Why Do Drs on RS Say Sculptra is Gone in 2 Years. I Have It in Biopsy at 3 Years. Wish It Was Gone but It is Not?

Sanofi says: "The kinetics of SCULPTRA resorption in humans has not been determined. In an intradermal implantation study in rabbits all animals had "several relatively large remnants" of injectable PLLA visible at 64 weeks after implantation. The tissue response to injectable PLLA was described as a chronic, granulomatous reaction characterized by foreign body giant cells and macrophages consistent with the persistent and particle nature of injectable PLLA."

Doctor Answers 5

Sculptra at 3 Years

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It is my impression that the aesthetic benefits from Sculptra last about 2 years.  It is not surprising that that at 3 years, some is present in your biopsy.

Sculptra is made from the same material L-PolyLactic Acid, which is present in vicryl, a commonly used absorbable surgical suture.

Sculptra can have marvelous benefits, but must be handled appropriately and injected  by a Doctor who has formal training in facial anatomy.  Problems can arise in Sculptra when it has not had enough time in suspension prior to injection.  In my practice, sterile water is added to Sculptra 1 week prior to use.  Sculptra should not be injected directly into facial mimetic muscles.  Lastly, Sculptra is best injected in a very deep plane.  Injection too close to the dermis leads to lumps, bumps, etc.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

How Long Does Sculptra Last?

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Hi Dru.  The estimate of 2 years is based on an average patient.  Each patient is going to metabolize the Sculptra at a different rate and therefore have it in their skin for longer or shorter periods of time than the 2 year reference.  

In addition, the effects of Sculptra (how it looks on a patient) may wear off before the product is actually fully removed from the body.  

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sculptra longevity

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In most cases, the final result after a series of Sculptra treatments will last a minimum of two years.  I find the range is between two to four years, so it is not at all unusual for you to still have some at three years.  

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

How Long Does Sculptra Last?

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Thank you for your question. There are many unknowns without seeing the details of the study.  How much was injected and how does that translate to humans, and  how long prior to injection was the product mixed, in addition  how well was the product hydrated,  and how definitive are the results of animal studies translating to humans.  Early on in the use of Sculptra, there was a different mix protocol and there were more complications.  Currently, we see virtually zero complications with Sculptra, and at about 25-30 months, people return as they feel nearly all of their product is gone.  Clinically, we are just not seeing what is portrayed in the animal studies.  That doesn't mean the animal studies are not important, it just means, we have more to learn. I hope this helps!

Sculptra is the "temporary" product that seems to last the longest.

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We do tell our patients that the VISUAL effect of Sculptra will usually be gone at two years in a normally reactive patient.

However, biopsy will still show residual Sculptra that is not adequate to create a visual effect longer than two years.

Patients who react abnormally to Sculptra can have much extended visual effects.

However, injections into areas that are not recommended for Sculptra such as the lower lids, may last much longer.

Dr. Mayl

Fort lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic 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.