Poly-L-Lactic Acid and Sculptra
Wish you could refresh your face? With aging comes a loss in facial volume, leading to a hollow appearance of the cheeks, below the eyes, and in the temples. Wrinkles and lines appear as well, adding years to one’s look. In very thin people and athletes such as body builders, there is less facial fat, which creates this hollow appearance.
Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) filler that can safely restore volume and shape to the face so that the patient no longer looks gaunt and aged. The FDA approved Sculptra in 2004 for use in lipoatrophy (facial fat loss). It can also be used to treat wrinkles, lines, and creases.
What Is Poly-L-Lactic Acid?
PLLA is a time-tested biodegradable substance used in many aspects of the medical industry. In Europe, PLLA was approved in 1999 for cosmetic use as filler, while it has been used for decades in orthopedic applications.
This substance is obtained from natural sources such as cornstarch, tapioca roots, and sugarcane. PLLA is completely biodegradable and non-toxic.
When injected, PLLA starts a response in the tissue. It begins to recognize the chemical as a foreign body and steps up collagen production to fight it. With increased collagen, the texture improves, volume is enhanced, and wrinkles and lines disappear. The body is able to break down the PLLA into harmless carbon dioxide, which is eliminated naturally. PLLA also hydrates the outer skin layers, making the skin smooth and moist.
What Are the Steps Involved in Sculptra Treatment?
A consultation with your doctor will be the first step. During this consultation, your doctor will examine the hollow regions and wrinkled areas in order to determine whether or not Sculptra is the ideal treatment for you. If it is, a treatment session will be arranged.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. A topical cream with local anesthetic may be applied in order to numb the targeted regions to pain and to ease any discomfort for the patient. In addition, Dr. Jen Chow usually mixes his Sculptra solution with lidocaine in order to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
The doctor then injects the Sculptra solution with a very fine needle evenly under the skin where volume is desired. After the injection, the area is gently massaged to improve circulation and ensure that the filler has been spread evenly in the treatment area.
The results can be seen after several weeks, filling out the cheeks and improving facial contours. Sculptra’s results are long lasting and can be evident for up to three years.
Moderate facial fat loss may require between three to five Sculptra treatment sessions, while those with severe fat loss may need more sessions. Each session is about two weeks apart.
Find Out More During a Consultation
Sculptra may be the ideal filler choice for you. To find out, speak with Dr. Jen Chow during a consultation at our office. Dr. Chow is double-board-certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as head and neck surgery.
During your consultation, Dr. Chow will examine the trouble areas and will determine the proper facial filler to use for your signs of facial aging. You will be able to look at before-and-after photos and can ask any questions you may have. Contact us today to arrange your appointment.