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Sculptra, also called New Fill, is the first FDA-approved treatment of lipoatrophy. Lipoatrophy is the loss of that fat that is stored under the skin, particularly in the face and limbs. The aesthetic consequences of lipoatrophy include sunken cheeks, hollowed eyes, and indentations in the skin of the face and limbs. Lipoatrophy can be the result of repeated insulin injections into the same area of the skin or may be the result of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. In August 2004 the FDA approved Sculptra for the safe and effective treatment of lipoatrophy.
During the Sculptra treatment, a material called polylactic acid hydrogel is injected under the skin. This material is biocompatible and immunologically alert, thereby eliminating the need for a pre-treatment allergy test and reducing the risk of complications. The compound used in Sculptra treatments has been safely and effectively used in a variety of medical applications for decades.
Prior to the approval of Sculptra, the FDA conducted four major studies to measure the safety and efficacy of Sculptra treatments in 225 HIV-positive patients with lipoatrophy. After tracking the results of Sculptra treatments for years, researchers concluded that Sculptra can increase the thickness of subcutaneous skin layers two to threefold. Clinical research has found that Sculptra can significantly improve the overall facial appearance by safely and effectively restoring volume and shape to those areas affected by lipoatrophy.
A patient in good physical and emotional health who understands the risks, benefits, and expected results of the procedure is ready to receive Sculptra treatments. Sculptra treatments do not require that a patient be placed under general anesthesia. Typically a local anesthetic is applied to the treatment area to mitigate any minor discomfort a patient may experience during a sculptra procedure. The treatment itself takes about thirty minutes to complete and Sculptra treatments are typically repeated every few weeks for a few months in order to achieve the desired results. The frequency and length of Sculptra treatments will ultimately depend on a patient's individual skin condition and response to treatment.
After a Sculptra treatment session is complete, a patient will be able to resume normal activities. It is very rare, but possible, for Sculptra patients to experience complications like minor bleeding, discomfort, bruising, inflammation, swelling, and tiny bumps at the injection site. These side effects are typically minor and resolve spontaneously without medical intervention. The benefits of Sculptra greatly outweigh the potential drawbacks associated with the procedure.
If you are interested in learning about what Sculptra can do for you, an experienced plastic surgeon can evaluate your health and aesthetic goals to determine whether or not sculptra is appropriate for you. To learn more about Sculptra, please contact us to speak with an experienced and qualified cosmetic surgeon in your area.