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scuptra or radiesse

Feb 19, 2009

Dr., i am intereted in adding some volume to my fat loss in my cheeks. My dermatologist reccomends Radiesse and is charging me $2000 for 3 syringes. She does not offer Sculptra but says Radiesse wil work. A local plastic surgeon says radiesse will not work and is offering Sculptra for $4000. I am scheduled for the radiesse on Tuesday 3-17-09. I chose it because of the lower cost and I want to have it done before I go to an important business meeting a the end of the month. However, I do not want to waste $2000 if the radiesse will not work. what do u think

Response from Dr. Pierone

Both of these products clearly work for facial lipoatrophy, but they do have different performance characteristics.

Radiesse produces immediate results - good or excellent results if the injections are done correctly, bad results if not done correctly. But the results from Radiesse (good or bad) generally do not last as long as Sculptra. The results typically persist in the 12 to 18 month range and retreatment generally requires less volume in order to achieve the same degree of improvement.

Sculptra is a delayed gratification product and produces a gradual increase in facial fullness over the course of months. This slow onset of action is frustrating since most people with lipoatrophy want it gone yesterday, not 6 months from now. But the slow onset and multiple treatment courses does allow one to adjust the correction for optimal results over this prolonged treatment course.

Both of these products are too expensive in my opinion. Radiesse typically costs the doctor about $200 per syringe and Sculptra costs about $500 per vial. The patient charges vary quite a bit and tend to be higher in upscale communities and cities. Since more doctors have been learning to do these injections, the cost of the procedure has been moderating. But there is a learning curve for injectors and it takes a while to become proficient, so choosing an experienced and talented provider is important.

I hope that this information helps and best of luck to you!

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