Background. Polymers of lactic acid have been widely used for many years in different types of medical devices, such as resorbable sutures, intrabone implants, and soft tissue implants. Injectable poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA; Sculptra), a synthetic, biodegradable polymer, has gained widespread popularity in Europe for the treatment of facial changes associated with aging.
Objective. To provide background information on injectable PLLA and to describe clinical experience with its use in Europe for facial volume enhancement.
Methods. Technique varies with site of injection. Generally, the product is implanted subcutaneously or intradermally in a series of treatments. No allergy testing is required.
Results. Based on experience in more than 2,500 patients, injectable PLLA has been used successfully for the correction of nasolabial folds, mid- and lower facial volume loss, jawline laxity, and other signs of facial aging. Correction lasts for 18 to 24 months in most patients.
Conclusions. Injectable PLLA treatment provides an excellent and prolonged correction of a variety of facial wrinkles, depressions, and laxity with a minimally invasive procedure that does not require allergy testing or a recovery period.