By Nadine Kam
Before, left, and immediately after a VolumaLift procedure using Juvéderm VolumaXC, a patient's cheek is fuller and smoother, with some redness from the procedure. — Photos courtesy Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii
After talking with clients of Dr. W.Y. Chung following their Juvéderm VolumaXC treatments, I told the doctor, "You're going to have a problem with word of mouth."
In the best way possible.
In this case, the results of the new-to-the-U.S.-market product look so natural that the women told me they weren't going to tell anyone they'd had an injectable procedure done. "I'm just going to tell people I got a lot of rest," said one Realtor.
Juvéderm VolumaXC is made by Allergan, already known for other age-defying, enhancing products such as Botox, Juvéderm XC and Latisse. The product debuted in Europe eight years ago, and Canada three years ago, for an effective five years on the market. So far, results have been good, with only minor complications noted, such as bruising, redness and swelling that might be expected from any type of injection. In this time, Chung said Juvéderm VolumaXC has already become the No. 1 injectable in Europe and Canada because of its relative ease of use and instant results.
It was tested on women between the ages of 35 and 65.
After using Juvéderm Voluma XC on cheeks, Dr. Chung uses the original Juvéderm XC to fill in smile lines. He cautions against overdoing injectable procedures to avoid a plastic, artificial look. The aim should be to look refreshed, or a few years younger, not 20.
Chung is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii where he is using Juvéderm VolumaXC for the VolumaLift™ procedure, which gives individuals an instant "facelift" without surgery.
Juvéderm VolumaXC is an injectable gel that is the first FDA-approved filler to add volume to the cheek area, and the first hyaluronic acid filler to be clinically proven to last up to two years. That’s more than double the life cycle of current fillers, which last approximately six to 12 months. It's formulated with the local anesthetic Lidocaine , so it's said to be less painful than the original Juvéderm facial filler. All the women said it's less painful than a flu shot.
The patient enjoys seeing the results in the mirror.
The procedure gives the cheeks a subtle lift, if you can imagine the cherubic, full-faced look of toddlers. As we get older, collagen loss, hyaluronic acid (a naturally occuring, hydrating substance in the skin) depletion and gravity take their toll, causing a saggy hollowing out. The plumping effect of the VolumaLift restores volume to help individuals look five years younger.
After puncturing the skin with a needle, Chung uses a blunt-tip microcannula for injecting the gel, to minimize the risk of puncturing any major blood vessels, as could happen with a sharp-pointed needle. Once the gel is inserted, he uses his hands to manipulate it in place and shape the area, like building with clay. The entire procedure lasts about 15 minutes, and the cost is about $1,000 per syringe, with one syringe recommended for each cheek. You can resume normal activities immediately afterward.
Considering the results, for minimal pain and minimal cost compared to more invasive procedures, I'm pretty sure this will take off in this country as well, and I'm mighty tempted to buy stock in Allergan, though it's pretty high at about $95 now.
Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii is in the Pan Am Building at 1600 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 808. Call 949-8346.