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Restoring Youthful Appearance: Sculptra vs Facial Implants

If you are looking for a way to restore a youthful appearance, you may be considering facial implants or Sculptra. The best way to decide which treatment is best for you is to discuss your desired look with a skilled plastic surgeon. In addition, it can also be helpful if you know the difference between the two before your consultation.

What are Facial Implants?

A facial implant is make of a synthetic material, which may include silicone. It is administered to provide more definition and volume to the face, and facial implants can be performed on the jaw, cheeks, and chin. 

Who are Ideal Candidates for Facial Implants?

Ideal candidates for the procedure want to enhance their facial features. It is also important for these individuals to have realistic goals and expectations. 

Who are not Ideal Candidates for Facial Implants?

Those who smoke may not be advised to have the procedure or those with certain health issues. 

The Procedure for Facial Implants

A plastic surgeon can administer a facial implant into the cheeks, chin, and jaw. The procedure can be performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as rhinoplasty, to further enhance the overall appearance of the face. 

Cheek Implant

Before the procedure, local or general anesthesia is given to patients. When cheek implants are administered, a plastic surgeon will make a tiny incision along the lower eyelid or inside the mouth. This will form a pocket to insert the implant. When the procedure is administered with eyelid surgery or a face lift, a plastic surgeon may use those areas to insert the implants. If non-dissolvable stitches were used to close the incisions, they will be removed about 10 days following the procedure. 

Jaw Implant

Patients are also given local or general anesthesia with jaw implants. For a jaw implant, the incision will be made inside the mouth or lower lip, and the implant will be placed into the pocket within the facial tissue. After the implant is inserted, it will be closed with sutures. In addition, you may also be required to tape the area. 

Chin Implant

An incision will be make in the lower lip, which will allow the plastic surgeon to insert the implant into the chin. Many patients choose a chin implant as a permanent solution to fix a recessed or weak chin. In addition, a chin implant can also reduce the appearance of a double chin and improve the definition of the jawline and neck. 

Typically, facial implants are quick to administer with minimal recovery time. Most patients will only need to take one week off of work. 

Recovery From a Facial Implant

Although the results from the procedure will be immediate, there may be visible swelling. However, for most patients, it will only take a few weeks for swelling to dissipate. It is important to follow all the post-operative instructions from your plastic surgeon, which will speed healing. 


Unlike facial implants, Sculptra will work subtly over time to provide patients with a youthful appearance. The final results following a Sculptra injection typically take four to six months to surface. 

Sculptra is different that other dermal fillers because it stimulates the body to produce natural collagen. As a result, patients will notice an increase in facial volume that is lost with aging. Most dermal fillers are made with hyaluronic acid, but Sculptra is make of poly-l-lactic acid. It works by acting as a bio-activator and allows tissues to gradually increase in volume. 

Who are Good Candidates for Sculptra?

Although most individuals who opt for this treatment are middle-aged, there are some as young as 25 or as old as 75 who choose to have the treatment administered. You may be a good candidate for the treatment if you want to increase volume gradually. 

What Areas can be Treated With Sculptra?

Many individuals choose to have Sculptra administered on sunken cheeks and temples. However, it can also be injected into the jawline and chin. There are even some patients who choose to have the treatment administered in the chest to reduce chest wrinkles and folds. 

A maximum of two vials can be administered in one treatment. For those who need additional injections, they will need to wait six weeks between each treatment. 

How Long Does the Treatment Last?

When administered by an experienced plastic surgeon, Sculptra will last for two to three years. Although it can be more costly than other dermal fillers, the results will last much longer. 

Recovery From a Sculptra Treatment

In most cases, there is little downtime following a Sculptra treatment. It is performed as an outpatient procedure that usually takes an hour to complete. Most patients can return to normal activities as soon as it is administered. However, there may be slight swelling at the injections sites, but this generally subsides within a few weeks. You may also experience slight bruising, tenderness, and itching for the first few weeks following the procedure. 

Sculptra vs Facial Implants

In short, both procedures have pros and cons, which is why it is important to consult with your plastic surgeon who can help you make the best decision for your desired look. 

Some patients choose to have Sculptra because the results will eventually dissolve, and there are others who prefer facial implants because they are permanent and look more like your natural bone. In addition, facial implants typically give a more dramatic effect than Sculptra. 

If you are interested in Sculptra or facial implants in New York, contact Dr. Donald Roland. Dr. Roland has more than 20 years of experience administering plastic surgery procedures. He is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgeons. Dr. Roland has two offices that are conveniently located in Manhattan.



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