Write a review

The Whole Truth Please

I am writing in this particular site because after...

I am writing in this particular site because after spending an hour or so in here I am shocked at how misleading the info is in regards to sculptra. The truth is that granulomas form - often times they can be seen. The granulomas are permanent and extremely disfiguring.

This material sculptra is a foreign body and your system will attack it as long as it remains in you. This is an implant, its not like other fillers. While the benefits only last 2 years the granulomas are forever unless you excise them. This is not easy to do without causing more damage. My hope is that this info will help you to make a more informed decision - go with a filler that if lumps form they can be removed in a less damaging manner.

Please understand that not all complications can be fixed with more plastic surgery. My life has forever been changed. My photo's are now used at many training conferences- there is no help for me, I hide away and have no life. Its been 4 years since I had the implant and I have tried several methods to remove them and they have not changed one bit, and in fact I am more disfigured. Please research this.

Name not provided

Not informed enough with product as well as technique.

Was this review helpful? 29 others found this helpful

Comments (77)

Sort by

Initially Sculptra received FDA approval for treatment of HIV associated fat loss in the face. This was a critical indication in that this condition had essentially become the Scarlet Letter of the 90’s and was in need of a method of cosmetic management. It has now been ap- proved for individuals without HIV who are seeking cosmetic enhancement. Daily calls and emails to my of- fice are received from men and women who have had severe problematic reactions to Sculptra even by the masters you mention. Nasiolabial Folds DP is a 45 y.o. female who 11 months prior to being seen had undergone a series of three monthly injections of Sculptra to the cheeks, nasolabial folds, and periorbital areas. By the third visit she developed severe swelling in the periorbital area and refused further treatment. She had seen multiple physicians for this swelling and dis- coloration and received intralesional steroid injections which provided little improvement [9-11]. Most recently she saw a physician who suggested ex- cision. When seen she had 3 - 4 nodules (>10 mm) in the inferior periorbital area and 2 on her right nasolabial fold (Figure 1) It was decided to use intralesional injectable 5 fu (5 parts) mixed with one part Kenalog 10 mg/cc with an excellent response. However, in long standing cases it may not work. Please stay away from this!
  • Reply
I am a 43 yr old woman who about a year and a half ago tried 3ccs of sculptra into my nasiolabial folds and cheeks. I started feeling joint swelling in my hands and index fingers afterwards, but like many, didnt relate it to the Sculptra. I am very active and also was lifting light weights and attributed it to that. 6 weeks later went in for my second treatment with sculptra and only did 1CC into cheeks. Within days, I developed a severe rheumatoid like reaction affecting every joint in my hands and feet. It was so debilitating that i could not chop with a knife or open my refrigerator without severe pain 24 hrs. I also developed nodules around my mouth area that are still there and are as hard as frozen peas. She injected a bit of steroid into one area, which did nothing but cause a large dent in my chin. I was a healthy mom of 4 without a history of autoimmune at all and I asked thorough questions about allergies and the development of any immune reaction to this product. I was assured that it has not happened and that this is a very safe product that has been used for many yrs. After I notified my doctor about my joint pain, she couldnt believe it. Later she was notified by the company that there were 30 post study cases of joint pain, colitis and other immune reactions and that my doctor has not used this product on so many people herself, but her colleagues think that my reaction is impossible! I am still battling with my joints although it has improved significantly, I am now simply living with pain that can be woken up by touching any chemical, soap, perfumes, colorants etc. This product has destroyed my immune system and has woken up a host of chemical sensitivities, hives, and rheumatoid like symptoms. Wake up everybody, THIS PRODUCT IS DANGEROUS.
  • Reply
I agree. Many people may have an increased risk genetically to develop immune system problems and all we require is a "trigger". It is totally pathetic that a medical doctor injects a trigger into our body. I would have gone my entire life without exposure to a trigger. I had made it through the most difficult first 47 years without any such trigger. It just took sculptra to mess up my immune system completely. I am approaching my 6 year anniversary. I am doing better than I was. I had such bad hand swelling and colitis and local facial/undereye swelling and pain. I felt like a 90 year old woman. I was disfigured but much worse, I was made chronically ill. I have looked for solutions in Chinese Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Rheumatologist. All say until this polyester is gone my body will continue to have a systemic immune response. The company does not know how long it takes to fully degrade. Now they are saying it is "absorbed" but the polymer may never fully degrade. What a bunch of horse shit. The FDA MAUDE database has reports of people developing these adverse events 3 years after injection. It is a very dangerous product. People want to say how great it is and that their doctor is special and would never harm them. I thought that too, until it was done. I was told it was very safe and natural. I later learned he did it all wrong (makes it even worse when done all wrong) and there is no way to undo it. All you can do is eat an anti-inflammatory diet, light exercise and plaquenil has also helped. I have also been on periodic antibiotics when things get bad. As recently as summer 2013 I had a very bad flare that required an MRI and it shows the product. Further testament to how wrong mine was done. Good Luck to everyone out there who has this polyester junk in their faces.
  • Reply
I agree 100%. People dont realize that if you have any history of allergies, respiratory, digestive, skin allergy, or any Autoimmune in the family, any foreign agent or trauma can trigger and severe inflammatory reaction. In my case, I have had allergic rhinitis, wheat and gluten allergy, and my mom has scleroderma which was triggered in her forties after collagen injections that were given 25 years ago. How have doctors not learned from this? Why dont they screen patients to see if there such a history? In my case, I ASKED all the right questions and discussed my mothers history and was GUARANTEED that this would not happen to me, it is IMPOSSIBLE. I know that this polyester will live in me for a long time, and now I am very very very careful about everything I touch, eat, breath because my pain will come back. Its a roller coaster ride that at 43, is so sad. Besides my joints, fatigue and swelling in my ankles is also happening. I WAS perfectly healthy with non of these symptoms before SCULPTRA. I refused to get on the steroids and the only soluition is acupuncture and herbs in order to try to detox this garbage. I am also on an anti-inflamatory, gluten free diet, and scared to death to touch even soaps and detergents, paints( I used to paint but no longer able to), nail polish removers, plastic gloves, etc. Anything could start the pain again! Once it starts, it takes weeks for any relief. I have four kids and a big cook, and i have to limit my time chopping, have difficulty opening bottles, and have to avoid washing foods too much because the joint pain comes back!
  • Reply
I am reading that Sculptra has been reformulated, or physicians have been better-educated on dilution and mixing of the product, and that it is not problematic any more. Is that the case, in your experience?
  • Reply
I sent you a PM...
  • Reply
Dear Kooie,

I think I read a post that you knew someone in NYC that can help with sculptra problems? I tried to email u personally, but it didn't work. PLEASE let me know if there is someone you know...Thanks so much
  • Reply
I just wanted to remind people that a 'Master Injector" using Sculptra doesn't mean crap...
Its the product and the possible reactions in certain individuals - no matter how 'master' the doctor is..
In my opinion the product is unpredictable - Its better since they have watered it down but . If you get a lump you will be kicking yourself for a LONG time

... and don't expect your 'Master Injector' do be there for you if something goes wrong. They'll blame you... Its a total riot how this works...

This is a semi- permanent product and that means the
lumps are semi- permanent too.
There are risks with these fillers but this filler has long lasting results...

Its the peri-orbital area that is the problem, don't let a doctor use it there... Jowls are best for this product.
Regards,
kooie
  • Reply
Scupltra nightmare! You may initially be happy with the results. Then it starts to fade.You haven't had any lumps, and feel like one of the lucky ones...SUPRISE! Round 2 begins ok, until your face starts swelling out of control. You no longer have the same facial shape and it looks like you have gained 20 lbs.. The worst part is that the reasons you started, eye hollows, marionette lines, etc., are all back and now look worse than before, TWO years later! Your face looks like a chipmunk when you smile, and its so tight you can't see your own teeth..Patients are uninformed and many dr's have stopped using it years ago because it is so UNPREDICTABLE. If anyone has found a cure please let me know....
  • Reply
I would go to Rebecca Fitzgerald if I had money and time to fly out to LA...hmmm...because she's had some really good reviews. It does seem like some docs hate this stuff and others push it like drug dealers on the street! When they do that overzealously it repulses me.
  • Reply
I did not get sculptra and I am glad I didn't after reading the issues with it on this site. Thank you for your advice.
  • Reply
Yeah I am happy to hear they went back to the drawing board. I am still disfigured , one eye is not normal and I doubt it ever will be.
I don't get the e-mails I used to get from freaked out disfigured people so I know they changed how the stuff is given and you'll be just fine I am sure!

Oh how I could just kick myself for ever letting that doctor talk me into sculptra!
kooie
  • Reply
I just had a consult today with a facial plastic surgeon. I am in my 50s and I am interested in plumping out smile lines & cheeks. When I entered the surgeon's office, a Sculptra video was on the TV, and during the consult, it was suggested as an alternative to surgery. He said it was too soon for a face lift and that I could maybe try silicone cheek implants or Sculptra. I had not thought of it after reading some of the problems people have had...but this surgeon quoted me on it. It seems that some doctors "push" this stuff...I was leaning toward cheek impants......they can be removed but the doctor said I should also consider Sculptra and quoted me on it. BTW.....do you know whether Silikon 1000 risky too?
  • Reply
WOWOWOW. I am overwhelmed with all this....just went to a ps a few days ago and was excited to return for my first treatment (1400, two vials, one in each side of jaw to cheek area, mixed and diluted correctly, she said). She did say that people had developed lumps in the first version, so they went back to the drawing board (she said) and had people dilute it and mix it up better. I believed her and possibly she has never had problems in the many years she has done it. BUT....after reading this, I may have to just live with my flat, too thin, too long and saggy face. I have always been healthy and wish to remain so. And this sounds just...awful. My thanks goes out to people like Kooie et al for their input.
  • Reply

I am interested in publishing data in the peer reviewed literature for sculptra patients with nodules 5 years after treatment. I would encourage those patients to contact me. The only way as doctors we would know this is if the data is published. - Dr. T

  • Reply
Dear Dr. Chris, There are so many of us out there suffering. My delayed onset came after 6 months . The cellulitis, ganulomas, papules and nodules, the lumps, masses,the asymmetry of the face and eyes, the uveitis, and the day to day inflammation is endless. My ps didn't believe it was the product until the ultra sounds and the positive foreign body granuloma diagnosis, but when I gave them the releases reports from sanofi about the delayed onsets cases.etc. They stopped using the product.I have been suffering for only 8 months but have given your email to those that have been suffering for years. We just can't shut the product off or remove it until it becomes a granuloma and Please go to sculptra damage.com to see more. I was used in a path report for a medical review journal . The granuloma was significant in size. I hope you can help us or at least get the message out about the true damage of those with a good auto immune system thank you !!Bless you for taking an interest and trying !!!
  • Reply

got autoimmune response several days after 2ND SCULPTRA treatment with less than 1 CC in cheeks. severe joint pain in hands and swelling of joints. after !st trmt of 3ccs had one finger pain and did not put it together. 3 months between treatments. now 2 mos after 2nd trmt and still joint pain.

  • Reply
The material in sculptra is the same as the vicryl suture. When I do surgery on the face or eyelid multiple vicryl sutures are placed in the face. There is no evidence of patients developing an immune disorder to this. Now...is there a possibility that the volume of sculptra can kick over in some people who have an underlying disposition to immune dysfunction an immune disorder. Yes it is possibly but very unlikely. Otherwise vicryl suture would have been discontinued a long time ago. Also over time the vicryl suture gets absorbed. The nodules that some patients have developed disappear but may take years.
  • Reply
Thank you for your comments about your experience with vicryl sutures. I am about 6 years post sculptra injections and I still have a lump under my eye. I hope someday it goes away. It is very noticeable when I smile and the eye is much smaller then the other. Since having the sculptra I now have immune issues. I have to have blood infusions twice a week. Maybe this is not related to the sculptra I don't know but before sculptra I had no issues. Just wishing I had never done the injections- things have not been right since. kooie
  • Reply
When Sculptra is injected at the levels where it will do the most good (deep dermis), properly hydrated and diluted, the changes of undesirable reactions are practically nonexistent. There is no guarantee, though, that someone will not have any unanticipated reactions whatsoever. The patients who have Sculptra injected by a well trained physician who understands the great difference in placement location and product action have enjoyed a facial volume return that can't be duplicated with anything else we have here in the U.S. When Sculptra first gained FDA approval here, the physician experience levels were not all that great. Some physicians did not take their training responsibilities as seriously as they should have and some likely injected at depths that were too superficial and in in appropriate locations. The physician MUST understand how uniquely different Sculptra is from other injectable products. I have had the advantage of being personally trained by Dermik's master international trainer, Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald, who, for all practical purposes has the most experience of any physician in this country. The techniques I have learned from her have allowed me to provide some outstanding, reaction-free results for my patients. Sculptra is not the ideal product to use in certain facial areas and in that case, temporary fillers are advised. I'm terribly sorry you had a bad experience with long term negative outcomes. Perhaps the most important question patients can ask these days is not "how much does it cost" but, "What is your training level and how much experience do you have?"
  • Reply
What a load of crap. Even with the "best" injector and the "new" methods disasters continue to happen. Physicians are using this product without understanding what is happening at a microscopic level and how the persons entire immune system responds. Many of us may have never come down with an immune disease. Thanks to Sculptra we have. I have in my hands a document from Sanofi Aventis that tells of the common long lasting adverse events. You cant be fixed when this stuff goes wrong.
  • Reply
I have been suffering from Sculptra damage for over 8 months I am appalled that at the time I was injected there was no mention of the delayed onset of this "Class III medical device" as titled by the FDA and as to the injector the sculptra rep/ps was the instructor!! along with very reputable plastic surgeons !! I looked great for ^months then all hell broke loose. I was treated in the ER for severe cellulitis with IV vancomycin I have had 2 foreign body granulomas removed !! Nodules papules that's nothing!! How about the masses in each cheek??? and the severe swelling day to day? They cannot shut the product off and it cannot be removed until a granuloma is formed. Steroids Iv or oral decreases the inflammation,but the cellulite with all its nooks and crannies remain. Injections of hydrocortisone with saline weekly then bi monthly. You can't imagine the bruising,discoloration and the atrophy My plastic surgeons felt at the on set that it couldn't be the product because I would have signs earlier, they contacted the rep/instructor who was a ps himself and he agreed this couldn't be the product. I then sought consultation with a M.D in infection control who uses the product treating faces of those with HIV, she knew exactly what the cause was from she sees it often!!!Being in the medical world myself, I contacted Sarnofi and they released pages of delayed onset reactions and how other physicians were treating this dilemma and they could not and would not recommend a treatment of choice. My plastic surgeons couldn't believe what I brought to them and now will not use the product. Believe me I massaged so well. I did my own dermabrasion.To date I have so many cases that have been going on disfigured like myself for years. A women whom I contacted in the Netherlands has written a book.I"m happy that you haven't seen cases like Kooie and myself but we have cases of many people just like us and maybe when you get a patient like us you will understand the damage this product is capable of doing. Some documentation is starting to surface on the systemic effects such as sjogren's, sarcoidosis. Wish you the best of luck. I just wish some of these doctors would have this product used on themselves, if they feel this the best thing out there..
  • Reply
Never once said "the site is not telling the truth" The product has been approved by the FDA as an implant, easier for quick approval that way- no need for lots of trials etc. The 38 posts are posts that are a give and take conversation with other members... Just because the device is used for sutures doesn't mean its safe as a wrinkle filler. I would like to suggest that you google Sculptra some more, there is a lot of information in regards to injecting a foreign body and the response the immune system can have. Use and response is not as simple as you have indicated. Thank you for your info though. kooie
  • Reply
Wow..Kooie I see you have 38 posts here..that's quite a few for someone who thinks the site is not telling the truth. Sculptra is NOT an implant..the material that they inject is made out of the same material that is used for disolvable sutures. It dissipates in time and is replaced by your own collagen. Yes lumps can occur when used incorrectly, but its definitely NOT an implant.
  • Reply
Hi Keith. Thanks for your reply. After reading the disaster stories, I would not put Sculptra near my face even if the injector had been using the product 20 times a day for 10 years. I would not use it even if I was paid to. To me, it is simply not worth the risk. I started looking into Sculptra because my sister has an extremely rare disease called Parry-Romberg syndrome (which causes muscle atrophy of the face and facial wasting) and I thought it might help her. See http://rarediseases.about.com/od/rarediseasesp/a/parryromberg05.htm I am so glad that people who experienced adverse events with Sculptra were brave enough and care enough about other people to share their terrible stories on this website. My sister will also never use Sculptra even though her facial wasting is moderate to high on one side of her face. Fat transfer instead! If you believe that your good result with Sculptra was due to the skill of your injector then you must be terrified now that your injector is now deceased. However, I am of the opinion that it will make no difference for you at all. You might not get the same aesthetic result because the new injector in Switzerland is less familiar with your face etc but after using the product for eight years, it would appear that you are in the lucky group who do not form lumps or nodules. That is excellent for you because Sculptra obviously improves your quality of life. Nobody is saying that Sculptra doesn't work for you. It clearly does. What the posts from kooie, Michelle P et al are saying (and what I believe also) is that if you are one of the unlucky people in the 52% category who develop lumps and nodules then nothing can be done to assist you and the disfigurement is severe and permanent. And there is no way to tell if you are going to develop the lumps or nodules prior to injecting. WHAT A RISK!! Absolutely not worth it.
  • Reply