Why Are Sculptra Results So Different in Each Person?

I have read many of the comments posted on this site and other sites and it seems Sculptra is dramatically different for each person. How can that make it reliable?

Doctor Answers 6

Sculptra is different than all other fillers

Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Fat, Artecoll, Evolence and collagen work by filler an area with volume. Some of them expend a small amount when injected, but mostly what you see is what you get.

Sculptra is not a filler in the traditional sense. The injected material causes an inflammatory response. The inflammation (swelling) is what causes the desired filling of a defect or hollow.

The reason for the difficulty in assessing the amount to inject is:

  1. User technique
  2. Different patient response to a foreign body. In other words, some people swell more than others.

My feeling is that for large facial volume corrections, fat is the only choice!

Robert Freund, MD, FACS

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Sculptra reliability

Sculptra is considered, in my practice, to be the third or highest echelon injectable product. It is used more as a global volumizing agent than a spot or wrinkle filler. The substance relies on the individual's response to the particles of product that are injected. This response, although different in each person, results in production of the patient's own collagen. I therefore consider it to be more natural in feel, appearance and effect than other filler products. The reliability of the results are somewhat dependent on the patient's collagen response, but other factors play a major role. Patient selection, technique of injection (and therefore the experience of the injector), and adherence to post treatment instructions may be equally, if not more, important.

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

The Sculptra result has a lot to do with the patient

Sculptra works through an immune response to stimulate the patients own collagen making skin mechanisms. The problem is, immune responses can be very different from one person to the next. Some people do not respond enough, and others can respond too much and get tiny lumps. it is always best to discuss these variables with your doctor. Sometimes, it may be better to go with a filler that gives more predictable and reproducable results first. Of course, if large volumes are needed, Sculptra may be the best bet in the long run. Fat is also an option for some patients.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sculptra results differ because each individual's anatomy differs

Sculptra stimulates collagen production; it does not directly restore volume or fill wrinkles. This is a biological process that differs simply as each individual’s anatomy differs.

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Sculptura Expertise

Thanks for the question. Much of the difference lies in the fact that it is being injected by different professionals. The reason it is so important to find a skilled medical professional is the same reason you're seeing so much variability in result and patient opinion.

Injecting Sculptura (or dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, etc) isn't like giving someone a flu shot. Comprehensive knowledge of facial anatomy and experience with the filler being used is critical.

Be sure to find a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist!

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Obtaining excellent results with Sculptra facial filler: The proliferative phase of collagen growth

Sculptra is composed of poly-Lactic acid which is constituted in the office and injected into the soft tissue of the face. Unlike other facial injectables, injected Sculptra is mostly saline. The concentration of Sculptra injected will influence the rate of collagen synthesis after injection.

Sculptra induces a proliferative response wherein collagen is deposited. The response is remarkable but is unpredictable in patients, especially those with the following conditions:

  • Injection in the presence of pre-existing scar tissue
  • High concentration injection of sculptra
  • Bolus injection of sculptra
  • Superficial injection of sculptra

Reducing complication rates can be acheived by conservative injection in thicker regions of the face, diffuse injection in smaller volumes, deep injection planes, and avoidance of scar planes.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 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.