Are There People for Whom Sculptra Simply Does Not Work? (photo)

3 yrs ago I had 2 vials, my volume improved a bit, but I couldn't tell if it was from Sculptura... at that time I was doing a LOT of things to revive my weight & my skin. (I got a small imperceptible lump in my cheek from it tho) 4 wks ago I got 1 vial in my cheeks, temples, and along my jawline (to make my mini-jowls less noticeable). I know it takes "6 weeks", but shouldn't I see something by now? My temples look like skin on bone. Should I even bother with a 2nd vial, or am I immune?

Doctor Answers 6

Sculptra takes several treatments to work

After Sculptra injections, an increase in volume is correspondingly gradual, starting 3 months after the injection and achieving a maximum at approximately 5 to 6 months post injection. Little to no result is usually seen after the first treatment. I usually recommend a minimum of three treatments, each four to six weeks apart. After your treatment series, the final result takes many months to appear but should last for years. Your 2 vial treatment years ago is probably gone by now.


South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


Hello R and B,

In a perfect world, fat transfer is a permanent and natural way of volumizing face. It is not without potential uncertainties or problems, most commonly partial resorption and the need for revision grafting.

For persons interested in a long term temporary volumizing agent, Sculptra is an excellent alternative.  The most common issue people have after receiving Sculptra from me is lack of effect.  This is because people are either fearful or financially unwilling to get the correct amount of product for their volume deficit.  In addition, the volumizing effect of Sculptra is not from the actual product but from your body's response in making collagen around the crystals, which varies from person to person, and decreases with increasing age of the patient.

You never received enough Sculptra, either in your first visit, or on the subsequent visit three years later.  Looking at your photos, I would put a whole vial in each temple, and another whole vial in each cheek, for a total of four vials.  I would also plan a second visit in one and a half months for another one to two more vials, for a possible grand total of six vials.  If this was done well, you would be very happy with the filling and softening of your facial features.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Sculptra is unique - takes enough and enough time

At one month you cannot pass judgment of the result because you are likely to get more improvement during the next six weeks.

However, I doubt that you will have adequate improvement with one vial of Sculptra.  A face like yours usually begins with three amps of Sculptra to treat the areas you have mentioned, or else we advise them that more will be necessary. (Your prior Sculptra of three years ago is now gone.)

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

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

Sculptra Works

Sculptra can produce some very nice results.  Since the main concerns are under filling and overfilling, the treatment process is performed gradually in order to achieve adequate volume and avoid overdoing it.  For most patients with appropriate indications, this takes 4-6 vials.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Are There People for Whom Sculptra Simply Does Not Work? (photo)

Only a few "vials" is not enough to obtain a result. In fact I recommend enriched fat grafts as a better option. 

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


Sculptra tends to work well in younger patients (40s and 50s). You are doing too many areas for one bottle only. My rule of thumb is 2-3 bottles for each 1/3 of the face. You are filling about 2/3 of the face so you need 4-6 bottles.

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