Happy with Sculptra in Tear Troughs - 18 months - Seattle, WA

About a year ago I had an important Skype...

About a year ago I had an important Skype interview and when I saw myself on the screen, I realized that my under-eye hollows had gotten so bad that I looked like I had been tortured for months (I ended up doing the interview with about a pound of concealer under my eyes and 4 lamps pointed at my face from every direction in an attempt to flood my face with light and eliminate shadows in the eye hollows from any angle). After this interview, I knew it was time to do something about the hollows.

I was attracted to Sculptra because of the semi-permanent results and also because the filler stimulates new collagen production and then dissolves from the body (so all that is left is your own collagen). Because the procedure is essentially irreversible, I went to a physician with the most experience in Sculptra injections and who trains other doctors to use Sculptra, and was religious in following the instructions of the after care.

I was swollen for the first 2 days, but just wore make up and, in fact, went out to dinner the same evening. The swelling for the first 2-3 days was noticeable and had anyone asked about it at work, the plan was to say that I had seasonal allergies - but no one ever asked. The after care instructions are to aggressively massage the injected area for 5 minutes 5 times a day for the first 5 days. I was repeatedly told that failing to follow these instructions would result in palpable lumps underneath the skin which would then have to dissolve on their own (this could take years to happen). Not wanting lumps under my eyes, I massaged like a fiend! Because the massaging has to be aggressive, it was a bit painful especially during the first day - [it helped that my partner did the sadistic duty of massaging:) ] - but considering the results, it was totally worth it!

Even though Sculpra ads say that change will be seen after a few months, I saw almost immediate results. I am also a minimalist and even though the physician highly recommended that I come back for a second set of injections a month later, I was very happy with the result that I was seeing and did not feel it was necessary to have an additional injection. The hollows underneath my eyes kept filling in throughout the next several months. I had a friend who had seen me 3 months after the procedure and then at 8 months and thought that my eye hollows had filled in even more since the last time I saw him. Overall, I don't ever think about my eye hollows anymore. I still have dark circles under my eyes (I've always had them) but even the dark circles look not as dark because there is now no "shadowing" to accentuate them.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the results. I understand that there are a few people that have not had good results with Sculptra; and having read some of their stories now, I do not know if I would have gotten Sculptra had I read these stories before my procedure - I probably would have gotten too frightened and opted for the much more expensive autologous fat injections. If you do decide that Sculptra is right for you, please go to the most experienced physician in your area. Sculptra has a physician locator http://www.sculptraaesthetic.com/consumer/physician-search.aspx and even highlights the doctor who is a "trainer" for other doctors in the proper use of Sculptra. This is one procedure where the experience of the physician and meticulous after-care will really make a big difference.

Hi Megan,

I had the Sculptra injected in August of 2011. As I mentioned in the original post, I am also shocked by all the negative Sculptra experiences that I have read on this site. I am wondering if part of the issue is in the after care. Having read some of the physician responses to a posted question asking how to reduce the chances of lumping, I noted that massage was mentioned but the aggressiveness of the massage was not emphasized. Therefore, one is bound to think that the after-care massage is normal in pressure. If patients are not adequately instructed on how hard the massage is supposed to be, it could be part of the problem. The Sculptra aftercare massage is NOT a "normal" or relaxing massage as one would get during a spa facial. I was instructed to massage hard against the bone and that the pressure of the massage (as well as doing it at least 5 times a day for 5 days) was directly related to the dissolution of the Sculptra particles. As mentioned previously, this was a painful/unpleasant massage especially since I had a bruise from the injection under the left eye, which still had to be massaged aggressively.
PS: one of the responding physicians to the referenced post, suggested that the patient use the back of the Clarisonic brush for the massage. Being a Clarisonic brush owner myself, the idea of utilizing it for my post-Sculptra massage also popped into my head. Dr. Schell specifically told me that the Clarisonic brush would not provide nearly sufficient pressure - the bone has to be literally palpated and the Sculptra particles "ground" against the pressure of the bone.

I think the word "massage", in the context of Sculptra, is misleading for the patient and for the performing physician; especially if the performing physician has not personally tried Sculptra injections and, therefore, does not know first-hand that a simple massage will not sufficiently dissolve/break-up/spread-out the Sculptra particles in the first few days.

Yeah, I guess it seems to me that with the risk of not properly massaging it resulting in lumps & bumps I can understand why a lot of people prefer to stick with fillers that carry less risk of that.

It is great that you are sharing with others just how forceful you had to be with the massaging to get the good results you did. :)


Sculptra for eye hollows still going strong after...

Sculptra for eye hollows still going strong after 16 months. Some people whom I told about my Sculptra experience sounded surprised that I had such good results with only a one time half of a vial injection; I was 33 years old when I had the Sculptra injected. From what I have read, the younger patients may have benefits with less Sculptra.

Also, I forgot to mention that I took Arnica montana pills immediately before and after the injections and massaged with vitamin K cream - my bruising was minimal, presumably due to these measures. To anyone considering Sculptra, please read the aftercare notes regarding massage firmness (it has to be a very firm/painful massage!), which I wrote in conversation below this post.

Also, I read one of the ladies on RealSelf has had persistent infections because of Sculptra and is recommending that people consider taking antibiotics right before and after the Sculptra injections. I occasionally take doxycycline for acne flare-ups, but I do not remember if I was taking this antibiotic at the time of my Sculptra injections. However, if I had read this RealSelf member's review before I had my injections, I would have taken antibiotics just for prophylactic purposes. Best of luck to everyone!

Thank you so much for updating us and letting us know that things are still going great. I'm so glad to hear that!! It's really helpful to hear how things work out in the long run, so please continue to let us know how you're doing. :)

Dr. Barbara Schell

I went to the Sculptra site http://www.sculptraaesthetic.com/consumer/physician-search.aspx and picked a doctor who is a certified Sculptra trainer of other physicians. Dr. Schell is a Board Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist who uses Sculptra on her own face, as it is her favorite filler, and who undoubtedly performs the one of the highest numbers of Sculptra procedures in the area; Knowing this also eased my mind a bit.

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