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Sculptra vs. fat injections

Posted: 10:37 a.m. Saturday, March 23, 2013

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: One doctor recommended Sculptra for my hollow cheeks whereas another advised fat injections. Which is the best treatment option?

Answer: While there are numerous techniques for filling in hollow areas of the cheeks, I have found Sculptra to be a superior option.

Compared to most other injectable fillers and fat grafting, the benefits of Sculptra, when performed correctly, are long-term cost effectiveness, long lasting, low complication rate, and superior facial contouring.

While some doctors advise against Sculptra claiming poor results or high complications, it’s important to recognize that every technique depends on the skill and judgment of the surgeon which varies greatly. Seeking a plastic surgeon who performs a high volume of Sculptra treatments with a high success rate is key.

While fat is considered permanent, 50 percent of the fat injected typically dissolves, thus requiring additional treatments to achieve maximum results. Additionally, since fat is “permanent”, any unevenness caused by fat can remain for good.

While permanent fillers are perceived as ideal, as the tissues sag with age, a permanent filler can sag along with the tissues it was placed in and actually distort one’s appearance over time. For this reason, a non-permanent, yet long lasting filler such as Sculptra may be the best approach for treating facial hollows

Technical skill and an eye for aesthetic balance, on the part of the surgeon, are crucial for successful results.


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