Sculptra - How Much Pain After Anesthesia Wears Off?

I am concerned as I have read a report on there being "extreme pain" after everything wore off which really frightened me. Also on the Sculptra website as an adverse reaction it states "severe pain"..please advise as now I am very nervous

Doctor Answers 10


It is not too common for patients to experience extreme pain during or after Sculptra treatments.  If need be, topical numbing cream can be applied prior to treatment.  Also, Tylenol may be used after treatment if there is any pain remaining.    

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Sculptra is not a very painful procedure

It is extremely rare that patients feel much pain during or after the procedure when the anesthetic wears off.  If the technique in one physician is much different than the other, than possibly some might cause more trauma by touching up against the bone with the needle before depositing it in the right plane, but this is avoided by many physicians to minimize pain. If a bad bruise occurs, sometimes the area is very tender but that is temporary and rare.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Sculptra is NOT very painful at all

Sculptra injections are not very painful at all.  Some patients feel slightly tender to the touch after treatment, but the 'extreme pain' and 'severe pain' you describe are definitely not true, as long as the Sculptra is done correctly. 

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

Sculptra & Pain, Sculptra Injections

I perform Sculptra injections frequently, and none of my patients have ever reported extreme pain.  Although pain is largely subjective, a certain level of discomfort, bruising and swelling is to be expected following any injection.  Topical numbing cream, ice & Extra Strength Tylenol may be used to alleviate post procedure discomfort.  So while there may be a risk of extreme pain, it is certainly not a common occurrence.

Karyn Grossman, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sculptra Injections Should not be Painful

I have been injecting Sculptra for the past seven or eight years, long before it was approved for cosmetic use in the US. Thus far, I have NEVER had a patient tell me of any significant pain or discomfort, either during the treatment or at any time thereafter. Lidocaine is mixed with the Sculptra just prior to the injections which helps a great deal. I no longer even use a topical anesthetic as the needles are small enough that there is hardly any discomfort. However, if Sculptra were injected directly into a nerve, I suppose it could be quite painful. Therefore, you should make certain your injecting physician has a good deal of experience injecting the deeper facial fillers such as Sculptra and Radiesse.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Post Injection Pain With Sculptra

I do have not seen significant pain in my patients with Sculptra injections after the local anesthetic has worn off.  Pain is, however as mentioned by others with this question, a very subjective thing and is very difficult to quantify.  If you feel that you would benefit from Sculptra injections, you should not allow this fear of pain to intimidate you.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sculptra - How Much Pain After Anesthesia Wears Off?

It is a very subjective issue. In fact last week I preformed two sessions of Sculptra. One the first, repeat user, he stated he never has any pain or discomfort. While the next injection on an initial user was without issue until that phone call 3 hours later. She was in pain. I prescribed icing and pain meds. By the next morning she was fine. So you see it is a very individual usage and effect. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews


We normally mix lidocaine with Sculptra, so the most I have heard is some soreness with the massage for a few days.

Peter T. Truong, MD
Fresno Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

In probably 100 sculptra injections we have never seen extreme pain or even severe pain

We have been using Sculptra and Sculptra Aesthetic since they were released.

The Sculptra is suspended in a solution that includes lidocaine which makes the injections easy.

It also keeps the areas pain free afterward for hours.  By that time most or all of the pain should be gone.

We have trained many physicians in the proper technique of Sculptra and have never had a report back of severe pain.

I would anticipate you should do well.

Dr. Mayl

Fort lauderdale

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

Most cosmetic surgeons include lidocaine in the sculptra solution so post injection pain rarely is described.

Most cosmetic surgeons include lidocaine in the sculptra solution so post injection pain rarely is described. 

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
2.8 out of 5 stars 5 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.