You look in the mirror and the reflection you gaze upon is starting to resemble your mother or father. Yikes! Did this happen overnight? It may have seemed to. For many it may be a gradual process that at a certain point becomes undesirable. What happened? Can you get that youthful healthy look back? Can you look as good as you feel?
Below the skin sitting on top of and around the muscles, is a collection of fat pads. The volume of the different fat pads changes with the aging process. Some compartments tend to decrease in size while others increase and some remain the same. Fat regions that decrease in size tend to produce characteristic hollowing of the aged face. These are located in the temples, in the cheeks and in the chin. As they sit next to areas that may stay the same or increase, this accentuates what patients see as the jowl, parentheses lines (nasolabial folds), and marionette folds.
In addition to changes in fat pad volume, the face also undergoes loss of bone thickness. This is seen in the orbit, the bones that hold the eyes in position, and in the maxilla and mandible, the bones in the central portion of the face and jaw. The sagging in the face that accompanies aging is due partially to this loss of volume. The skin and soft tissue structures do not shrink so this larger envelope now sags on a smaller frame.
True rejuvenation aims to reset the clock of aging by restoring volume. This can be done surgically with fat transfer or, it can be done non-surgically with a product called Sculptra™.
Sculptra™ is made from the same material as absorbable sutures. It comes as a powder that the Dr. Schneider mixes with water and xylocaine (a local anesthetic). When Sculptra™ is injected into the soft tissues it stimulates the body to produce new collagen. This new collagen adds volume to the region where the product was injected.
Gradually, over six weeks, Sculptra™ works its magic and the body gradually produces collagen to fill in the regions treated. In numerous studies, Sculptra™ has been demonstrated to last a minimum of two years. Most patients will occasionally come in for a touch up of volumization as they see the continued effects of the aging process.