Should I Continue with Sculptra Considering the Appearance of a Lump in my Left Cheek (Somewhat Visible)?

I am HIV+ for 12 years now and my face started looking horrible about 2-3 years ago (I'm on HIV meds). I went for my first Sculptra injections in November '07 and had a series of five sessions between then and October '08. I look like a new person and my face is full and not sickly looking any longer! However, not long after my last injection(s) I developed a lump in my lower left cheek (around the upper, left gumline). My question is, should I have my doctor inject this with saline or a steriod like kenalog hoping it will break it up? Also, would it be wise to have another session seeing this has happened? I'm very disappointed that this has happened and don't want more lumps but I also don't want to walk away from the Sculptra which has literally given me my face back. Before Sculptra it was like walking around with "The Scarlet Letter". Also, is there an alternative to Sculptra that lasts as long. HELP!

Doctor Answers 2

Don't walk away

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I am very happy to hear that your facial stigma has been effectively reversed. Sculptra has enabled many in your situation to return to more active, productive lifestyles. I know the occurence of a nodule may be somewhat concerning, however, the risk is only about 6% (1 in 15-20) treatments and they are usually not visible nodules. If the nodules are visible and bothersome I usually recommend a course of vigorous massage for a week or two. Only on one occasion have I had to inject the nodule with saline to break it up and never have I needed to move to Kenalog injection, which may be fraught with its own set of complications. Try massaging until you can get back in to see your injector. But whatever you do, don't walk away from a treatment product that has given you your face back. I would continue with the treatments and perhaps, if your injector is highly skilled, he/she can actually camouflage the nodule with material placed around it. Good luck!

Sculptra nodules treatment options

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Sculptra lumps or nodules are exuberant collagen formation, more commonly seen along facial areas where the skin is thin, such as temples. They are becoming less common with new dilution technique used during reconstitution performed by qualified aesthetic physicians. Subcisions and/or IL Kenalog injection can be helpful. For resistant and symptomatic cases, surgical incision and drainage can be considered.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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