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Very Painful and Bruised for a Month - La Jolla, CA

No one ever informs you of the true cost or pain...

No one ever informs you of the true cost or pain involved. Many shots in my temple, chin & nose areas. Thought I was having a root canal and the shots became so painful I tried to get out of my chair but they would not let me. I said to stop: "it is too painful", but the doctor just said, "I know honey, I know honey".

My face was brused for more than a month! (see photos of only a portion of my face below). This was supposed to be a "no down time" procedure where I could go back to work on Monday and no one would know I had something done. Not true! It was embarassing to be in business meetings with a brused face! I couldn't even open my mouth for two days to talk or eat, since it was too painful. And this was supposed to last six months to a year or more. Well, 2 months later, my face is almost back to where it was before I had this extremely painful procedure done. I was not properly informed, and certainly will not be having any followup procedures of Sculptra!

Honestly, I am amazed at how much pain and financial cost women are willing to go through to try to look younger. Myself included! The problem is that once you start down this path, you have to continue, or your wrinkles just keep coming back. I am going to wait a year or so to see what else they come up with that is not so painful, harmful or expensive, and lasts longer.


I tried it because I was told there was no "down...

I tried it because I was told there was no "down time" and it would make me look ten years younger. After nearly $1,500 and alot of pain and brusing, I looked worse than before, especially under my eye from large "bump" left after her injection.

La Jolla Ophthalmologist

Not honest about cost or pain involved in procedures, including the fact that you will need to go back several times in a year, and then each year. The procedures do not last as long as they tell you (they last 2-3 months, not 6-24 as led to believe!)

Updated on 16 Mar 2011:
this person is an eye doctor trying to do injectables on the side. she increases her prices and then gives coupons, so you think you are getting such a "deal". The products do not last, and she did some damage under my eye and by my mouth that left brusing for months. Only good thing was her staff, who, although were new to the business, were nice.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (14)

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This product is to unpredictable. No regulations how much can be done, big mistake. Never know when a reaction will happen.
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I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. I had my injections done by a knowledgeable dermatologist and have had no problems at all. I had my second injection of Sculptra the other day and I have one very small bruise near my jaw. I did take Arnica Montana (homeopathic) a week before and a few days after. First of all, Sculptra should NOT be injected near the eyes!! It states on their website it is not intended for that area. It seems like a LOT of people have had it (and are still having it) done there. PLEASE do your research people!! In such a large area like San Diego, I am very surprised this doctor is getting away with doing these procedures. I used to live there (and Orange County) but now live in Idaho. By the way, if done properly, Sculptra should last 2 years if you have the 3 (or sometimes 4) sessions they recommend. You also need to massage for 5 days, 5 minutes, 5x per day. I don't know why some doctors are giving out incorrect info to patients AND not even doing what is recommended on the Sculptra Aesthetic website.
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If you are not a plastic surgeon or at the very least a derm -- you really shouldn't be doing something that requires precision, skill, and lots of repetition!!!!
You don't see people going to an Obgyn for LASIK!!! It's your face so people need to be more selective and smart. Do your homework because while it may seem like a great deal initially, your often pay more later to fix the mess.
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You need to find a knowledgeable doctor to perform this, do your homework, and follow directions! It seems like people who have negative reactions are not at all knowledgeable of the product OR before and after instructions. I agree with those who have stated that you need to have all the treatments before you can make any valid comments. You need to read EVERYTHING your doctor has given you before having the procedure and follow ALL the required aftercare instructions!! I bruise very easily, however, I took Arnica before and after (have only had one treatment, so far)and bruising was very minimal. It was done ONLY in the areas recommended (lower chin/cheek)! I cannot wait to see some results after my last treatment. Yes, it is expensive, but far less (and no downtime) than a face lift!!!
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If you are basing the treatment on bruising and pain, your complaint is weak. Have you ever had bruising with blood being drawn? have you ever had pain with post surgical recovery?

As for the product lasting, I would assume that if you had full treatment, you would have a valid complaint. Did the doctor say you only needed one treatment? I am age 50 and I have had five vials in the last year. Sure they hurt, and I bruised too... but I have experienced more pain from abdominal adhesions that I suffer with every day.

I think you're blaming something/someone for what is invariably inevitable, but you should have been informed.
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Sculptra is bad avoid it, the doctors on real self talking sh** when they say it is your own failt. They make big money and take away peoples lifes.

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The problems arise for different reasons. Excessive bruising is often because patients have not listened to the instructions regarding avoiding Aspirin based products or NSAID's, which often increase bruising risks. Other problems, such as the bumps around the eyes could be poor injecting technique or using the product too close to the eye. Most complaints people have about Sculptra are about 50/50 doctor/patient problem
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Sounds like you only performed one treatment of Sculptra, which would account for only seeing a couple of month's worth of benefits. Typically 3 sessions will be required for optimal results and full treatment duration.
Do you take blood thinners - aspirin, ibuprofen, motrin, advil, paxil, etc? If so did the doctor have you refrain for 2 weeks prior to injecting? Do you typically bruise easily? If so then having lodocaine injections followed by Sculptra injections will definitely leave bruising. Did your doctor recommend beginning icing the injection sites immediately following the procedure? It seems more like your problems stemmed from lack of education, expertise and care on the doctors side rather than the product itself.
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SD laser MD stop the advertising and read a medical journal. sculptra is an awful product with unpredictable results. it persists in the body with associated risks years after being injected (biopsy shows it 33 months after injection)and causes long term systemic and disfiguring results. do your job and stop risking peoples lives needlessly.
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Where are you getting this information???? I believe any procedure can have disfuguring results if not done properly and the patient does not follow after care instruction.
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That you had such an unpleasant experience is very distressing to hear. No one wants to have to deal with bruising on a long term basis. I hope my response below will help you understand the variables that affect the treatment experience and the projected results.

Please, don’t blame the product. Sculptra has the potential to do what no other injectable can achieve when it is used in the way it is intended in the amounts required.

Bruising:
Patients who undertake any type of injections risk bruising. The most common cause of multiple area bruising is age-related fragile blood vessel walls. Bruising is also brought on or increased by the use of a number of common over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or aspirin products, supplements such as Vitamin E, fish oils, St John’s Wort, ginko, ginger and garlic which all tend to act as natural blood thinners. Prescription blood thinners almost assure bruising and should always be disclosed prior to any injection treatments.

Certain health issues which cause a loss of blood platelets, which the patient may not even be aware of, will cause bruising as well. Any patient who experiences long term bruising who has not taken pain medications, OTC supplements or RX blood thinners may be well advised to visit their primary physician to rule out an underlying health issue they may have no other symptom of.

Pain during injection:
Everyone has different pain tolerance. Injecting any product into the face tends to be painful on some level and the needle size required to inject Sculptra is larger than that you would use with other injectables such as Juvederm or Botox. Some areas where Sculptra is injected CAN be quite painful and we try to prepare patients when an injection is being made in that location, generally in the area above the canine tooth where there is an abundance of nerves.

Required Sculptra sessions:
Sculptra works by creating a fibroblast response of the skin which creates “layers” of new collagen. Because the buildup is gradual and the individual patient response is unique, we will never attempt to fully correct at a first session since attempting to do so could create an undesirable result. Younger patients require less product, fewer sessions and have longer lasting results because they have a much stronger collagen generating system than someone who is in their 40s and beyond, who may require 3 or even 4 sessions depending on the volume loss we are attempting to reverse.

Duration of product:
Sculptra is mixed with sterile water prior to injection. Because the amount of product is very minimal, the “end response” is not the product itself, but your own collagen. It will usually take several months and 2 to 3 sessions for the average 50-something patient to arrive at their desired results and this will last on average 18 to 25 months and often longer. If a patient has only a single treatment, when more are clearly needed, then the response may not be evident enough to produce a satisfactory result.

Your personal experience:
We urge you to come to our clinic for a review of your treatment. If pain is an issue, in some cases we can offer a nerve block. As for bruising, list all your medications, supplements and if none of these appear to be a factor – then or now - your primary physician can run appropriate tests to rule out a hidden health issue.

It is always our sincere intent to provide full disclosure on treatment side effects, costs and requirements before commencing a treatment program. That somewhere along the way those elements were not fully communicated is troubling to us and we will certainly take steps to better manage patient expectations.


Recommendations:
For anyone contemplating facial injections, it is best to review the list of potential bruise-makers and if you find you are taking a vitamin or supplement or RX or over the counter medication which fall in the list, discuss how long you should stop taking them prior to treatment. For review of the most obvious list of offenders, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/easy-bruising/HQ00355 and also
http://www.caleyes.com/webdocuments/medications-containing-aspirin.pdf
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Thank you for sharing your experience and I'm sorry for your unhappy outcome. Feel free to post updates as you continue to recover

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The photos look pretty bad and speak for themselves, as do alot of the recent reviews of this product since this one here was posted.
There are so many products, places and individuals out there now giving shots of fillers to make you look younger. Alot of promises are advertised and I have to wonder if some sort of medical review board/process is necessary.
Some people are actually getting hurt or disfigured. Seems like the most important aspect is to find someone highly qualified with good background and feedback, even if you pay more. Finding that doctor can be the challenge.
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I agree, I have noticed a difference in outcome between physicians. The differences are profound.
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