Other associated terms: Juvéderm Voluma™, Hyaluronic Volumiser, Juvéderm Ultra™, Hyaluronic Acid.
Juvéderm is a newer injectable filler used in cosmetic surgery to add volume to lips or conceal folds and wrinkles in the face. Juvéderm is mostly composed of hyaluronic acid which is a substance that is normally found in the tendons, skin and muscles of animals and was first used in 1996 for facial augmentation.
Juvéderm was approved in 2006 by the F.D.A. and its main uses are removing skin creases, removing scars and lip augmentation. It should be considered a temporary fix, however, since the filler is re-absorbed into the body within 6-9 months. After that, additional treatments are needed to maintain results.
The benefit of Juvéderm is that it is effective in treating; hollows underneath the eyes, creases around the corners of the mouth, minor scars, vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows and providing lip augmentation that can give a more fashionable appearance. Since it is mostly composed of a naturally occurring substance in the body, it is highly compatible with human tissue.
The main benefit with an injectable filler like Juvéderm is that one can avoid the normal risks, downtime and pain associated with standard surgical procedures. Although complications with standard surgery are rare with board-certified cosmetic surgeons, there are still the disadvantages associated with anesthesia, bandage dressings and recovery times necessary for healing. These issues are eliminated with injectable fillers. The overall costs are much less, as well.
It’s important that, during the initial consultation, the doctor determines if the patient can benefit from an injectable filler procedure as opposed to a more traditional surgical approach. This can assist the patient with understanding the benefits, limitations and reasonable expectations of the result outcome. This can also be a good opportunity to assess the patient’s health, skin condition and other factors associated with a favorable result.
There is usually very little pre-injection preparation for Juvéderm. A topical anesthetic (with possibly an oral sedative) will be given and the injections will begin, once the medications take effect.
The cosmetic surgeon will use a tiny needle to inject small amounts of the filler at specific locations on the face in order to increase the volume needed to achieve satisfactory results. The procedure will usually take around 15-30 minutes to complete and that will depend on the size of the area that is being treated.
One of the main advantages of Juvéderm is the minimal recovery time needed after the procedure. The patient is usually able to return to their normal activities directly following the procedure – but are cautioned against strenuous activity, heat exposure, sun exposure and alcohol use for a period of time.
There may be some puffiness after the procedure and some bruising (rare). Other skin treatments, such as laser therapy, chemical peels, etc. should be postponed until after the Juvéderm treatment in order to avoid possible inflammation risks.
Risks Associated with Juvéderm
Although risks are minimal with Juvéderm, there are some normal, expected issues that can include redness and tenderness which are temporary. More serious, but rare, complications can involve infection and immune system issues that can result in granulomas (facial bumps). This will preclude the use of Juvéderm in patients who are subject to severe allergic reactions to bacterial proteins and certain other drugs.
The region where you live will determine the cost of Juvéderm treatment. However, national averages for treatments utilizing one vial of Juvederm run between $300 and $575. To put this in perspective, a half vial of Juvéderm will treat one major facial fold.
Things to Discuss with Your Surgeon During Your Consultation
During your initial consultation, there are several things that you should discuss with your doctor in order to facilitate understanding and reach reasonable expectations. Part of this process involves the viewing of multiple before and after photos and asking the right questions.
These questions can include such issues as;
- What are the details of the procedure and what results can I expect?
- What are my anesthesia options?
- What are the total costs of the procedure(s) and how long do the results last?
- What is the surgeon’s experience in these procedures (how many has he or she preformed in the last year)?
- What complications have been experienced by patients?
- What is the policy regarding corrections of undesirable results?
- What recovery details may I expect?