Lipoatrophy Q & A
What is Facial Lipoatrophy Treatment?
Both Sculptra and Radiesse are FDA approved treatment options for HIV-Associated Facial Lipoatrophy also known as facial wasting. Liquid Injectable Silicone (LIS) and Artefill (PMMA) are FDA approved options that are available but not specifically FDA approved for facial lipoatrophy. Facial Lipoatrophy is part of an overall condition known as Lipodystrophy Syndrome or LDS. Although the exact mechanism is not completely understood, the devastating effects of facial wasting are known including depression and medication non-compliance.
Dr. Mest is a pioneer in the treatment of HIV-Associated Lipoatrophy having been one of the first physicians in the US to be trained in 2001 on what was then called NewFill (Poly-L-Lactic Acid) that since its FDA approval in 2004 was renamed Sculptra to better reflect the sculpting and re-volumizing that occurs with treatment. He was the Principal Investigator on one of two US clinical trials that led to the FDA approval of Sculptra for HIV-Associated Lipoatrophy. Since that time, he has trained countless other physicians across the country in its use. In addition, he continues to do research, currently looking at the long-term use of Sculptra as well as its use in darker skin types and women. Due to his experience, he has been retained as a consultant to Dermik Aesthetics, the manufacturer of Sculptra. He also serves on the medical education faculty of Merz Aesthetics, the manufacturer of Radiesse. He has also authored a number of journal articles, which can be found in the press section and had been a featured lecturer at numerous medical conferences.
Of note, both Sculptra and Radiesse offer a patient assistance program for those patients making less than $40,000/year. Details of this program can be discussed with Dr. Mest during your complimentary consultation. In addition, his office can assist patients with treatment letters and medical necessity letters when filing insurance paperwork.
Which Treatment option is best for me?
The good news is, all of the above treatment options work. The exact mechanisms and specifics are beyond the scope of this website. Details such as side effects, duration of effect and cost all enter into a specific patients decision regarding which product is best for them. Dr. Mest will review all the options available during your complimentary consultation and together with you, the patient, a treatment plan will be formulated that works for you. No matter which treatment option is chosen, it is very important to choose a physician who is very experienced in treating facial wasting as every face is different and where and how much material to place will vary from patient to patient.