Cheek implants - regret this procedure, ruined tight youthful face, caused deep under eye bags and mid face sagging

I was so excited before the cheek implant surgery....

I was so excited before the cheek implant surgery. I had seen other girls' reviews. They all looked better in their after photos. I thought I would too. I got medium terino malar shells under local with no sedation.

At first, for about 1 month post op, I looked great. I was still swollen and overall everything looked round and full.

Until I began to notice the minor but devastating changes to my face.

As the swelling subsided, I realized that my eye bags are far more sunken than before. My face seems to be sagging. My laugh lines are deeper and worse. My lips are less lifted and are beginning to droop. I have aged at least 10 years. The implants have literally ruined my face and are almost weighing it down.
I have ruined the softness/tightness of my youthful face.

I am angry. I am sad. I am scared. I am regretful. I am depressed. I am worried that my face may never go back to its original state even after removal. I am trying to find a local dr who will remove the implants soon but ultimately THE DAMAGE IS DONE. I thought this was technically reversible but NO IT IS NOT.

If you think about it, if you get cheek implants, you really need to realize that eventually as your fat in your face fades you're going to need to get them removed. Also they will age you so you'll want them removed eventually. With that being said, if you are going to need to get them removed anyway, just DONT GET THEM. They affect more areas of your face than just your cheeks. They affect your lips, laugh lines, eye bags, EVERYTHING. so Just dont get cheek implants. I beg of you. Leave your face alone. Let it age naturally. By getting cheek implants you are single handledly paying to AGE faster than necessary. If I can convince just one girl not to do this I will at least be able to see some positive from this horrific situation.

Unless you want OTHER PARTS OF YOUR FACE to be affected as well, do not do this procedure!!!

I will regret this every single day..... ugh.... My youthful look is ruined and I am beyond depressed.

Please ladies, trust me, these ruin your face and it is NOT WORTH IT. I'd give anything to turn back time and not do it.

Please comment if this review convinced you not to do it just so I can feel better that I at least helped someone.
And if you do decide to do it, just wait... months later you'll see the sunken look and changes. Don't say I didn't warn you.







Lol. Being a drama queen. But cheek implants really will change more than just your cheeks

Okay ladies, I may be being a bit dramatic here. I have been reading some of your comments saying " it's not that bad." "you're life isn't ruined."
I am definitely kind of a drama queen, I admit, lol.

I agree, it is subtle, but to me the changes are really tough to accept. Do my cheeks look better? yes. But did so much else change about the proportions of my face that I did not prepare myself for? yes. I only thought that my cheeks would be affected .... yet my lips and under eye area were affected too. I really liked these features before, and did not intend or expect for them to change. I have been having a hard time coming to terms with this. Hopefully after removal it may go back to normal. Keeping my fingers crossed.

$5500 and Others have noticed the NEGATIVE not the positive

A family friend came over tonight and mentioned that I looked more tired than usual and my eye bags were deeper.

She didn't even notice the cheeks.

I paid $5500 for ..... cheeks? Nope. I paid $5500 for my face to look sunken and for people to comment on my eye bags. WTF.

Not only that but like I mentioned my lip is now rotating under.... Lip lift will most likely be necessary to correct this. I look like I'm frowning when I'm not.

Now I need to either be in the market for lower eyelid surgery/lip lift or remove these things and hope that everything will go back to normal. I'm just worried that even if I do remove them I'll still might need to correct at least the under eye bag area because these implants have completely destroyed its original tightness so why not just do it first. Ugh.. What a debate. Will keep everyone updated but overall I'm pissed and just trying to warn everyone against this. If I could go back in time I'd never do it.

I thought cheek implants would be the final procedure for me. Instead they just lead to more problems and possibly more procedures and removal and just ugh.

Also, for those who keep saying I don't look that bad, I have makeup on and it may just be the photo/angle. In real life trust me the changes are extremely devastating and noticeable (clearly if a family friend commented).

Undecided at this point

The swelling is continuing to subside and I am starting to like them. My feelings towards them change daily. I think part of me forgets just how flat my face was before. I'm afraid if I remove them and return to that, I'll still be unhappy. I will keep updating :)))

I'm 100% positive I want them out

It has gotten to the point that I've been canceling other appts/ commitments because I'm so dissatisfied with my face at this point. It just looks abnormal. Please trust me on this if you are considering this procedure. I wish I could post pictures. I know that if I did, it would definitely convince others not to do this procedure. But the pics would be permanent so I'm not going to. The point is that my face looks so abnormal right now. The implants need to be taken out ASAP. The doctor I was considering for removal is booked through September so I either have to wait until then or find a different doctor

This shows the lip shape change

It looks like I'm sucking on something / frowning in comparison to how my lips used to look.

Nose shape change (Wider)

Just wanted to add this photo of the nose shape change before and after. Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that your nostrils may get wider with cheek implants. Another reason why I'd like them to be removed.

Hi everyone :) Today's update

Just wanted to mention a few more non-cosmetic reasons that I'd like the implants removed. Obviously the changes to my face are the main reason I want them taken out but there are also other reasons.

Sleeping/napping on my side feels very uncomfortable. It feels like a strong, tight pulling and stretching of my cheeks and nose area as I simply try to relax. It's so frustrating. Also, getting a back massage is more stressful than relaxing. I can't put my face into the cushion without pain or worry. This is extremely distressing as I have injuries from 9 years of cheerleading that really make it important for me to get massages. I hadn't considered this before getting the implants so just wanted to write that it is something to be considered.

Anyways, after contacting a few local surgeons I had the following options. The first surgeon isn't available until September. The second surgeon refused to do it under local. The third surgeon said I didn't need them removed.
So finally I contacted my original surgeon. There were two reasons I didn't want to contact him at first. One was that it is a long drive (5-7 hrs) to his office one way, not to mention the return trip which would be so grueling (at least it was last time). The other was that like I mentioned earlier he is a world class surgeon and I didn't want to insult him. My only issues here have been with the surgery itself not how it was performed. He performed the surgery excellently and I'm so glad I went to him instead of anyone else. Anyways, his coordinator was so sweet and said..."It's your face! You should do whatever makes you comfortable" which made me feel at ease. I think I realized then that it's surprisingly not as emotional as I thought and it's strictly business for them.

The coordinator will be contacting me on Monday or Tuesday and letting me know whether or not he has any surgery dates in August available. I'm extremely hopeful that I could have these out within the next two weeks. :) I'll update you all on whether or not this is confirmed.

Also, I'm fully aware that after removal I may not be completely happy either. I am not expecting everything to be completely perfect because clearly it wasn't before. I'm sure certain "flaws" about my face that are less prominent now will become more prominent with removal. But ultimately the changes to my lips, nose, under eye bags, and more are just too drastic for me to enjoy the cheeks. Too much about my original look changed with cheek implants for me to be satisfied with them.


Took a picture in the same exact spot

Nose tip change ? (Slightly longer)

I had been talking to another girl who had gotten small submalars. She said that one of her biggest complaints was how her nose tip began to droop after cheek implants. It was a major factor in why she had them removed. After examining two side by side photos I noticed the same on myself. It's subtle - but there. Since I heard it from her and noticed in myself, it's highly likely that this is caused by the implants for some reason. Just wanted to share a pic

Got them removed

Removal surgery was by far 300X more painful than placement. I could feel his struggle to scrape them off my Skelton literally. He told me they got stuck. They were literally ripped off. Yes I was numb but I have literally never felt anything more painful in my life. It's 24 hours later and I can't eat, can barely drink, swallow, etc. It feels like a thousand knives were stabbed up my face because that's basically what happened. My entire lower jaw feels like I got punched.

Again I cannot dissuade people from going through this enough. Not worth the pain at all because my face looked funky with them in and removal was excruciating.

All the ice and Valium in the world can't help right now. I'm done with plastic surgery forever If i can manage. This pain was so unnecessary...
I do not wish this experience / pain upon my worst enemy!

The implants themselves

Doctor answer about removal

On RealSelf I asked how difficult it was to perform cheek implant removal surgery. Here's what one doctor said:

I am one of the few surgeons in my area that does cheek implants and also one of the few who has experience removing them. I can tell you what may seem easy is often very difficult. In spite of being able to feel the implants from the outside during surgery they can be hard to find, and if so cause damage to the muscle and surrounding tissues while looking around.
Many doctors will gloss this whole procedure over as nothing difficult. Here a doctor was being honest. Cheek implants are risky and removal is too. I knew I had absolutely no choice but to remove them though with how unhappy I was and how they had affected my life.

The point is to think very carefully before going through with this procedure in the first place, and if you are unhappy, get them removed sooner rather than later. The entire process can be damaging and risky so think it through.

Side note: It's very weird, I keep staring at these small silicone shells in disbelief that they actually made such a negative impact on my life. It's surreal and odd. :/.

But I'm okay with being the guinea pig for all of you in order to help prevent others from going though this.

Nose tip pics

The nose tip seems to be making improvements

Eye bags before and after cheek implants

I advise against the procedure it will age you dramatically.


Will post more pics soon.

Still VERY swollen. Still puffy. Makeup is helping me out a lot.

I really have no idea what to expect in terms of returning to my original appearance.

So far my eye bags do not seem to making much improvement and my cheeks / mid face seems to be slightly sagging. It's especially noticeable without makeup. I will add some more pics to show what I mean. Just being honest.

As a back up plan, I will correct these areas with a minor lower bleph and minor mid face lift. But I have been told to wait one year before doing anything because I must let my face heal. Makes sense.

Not much improvement

Under eye bags caused by cheek implants photo again

My proportions look so much better after removal!!! I'm so happy. Will post more photos very soon! But my eye bags are still just horrible. Can't believe the cheek implants created this issue.


Please, trust me and do not do this procedure. I don't know why exactly it does it - but it will ruin your tight youthful face... I had these issues before removal; and now even though my face is more proportionate after removal my face is not nearly as tight as it was. Mid face is sagging. :(

Aged 10 years in 3 months

I'm sure you all are getting tired of pictures of my under eye bags at this point but it's just so important that I make the point of the horrible things cheek implants can do to your appearance. It's just incredible how heartbroken I have become at this disaster. I remember my naïveté before surgery thinking that only my cheeks would change and nothing else. I was so wrong and admitting that has been so hard. However I'm not too hard on myself because this important information just wasn't out there at the time so how would I have known.

Now I'm in a market for a cheek lift. Wish me luck.

I honestly hope no one ever does this procedure...

If you still plan to get cheek implants even after reading this review I would seriously rethink it.

The Science behind Why cheek Implants are not a good idea!

So I just wanted to touch on why cheek implants are not a good idea from a scientific perspective. At the end of the day- that's the core of the matter.

I am not a doctor but I have spent a lot of time researching this after the disaster I put myself through and have gathered much information on the topic.

Here is what I've learned:

One of the biggest signs of aging is in sagging in the mid face area. The tissue begins to shift downward with time, which contributes to the sag.

The tissue shifting downward happens over a period of many years. Eventually, the mid facial sag is noticaeble enough that many people want this area rejuvinated with surgery.

A cheek lift/ mid face lift is where this tissue (and sometimes the malar fat pad) is repositioned upward to help correct this sagging mid-face area.

With that said,

When you get cheek implants, the surgeon LIFTS the tissue OFF of your bone to place the cheek implants. Over time, the tissue begins to reattach to the bone.

Now - there is NO guarantee that the tissue will reattach to the bone in the exact same position it had been attached before, naturally and perfectly. Actually, it is highly unlikely that it will attach in exactly the same position. I've heard many doctors say that especially under the eyes- the tissue reattaching so high is unlikely. This can be devastating!

This means... that lifting the tissue off of the bone (as is done in cheek implants) can result in signs of aging and a mid-face sag because it the tissue may not reattach in its original high position , which ultimately can cause the facial tissue to sag prematurely - resulting in an older appearance.


Reminds me of somebody a month ago... Me! lol

More pics

Biggest mistake of my life & Booked a cheek lift

I still and by my statement that this has been the biggest mistake of my life. And I can't lie I'm a little insulted by people who, even after reading this review, tell me that they've chosen to get cheek implants despite everything I've said warning against it. It hurts and seems like a slap in the face because after everything I've gone through, the fact that anyone could still get cheek implants confuses me. Like am I not doing enough to warn against it? Like I've said in my comments, if I could I would pay people not to do it, that's how sure I am they'll *eventually* regret it. Anyways,

I went to a doctor regarding the cheek lift. I was worried he would just disregard me because of my age. Nope, immediately after he saw me, he listed EVERYTHING about my face that I've been noticing, without me even telling him. (Cheeks sagging, under eye hollows, jowls, and more white of eye showing underneath). I broke down crying and got so emotional because not only has this been the hardest thing I've had to through, but I was so worried that he would disregard what I saw OR that there'd be no solution. He was so gentle and kind and said he was so sorry this had happened & He said "I don't know how, but at 18 you need a cheek lift." So in February I will be getting a cheek lift. Wish me luck. And don't . Get. Cheek implants. I wish I'd never heard of cheek implants or real self. That's what ruined everything ugh.

Thanks everyone for your comments- I'll update this review again after the cheek lift or maybe do a separate review on it. ~*That's all for now. *~

Powerful video

More horrible pics from when the implants were in

Couldn't bare to keep getting messages from people saying they wish they'd listened to my review.... Sometimes showing is better than telling so I figured I'd post more terrible pics in order to show just how horrible the implants made me look with the hope that it will prevent more people from getting cheek implants. These photos really show the hollows and creases that were created from the placement of the implants. Hope this helps everyone


I've been reading a lot of your comments about filler and how it might have helped the hollows that the cheek implants created while they were in and it might help now. Definitely worth considering...
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Comments (159)

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All you need is ultherapy. Trust me! Michael Persky in LA. He will raise all the tissue and tighten your skin. It is very subtle what you have and will probably fix itself in time. Do not get surgery. Trust me. You want to wait as long as possible for a faclift and a cheek lift counts as one. I saw a dramatic difference ultherapy. I know you will too especialy because you are young and your body produces so much collagen on it's own. Check out Dr Michael Persky. You don't need fillers.
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I think you are super pretty and don't need any filler or surgery but I will give you my thoughts in case you go ahead with filler. Please take it slowly! And keep track of everything. Take photos from every angle with your face still AND animated. Only use HA filler in case you don't like it. Get the PS to up mark your face and record the amount for each injection site. Careful under the eyes. And remember it is so easy to lose track when everything looks good and then regret not concentrating when there is something you don't like. Observe the effect of each and every injection not just the overall effect because you won't be able to work out the effects of each filler placement if you are just looking at the end result. Ask a lot of questions. Don't start with the thicker HA fillers (Voluma, Perlane). Start with the the lighter fillers (Juvederm, Restylane) because if you don't like it they will go away quicker and if you do like it then you can have the thicker filler next time. Sorry it's just random babbling of advice - I'm at the supermarket hating my face under the fluorescent lights!!!
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Hello brunettepink. To tell you the truth your face will heal itself only because you are at still young. (probably within 3 to 4 month from now, your face will go back to normal). I think the main reason you did the Cheek implants the first place is you want to look "More" pretty right ?? if thats the case and if thats your goal in the future too then you should just save up the money and go to korea to make you super cute. really !! why waste time doing little of this and little of that. Why not just do one time shot in korea and be done with.
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Please read all the responses here:
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Thank you sooooo much for sharing your experience !! And for all of your pictures that show exactly what you are describing . I'm shocked to see how the implants changed the other areas of your face . Rest assured your are still very much so gorgeous ! I want to send you a pic of my genetic malar bags . You'll feel better instantly
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Hi everyone! No he is an excellent surgeon! He has many, many before and afters of cheek lifts and I looked at every single photo and have no concerns. After the lift will I look exactly how I did before cheek implants? No, but at least it's better than nothing. He is a genuine doctor - by far the most caring I've ever met and I am an excellent, intuitive judge of character. Furthermore I am 100% positive I need a cheek lift after removal of the implants - the tissue is absolutely sagging - No doubt in my mind or any doctors. My mid-face looks extremely abnormal in comparison to every other area of my face. I have no doubt that it's the right choice and he has my best interests at heart. He told me that he was talking to me like a doctor and a parent. He also said that I better get right back into college after he fixes it for me. He even suggested that we wait to treat the under eye hollows until after I've healed from the lift because it may not be necessary so he was being conservative. I appreciate everyone's concern genuinely but I don't think everyone can fully comprehend the severity of the situation.
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Hello brunettepink. To tell you the truth. With all the money and time you spent already you "should" look like a super model. Just to think back what make you think this Doctor is any different than other doctor you encounter before ?? you should just save up the $$$ and go to Seoul Korea and do a complete one time work on your face if you "must" do something to your face. Check out "korean plastic surgery" on youtube and see for yourself. The world best and most advance PS are in korea.
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Hi jeiamj, I've definitely seen beautiful transformations in Seoul , Korea. The doctors there are amazing I completely agree. I will not be getting any more surgery for awhile besides correcting the cheek implant damage. I've learned to love myself as is. The reason why I chose this new doctor is because he is a cheek lift specialist and cheek lifts are his most popular procedure. Only a subtle correction is needed to take me back to my original look. Thank you for your comment :)
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Hello brunettepink. Only a subtle correction is needed ?? then it should only cost subtle amount of money right ? next time, ask the doctor what happen if after you done a cheek lift and it turn out to be something that you do not like. Would he/she refund your money and do everything possible to fix it. (every important question to ask your doctor before giving out your money)
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I know right?? I should have, thanks!!
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Good luck sweetie, only you will know what you want to do xxx
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You never needed implants, and you don't a cheek lift either. I can't believe what I'm reading... you're 18 years old and beautiful! Sorry to say this, but this PS is milking you for all you're worth. Please don't do a cheek lift - try lasers and fillers to restore the areas you don't like... they will work wonders. You absolutely don't need a cheek lift. Get a second and third opinion in your area at least before proceeding with that surgery. I was 5 years older than you and had god knows what done to my face - let me tell you - if you want to ruin your face forever you're on the right track. That may sound harsh but I've been there and bought the t-shirt. I
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I agree your current doc sounds shady id get a 2nd opinion too
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Hello brunettepink. You're 18 years old and pretty. Dont let the doctor sweet talk you into doing cheek life. PLEASE DONT !! Dont even try lasers and fillers too because you will be addicted to it. Try the "Obagi system" is few step creams, If you really cant stop or control yourself from enhancing / upgrading your face.
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It seems like she's determined to go ahead! I know what I was like when I was 18... those cheek lift things tend to bulk up the midface and can actually create shadows under the eye. And also, I was told cutting into the lower eyelids can screw up the eyes. My guess is this is not going to end happily. The RS docs said Restylane would fix the problem she sees - they're right. Her doctor is not speaking to her as a "parent" when he's selling her an invasive surgery that actually could make the problem worse.
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Hi there... I appreciate your concern. I will definitely explore the option of filler for the lower lids... However I don't see how it could correct the sag?? After removal or the implants my cheeks are sagging off their original position...the tissue is completely gone from my under eye area giving it a gaunt hollow look... While the tissue has moved down to the lower section of my mid-face giving my face a melted look. The tissue really needs to be lifted back up & secured. If you have any suggestions please message me. Thank you!
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Hi Brunettepink and thanks for the update. I know it seems unbelievable that anyone would risk a procedure that you experienced negatively but it's all relative. On a beautiful, youthful face such as yours the cheek implants did not improve your look and caused problems in other areas of your face. But on a face considerably older than yours where the cheek fat has atrophied or descended, cheek implants may well cause an improvement and any detrimental effect on the other areas might be less noticeable or minor compared to that improvement. I am wishing you the very best outcome in your upcoming procedure. I admire your courage and I have my fingers crossed that your result is all that you hope. Your surgeon seems to understand you so that's a very good start. Please keep us updated. K x
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Thanks for posting, it's important that we know these issues. It's like what happened to me, it was just radiesse and the doc wanted to put a little on my cheeks, he did tear troughs and now I have sunken in eyes with discoloration. This sight is great wish I knew about it before.
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I had the same exact issue with hollows under my eyes and pronounced laugh lines after i had 2cc's of voluma injected in my cheeks. The good thing is 3 months later the voluma is starting to dissolve. I suspect it should completely dissolve in another 3-4 months. I just hope the eye hollows, lines under my eyes, and laugh lines go away with the voluma. I did not have these issues before cheek fillers and I have never had any other procedures done.
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I love this because maybe we should alert the makers of Voluma that their substance is dissolving far faster than they claim....two years? Ahhh the lies never cease. I wish someone would sue them for FRAUDULENT claims. But I bet you are happy it's going so quickly. I wish Allergan would sink into the sea and never return.
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If you read the fine print of the Allergan study into the longevity of Voluma, you will see that the people who reported seeing results at the two year mark initially received at least 6 vials (6ccs) of Voluma. Funny how Allergan doesn't mention this in it's marketing. I only had 0.4ccs in each cheek so I do not anticipate it will last two years. Thank goodness!
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Same here, radiesse caused laugh lines on sides of nose, you are lucky you had the voluma, radiesse doesn't go away quickly. As a matter if fact, it's exactly a year ago today I had mine! Ugg
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This is a good point. I've read the same thing. Apparently, they don't really know whether Voluma actually lasts up to 18 months or if it is the amount of product initially injected that causes it to last that long. If we look back just a few years, the makers of Radiesse claimed that it would last 2-3 years and was a true semi-permanent injectable implant. Now they say that he product lasts up to 1 year, or at least the visible effects of it at least.
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Clinical studies (marketing studies!) are one thing but it's perception that counts. As we all know, good results last the proverbial ten seconds and poor results seem to last for years. I absolutely hate being so conscious of how I look all the time and being so anxious about where the light is etc. Fluorescent lights are the worst! When I liked the result I was conscious of it wearing off in a negative way but now I'm hoping it wears off and looking for any sign of improvement. It does my head in. I have come to the conclusion that psychologically the punt on a good result is not worth the chance of a bad one. Injectables are just too hit and miss for me. And some of it won't ever come good so I don't know what to do about that at all. Surgery seems hit and miss also. Bad results always seems to get blamed on the choice of surgeon but that can't be the whole story. Bad things just happen sometimes regardless of how good the surgeon is. I am really struggling with these new eye bags from the Voluma, hyaluronidase and Volbella combination disaster. I would love to rid myself of them but surgery seems like a big risk. I would give anything to feel good about myself again and I just don't want to think about my face anymore. But it seems hard to get off the merry-go-round once you're on it.
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I would say doing nothing would probably be the best course of action. Voluma is temporary and will self-correct without you having to do anything. Yes, looking bad for quite a few months sucks, but sometimes the cure is worse than the disease as they say.
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