Features Are Distorted Due to Swelling from Sculptra - Have I Had Been Given Too Much?

I had my sixth vial of Sculptra, yesterday. Afterwards, my face swelled so much that my features look distorted and my cheeks look like chipmunks. Is this a bad sign and an indication that I have been overcorrected with Sculptra? If so, is there anything that I could do to help the situation (massage to redistribute it more evenly and away from overstuffed cheeks)?

Doctor Answers 6

Sculptra Treatments to the Face and Facial Swelling

Sculptra is a product that is a powder of a fruit acid polymer called polygalactic acid (we use sutures with this product) that is then rehydrated by diluting it with fluid. Depending upon many factors, like how much diluent was used, the depth of injection, any bruising and the patients tendency to swelling, there can by a tremendous amount of post scultpra treatment swelling, edema and discomfort. I will generally recommend to my sculptra patients to massage the all injected areas for 5 minutes, 5 times per day for 5 days and use cool compresses in the first 24 hours. If you swelling does not go down quickly over the first 3 days, to almost normal proportions (you may have bruising) then you should follow up with your sculptra injection physician.

Sculptra swelling usually resolves by the 3-4 day and over the next 6-8 weeks the product acts as a biostimulant for new collagen and elastin. Several treatments separated by approximately 8 weeks may be required to achieve the optimal results.

Of course, you should see a certified aesthetic physician specialist before embarking upon any treatment plan.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews


Sculptra is NOT the typical filler. Its appearance right after the procedure is NOT indicative or predictive of its stable appearance long term. Because Sculptra is a a powder which must be placed in sheet like layered fasion to bring about a controlled scar like production and filling, it must be mixed with a larger volume of water. The initial swelling you are referring to is probably related to the water swelling which goes away and later is grtadually replaced by progressive filling which lasts for weeks. You should consult with the doctor who injected you since Sculptra is not reversible the way Restylane and Juvederm are and may take well over a year to start thinning out.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Swelling after Sculptra

As you have had several vials of Sculptra to date, there is significant new collagen that has formed and repeat injections now can traumatize the area more than the first injections.  This can create a lot of swelling. Be patient but see your doctor. Massage, ice and even corticosteroid prescriptions can help minimize the swelling. Avoid exericse and bending over at the waste, and sleep on an extra pillow to limit the swelling.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Features are distorted due to swelling from Sculptra

Where the 6 vials injected  at one session? If yes. TOO MUCH! But guess what the swelling will resolve over a few days tp weeks. But if concerned re visit the injector ASAP.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

There is something you should be doing - 5x5x5 massage

We use Sculptra and Sculptra Aesthetic extensively as well as train for the company.

Part of our routine is to insist that the patients start massage of the are five times daily, for five minutes, for five days.  Massage only needs to be gentle.  With this routine our problems with irregularities and lumps have been zero.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sculptra and Swelling

No, I would not be worried that you are going to be overcorrected or puffy looking at this point.  You are very early into the recovery process, and there can be a fair amount of swelling from the Sculptra.  Within a week you should be looking better.  If not, notify your physician, but I would be suprised.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

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.