Restore Your Facial Volume with Voluma® at the Whole Beauty® Institute
Restoring facial volume has been a passion for Dr. Cook. In the past 15 years he has performed over 1500 facial fat transfers, either independently or as part of facelift surgery. A subtle restoration of youthful fullness to the cheeks, the temples, the chin, and the supporting zones around the lips can do much to reverse the signs of aging.
For patients who do not want to undergo the minor surgery that is involved in facial fat transfer, another option is volume restoration with injectable fillers made with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a simple pair of sugar molecules that can form long chains that are bound together with chemical bonds known as cross-linking. One of the appeals of HA injectable fillers is that the material is a natural component of body structures, including the deeper layer of the skin. One of the reasons why skin becomes thin and dry as we age is that the natural HA content diminishes.
In the United States clinicians who perform rejuvenation with HA fillers have suffered from a limited range of products when compared to those available to our colleagues in Europe.
Different Hyaluronic Fillers Behave Very Differently
Why should we complain about a limited range of hyaluronic products? Aren’t they all pretty much the same? An experienced clinician will tell you that different HA fillers perform differently and have different roles. One way to look at this is to simplify the fillers into three categories: thin, medium, and thick. Think of Restylane® and Juvederm Ultra® as relatively thin fillers, suitable for fine-tuning near the skin. Perlane® and Juvederm Ultra Plus® are medium thickness fillers suitable for deeper creases. Thicker fillers, of which several are available in Europe, are best suited for deeper injection in order to replenish deep structural volume in areas that have become hollow as part of the aging process. Until recently these thicker more robust fillers were not available in the United States.
Voluma® Is Well-Suited to Deeper Volume Restoration
Voluma® is a hyaluronic filler that is constructed so that it has great lifting power but is soft at the same time. This is the ideal combination for deep structural volumization. At the Whole Beauty® Institute in Chicago and north suburban Winnetka Dr. Cook and his team of sophisticated clinicians have used Voluma® with great success in the cheeks, the temples, the chin, and in other areas requiring volume enhancement.
We employ the same blunt cannula technique Dr. John Q Cook has utilized with great success for years in his process of fat transfer to the face. In working with Dr. Cook when he performs facial fat transfer our team has acquired direct knowledge of his techniques of 3-dimensional volumization. This knowledge is to the benefit of our patients.
Blunt Cannula Technique Has Several Advantages for the Patient
For most of our treatments with Voluma® we make use of a blunt cannnula technique. This is quite different from the typical treatment approach for fillers in the United States, which is the use of sharp needles for filler injection. Unlike sharp needles, blunt cannulas have a soft end and a small opening on the side, through which we introduce the filler into the area where it is needed.
Blunt cannula technique was a natural transition for our team, since it is a variant of the technique that Dr. Cook developed for facial fat transfer.
We have observed several advantages with the blunt cannula technique. In general there is less potential for bruising, since the cannula pushes aside blood vessels rather than cutting them. The overall process of treatment is usually more comfortable for the patient. Because the cannulas are relatively long they permit us to treat and extensive area with only one passage through the skin.
Often We Obtain Our Best Results When We Combine Voluma® with Other Fillers
Voluma® is designed for a very specific function: replenishing volume in the deeper areas of the face. Very often we combine Voluma® with other thinner fillers to achieve a harmoniously blended appearance. One of our favorite combinations is Voluma® for the deeper structure of the cheek and a thinner filler, such as Restylane® or Belotero® for the tear trough, the area that becomes hollow just below the prominence of the lower eyelid.
As part of our detailed facial analysis we carefully explore each person’s individual structure so that we can recommend the optimum combination of fillers.