Fat grafting vs Filler: Which option is right for you?

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Let’s take a quick moment to review each procedure.

Dermal fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse etc) are injections of thin gel like substances into and below the skin. The goal is to fill lines and wrinkles or to restore volume in the cheeks, temples or lips. The doctor blocks the treated area with a local anesthetic before injecting.  In most cases, results last 9-12 months.

Facial fat grafting uses a person’s own fat to restore volume. In this procedure, the doctor uses liposuction to remove a small amount of fat from where don’t need it, to deposit it where you want to enhance and lift your face.  Then the doctor injects harvested fat into your cheeks, temples, in the lines that run from the nose to the mouth, and in the lips to redefine and fill lost volume.  Fat grafting is made to stand the test of time because it is your own natural tissue and a good percentage of it stays where you put it.  Most people take an oral sedative to relax them and to make them more comfortable during treatment.  Dermal fillers like the above, and fat grafting cause mild bruising.  Most bruising clears within a few days but the results with fat grafting are long lasting!

Fat grafting is becoming more and more popular with our filler clients for several reasons. First, many patients like the idea of using “their own fat” instead of an artificially made gel. We know that fat is also a wonderful source of stem cells. These cells are transferred during the procedure and may help to rejuvenate overlying skin. Second, the process involves removing unwanted fat. Many clients love the fact that fat is removed from the waist or hips, yielding a nicer contour and waist line.  Many opt to have fat grafting to their face, or to their behind for a Brazilian Butt Lift secondary to body sculpting with liposuction.  Third, fat grafting has the potential for long lasting results. Studies show that 30-50% of grafted fat survives long-term.

Most patients report that treatment was comfortable, that healing time was fast, and that bruising was minimal.  This might be one aspect of body fat that we like and find useful!





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