Scuptra problem – bad placement and too much.

In March of 2010, I had 2 vials of Sculptra. It is now 32 months later and the volume is still going strong. The doctor who injected did a terrible job of placement. It disfigured me. Do you know if the 5FU injections could dissolve some of this excess and give me a more balanced appearance? Some doctors say in some people it is permanant. Have you found this to be true? Thankyou for your help.

I’m sad this happened to you.   Usually, as I’m sure you already know, Sculptra lasts about 2 years, but gradually starts to diminish at about 1 year then slowly going away.  But sometimes, if there’s too much placed (especially in the wrong places), it can take longer because there’s more Sculptra there.

If you can write again, I’ll try to give you and our readers some help with these Sculptra problems so:

  1. First, did you get the injection records from the doctor (was this doctor a board certified dermatologist?)?   You will want the actual records which should state the actual amount (# of vials) used, the number of treatments done, the dates, and the dilutions used (Sculptra comes as a powder that has to be reconstituted with sterile water).   The doctor you choose to help you will need these.
  2. These records are IMPORTANT.  We’ve actually seen cases in our office where the patient was sure that it was Sculptra used, when it was actually something else.
  3. You’ll need to find a very Sculptra experienced, board certified dermatologist near you to help you.   Please don’t just let anyone inject 5-FU (could be destructive if not used correctly) in your face.   Contact Galderma, who nows owns Sculptra, and ask them to help you find the most experienced person in your area – the reps always know these things.
  4. If there’s not a bump or thickening, it may not be the Sculptra since Sculptra problems show up as one of these.
  5. In our office, we’ve found the best results with using a little injectible numbing for comfort, and then using sterile water (the same sterile water used to dissolve it in the first place), and then using small needles to inject the sterile water in and around the bump.  Sometimes a little (and I mean little) 5-FU is helpful to decrease any potential inflammation.   Some Restylane/Juvederm around a bump can help camoflauge it while it’s going away.  Expect some bruising and this process may need to be repeated several times.   More on Sculptra. 

I hope this helps,   Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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