The Liquid Facelift, Second Generation (or Welcome, Voluma)

images courtesy of Allergan, see below for important safety information

I've been executing the "liquid facelift" on my patients for a while now. Most physicians use a combination of the commercially available fillers to fill hollow temples, rebuild the cheekbones, and replace fat lost in the cheeks as we age. The result is an overall lifting of the face. In the long term, this is a far more effective way of using fillers than simply filling in the nasolabial folds and marionette lines every year, year after year, eventually risking unfavorable comparisons to sweet little animals (i.e., the monkey face or the cat face).

 If you replace volume loss in the cheeks in addition to the lower face, the result is an overall lifting, including a bit around the corners of the mouth and the nasolabial folds, which means that less filler is needed in these lower areas in the end. Filling the cheeks also pushes up the outside corners of the eyes just a bit, giving an appearance of a happier, more relaxed face, even when you aren't smiling. (When the outside corners of our eyes begin to droop, we look tired and sad.) Until recently, there was no filler actually FDA-approved to do this, but now, finally, the good folks over at Allergan (the makers of Botox and Juvederm) have come out with Voluma.

And it lasts 2 years. I'm not kidding. And it doesn't shift or bunch or knot up and slide downward. Seriously, last month I attended an intensive 2-day training where we injected 6 models, and in one demonstration we squirted the filler on the *outside* of the patient's face and had him jump up and down. The Voluma gel didn't move. Instead each injection point acts like a little tack to re-suspend the tissue upwards and backwards, and it works! Did I mention it works for 2 years?

Obviously, I am a bit excited about this, but there has never been anything quite like Voluma before!