This week a patient asks: “What’s the difference between Voluma and Restylane? Why can’t you use just one for lips/cheeks?” Currently, I do not want cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Kulick: First, a little bit of background: Juvéderm Voluma XC—Voluma for short – is the first filler approved by the FDA to claim it can “temporarily correct age-related volume loss in the cheek area of adults over the age of 21.” Voluma is a hyaluronic acid, or HA, that some doctors have found works particularly well in restoring volume to cheeks. As a Board Certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco and the Bay Area for many years, this product can provide help for many.

One of the early signs of aging can be volume loss in the cheeks. This can be the result of fat and bone absorption, which can result in sagging skin and hollowing that may increase over time. You might find that Voluma carries a heftier price tag… there’s a reason for that! A quality unique to Vouma is that it can last up to two years… that’s at least twice the endurance of Restylane.

Other fillers, such as Restlylane, have been approved for injection in the nasolabial folds next to the nose (a.k.a smile lines), but injecting them in other areas, while allowed, is considered off-label. Voluma gel contains lidocaine to numb the pain associated with the injection and is meant to be injected on top of the cheek bones. Side effects can include mild to moderate tenderness, swelling, firmness, lumps and bumps, bruising, pain, redness, discoloration, and itching that may last for seen days, or less.

As always, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss whether Voluma, Restylane or any other filler, or procedure is right for you. If you have additional questions, call my office! We’ll be happy to help you!