’s YOUR face! I drive an hour each way to see Dr. Persky, and he is certainly worth it. Now, if I can only get him to open an office in the ‘bu … hmmmmm, Dr. P?
Dr. Persky's incredibly caring, gentle, funny, and confident manner, combined with his amazing sense of artistry and expertise (and perfectionism!), as well as his decades of experience place him firmly at the tippy-top of his field. I would give him a rating of 12 if I could. It is sometimes hard to believe that people like this still exist - especially someone in Dr. P's position, where there is a slight tendency for the "God Complex" to take over (as Carl Jung would delicately put it!). His staff is always supportive, courteous, genuinely caring and knowledgeable; they agree with me that Dr. Persky is a real gem. They say that he is a pleasure to work for, and it shows in the energy of the entire office and staff. No one is bluffing; they obviously love their jobs and their boss, and everyone treats each other with respect and courtesy. That's something that can be neither quantified or faked – no matter how close to Hollywood we are - but is rather a feeling that is undeniable. I met Dr. Sunder at Ruth Swissa ... and later had a consult with her for mini-face/ laser/ etc. When I was ready for the procedures, I called to find out that she had just had a baby and was on maternity leave :). I then researched her colleague/ partner, Dr. Michael Persky. I was hesitant at first, b/c I was totally sold on Dr. Sunder. But after researching Dr. Persky and watching his videos on www.drpersky.com , I could just feel that he had that same warm, caring, kind, authentic and very knowledgable energy and expertise. I am so glad that I got to meet Dr. Persky, and again, totally trust both him and Dr. Sunder and wouldn't think of going to anyone else at this point.