Why Can't Too Much Sculptra Be Removed with Liposcution?

My face has too much volume after 3 weeks. It looks puffy and swollen like I had my wisdom teeth pulled or something. I am a 52 year old male

Doctor Answers 7

Sculptra cannot be removed with facial liposuction.

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As others have stated, puffiness may not be due to Sculptra. Results from Sculptra Aesthetic injections occur slowly over time. Your face builds collagen after several weeks. The onset, degree, and duration of results correlate with your ability to build and maintain collagen. Most patients see minimal change after the first treatment. Typically, 2-4 treatments are required for desired results over the course of several months.


Sometimes referred to as a non-surgical facelift or a "liquid lift", Sculptra Aesthetic are quick office injections performed in the office via local anesthesia. Sculptra stimulates the face to build collagen. Results are NOT immediate, rather gradually develop over time. Treatments are repeated approximately every 2 months, as needed, until a desired result is achieved. Once achieved, touch-up treatments may be need only every 1-2 years. Sculptra can only be placed in certain areas of the face, such as the cheeks. As with all the plastic surgery procedures, everything has its advantages and disadvantages.


Speak with your Sculptra injector. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can he/she help determine appropriate options for you. Sculptra cannot be liposuctioned or removed. 


Dr. Chaboki

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Why Can't Too Much Sculptra Be Removed with Liposcution?

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Thank you for your question. Liposuction removes fat, not collagen. Attempting to remove the collagen will leave scar tissue, and deformations, and possibly damage a nerve in your face.  The swelling should subside, and if not, the product is indicated for 25 months, and will leave in due time. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Volume over-correction with Sculptra

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Liposuction is not performed in the areas of the face Sculptra is typically injected, and the reason for that is safety.  The puffiness you are observing may or may not be due to the Sculptra.  It's unlikely that so early after a single treatment of Sculptra you would notice dramatic volume change.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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Sculptra Remoal

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Sculptra cannot be removed because it stimulates collagen production, so the results one sees are from collagen deposition, not fat which is what is removed with liposuction. Luckily the results from Sculptra are not permanent and gradually go away with time.  Good luck.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Liposuction is only for fat

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Sculptra is a product that very slowly encourages your own collagen to develop. This occurs over usually two or three treatments spread over a few months.

At only three weeks it is likely you still have residual swelling, and even water from the injection. This will all diminish. Then you may feel you have lost all your investment! Don't worry; with time you will begin to create a little volume.

Liposuction is only for fat, and is rarely done on the face.  

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Can liposuction be used to remove too much Sculptra

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It can take one to two months to see the final result after a Sculptra treatment, so I would not resort to anything yet at three weeks after your last treatment.  Liposuction is used to remove fat.  The tissue stimulation from Sculptra does not lead to the production of more fat, but does stimulate the subcutaneous tissue to thicken.  This thickened tissue cannot be removed with liposuction.  

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

Sculptra swelling

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Swelling from Sculptra can be present for many weeks, so I wouldn't assume your current swelling is permanent.


Sculptra is usually injected in the deep dermis/superficial fat junction and it works by causing your body to make its own collagen in the dermis. Liposuction usually removes deeper fat. While liposuction is occasionally performed on the neck, it is not performed on the face given the delicate anatomy and risk of trauma to those structures.



Ramona Behshad, MD
Saint Louis Dermatologic Surgeon

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.