Being hesitant after a bad experience in the past is certainly understandable. The newest fill/lift product is Juvederm Voluma - which was developed specifically for mid face volume. And it's "dissolvable". Radiesse has more product in the syringe and that is why your doctor recommended 2 Juvederm.
The new Voluma product has history (it's been used in Europe for a number of years while we waited impatiently for the FDA to approve here!) Longevity projection for cheeks is around 18 to 24 months. That's an outstanding length of time for a hyaluronic gel.
I agree and recommend either Radiesse or Juvederm Voluma (not regular Juvederm or Ultra), both of which are sturdy enough to give good lift and volume replacement. Voluma is reversible, but in experienced hands Radiesse looks great too. In addition, Radiesse is clay-like in consistency when under the skin and can be molded within the first week of treatment as needed, and lasts 9-12 mths only, so I don't fear it as much as some other docs. Voluma may last 2 years. I also have experience and success with Sculptra for cheek lift.
I like your line of thinking. Personally I don't like to inject Radiesse unless it's on a patient with a lot of filler experience, in a particular area too. Because yes, it's not dissolvable. I would tell you that Juvederm would not be my go-to for the cheek area because of its lack of thickness. It's a thinner, cross-linked formulation that is great for finer lines, marionette lines, and NLF lines, but usually doesn't have enough umphf for the cheek area. I would suggest either Restylane or better yet, new Voluma, for this area. Both of these are also hyaluronic acid fillers which are dissolvable.
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Radiesse is a thicker filler and is great for filling and lifting cheeks. It also lasts longer than Juvederm for many patients. That being said, if you are uncomfortable with a product that can't be dissolved, then you can get a great result with Juvederm as well. It really depends on how much volume you are looking for, but it may take more than one syringe of Juvederm to get the result you want.
Also, Radiesse usually contains 1.5 cc per syringe while Juvederm contains 1 cc per syringe (depending on the packaging), so the amount of product is not the same per syringe.
Thanks for your question. RADIESSE is a thicker filler than
JUVÉDERM, and therefore I think it is a better option. Although it is usually
more expensive than JUVÉDERM, there is more in each syringe and it will fill
better. It will last longer, as well. The company that makes JUVÉDERM
(Allergan) has also recently released JUVÉDERM VOLUMA XC, which is made of the
same substance as JUVÉDERM (hyaluronic acid) but is thicker and will last
longer because it is processed differently. If your intent is to use JUVÉDERM,
then I would consider using the VOLUMA XC formulation instead. Good luck in
Radiesse is a deep volumizer, so is Juvederm Voluma. He may be right. I am trialing Voluma this week.
If you are looking for injectable cheek augmentation and like reversability (who doesn't?) then Juvederm Voluma is typically the best option. Most people will require 2-3 syringes initially depending upon the amount and location of voluma loss. Juvederm Ultra or Ultra Plus is not the best option for cheek augmentation as it doesn't have the lift capacity or longevity. The results with those products will typically last fewer than 6 months. Voluma was specifically formulated for the midface and has alot of lift capacity and last about 2 years. I hope this information is helpful.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon