Are My Complications Normal 2 Weeks Post Sculptra? (photo)

Sculptra done 2 weeks ago, 2 vials total. I hated the look, fat cheeks. My left side was a lot more swollen than the right. Went to ask about it and they said it was just from swelling, and that is looked fine. Also more was injected in that side, apparently to make my face uneven I guess? It seemed to go down a bit after the week, but now the swelling is back on left side. There feels like there is pressure, itching, and puffy, no more definition. I am not getting more but how do I fix?

Doctor Answers 10

Wait six weeks between Sculptra injection sessions

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Sculptra is mixed with sterile water and lidocane and each time it is injected it is done so to volume.  That liquid volume will be rapidly absorbed over the first 2 or 3 days. You can have some degree of soft tissue swelling that may be accounting for the change that you are observing.   At this point  I wouldn't be concerned at 2 weeks after the injection. Your current appearance should still change with more time. You should wait 6 weeks between injection sessions.  I would expect you to see some degree of filling 6 weeks after the second session.  Most patients need one vial per decade, so if your are 50 the average amount needed is 5 vials.

Complications 2 weeks after Sculptra

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Without knowing the specifics about your particular treatment, it's difficult to answer your question.  It would be helpful to know exactly which areas were injected and how much was used in each area as well as the dilution used to reconstitute the product.  With any type of injection, including Sculptra, it is not unusual for one side to be more swollen than the other.  Normally, this will improve over time.  It can take one to two months to see the final result from a Sculptra treatment, so I would recommend waiting until then to judge your appearance.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Concern about Sculptra injections--is this normal?

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Thanks for your photo and question. Sculptra is a very dynamic injection process.  The swelling that your facial tissue goes through can be very significant. It may seem asymmetric and irregular at times, but this always settles down.  Typically patients may have 2 vials injected at their first treatment and then single vials are injected.  You should expect your swelling to go down with each day and you should expect less swelling with your next injections.  If you were to have fevers or chills and not patches of redness and skin irritation, you should seek the assistance of you injector to make sure there is not a skin infection.  Sculptra is a great product.  Be patient and you will enjoy the results! I hope this was helpful.

Your photo makes your left cheek appear more uneven than it really is

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Please look carefully at your photo.  Your head is slightly turned toward the right side which will make it always appear that the left side is forward.  At two weeks Sculptra is often uneven.  It always goes down.  Sculptra is always what we call "biphasic" in that it is initially often too large, too uneven, and may be tender.  It then goes down and over 8-10 weeks will fill back in again.  Usually any early uneven areas adjust.  Be patient and you will almost certainly do fine.      Dr. Mayl. Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Complications after Sculptra

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It takes 6 to 8 weeks to totally evaluate the results of your Sculptra injection.  It would be even more helpful if I knew the amount injected in these specific areas and the dilution.  I would wait until the proper time to see the final results.  If after 2 months you still think it is uneven please consult your treating dermatologist.  It is really important to find a dermatologist who is very experienced with Cosmetic injections for these procedures.  Please let me know what happens.

Itchiness After Sculptra

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After two weeks the swelling should have gone down. If there is itching as well, you could either have an allergic reaction or an infection I would consult with your primary MD and either start on an antihistamine or an antibiotic.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swelling After Sculptra

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Swelling is common after Sculptra, and without evaluating you, it is difficult to say whether what you are experiencing is normal. Typically results come on after 6-8 weeks, so 2 weeks after injection is typically to soon to judge the true effects from the treatment.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 87 reviews


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It is difficult to answer your question without really knowing what areas were injected with Sculptra.  It is common to have swelling at this time and this swelling should continue to improve.  If however you experience swelling with fever, chills, pain, etc., you should consult your physician.  

Are My Complications Normal 2 Weeks Post Sculptra?

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Possible injection cellulitis or maybe double amount placed on larger side. Very hard to tell over the internet. Seek in person evaluations and treatment ASAP. 

2 weeks post Sculptra injection

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Sculptra is reconstituted with bacteriostatic water, then injected.  For the first 24 to 72 hours one will see fullness in the area of injection secondary to the water used.  After the 72 hours, fullness that is seen is probably because of edema secondary to the trauma of injection.  You may have a deep bruise that you cannot see superficially, that should resolve with time.  Two weeks is not enough time for Sculptra to stimulate enough collagen growth to be seen by the naked eye.  Try not to worry about the asymmetry at this point.  It should resolve.  I would recommend continuing with consecutive treatments of Sculptra to work toward your goal of improving the skin and volume in the face.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.