Facial Fat Grafting vs. Facial Fillers - Which Is The Best Option For Restoring Facial Volume?
At some point, we all look in the mirror and realize that aging has made us look a little less like, well, us. There are a few more wrinkles, and gravity has taken its toll. Thanks to advances in cosmetic dermatology, we don’t have to let aging take over. But which facial rejuvenation is right for you? At Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, we offer both facial fat grafting and facial fillers to add volume to the face and reduce wrinkles. We can help you decide which treatment will best accomplish your cosmetic goals.
Facial Fat Grafting
If your main concern is loss of fullness in the face, facial fat grafting (also known as fat transfer) is likely a better choice than facial fillers, especially if more volume is needed around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline. Fat grafting has been shown to last longer than fillers in terms of maintaining fullness.
To get a better idea of how fat grafting works, think of a balloon. When it’s inflated and full, it’s smooth. But when the air is let out of the balloon, it’s loose and wrinkled. Fat grafting “inflates” the skin by filling it again with your own fat.
During the fat grafting procedure, tiny amounts of fat are removed from your abdomen or thighs. This shouldn’t be confused with procedures such as liposuction since such small amounts of fat are removed. The fat is purified and then injected into the areas of your face that need filling using a microdroplet technique, which simply means that only small droplets of fat are injected at a time. This technique results in a smoother appearance. Many experts believe that fat grafting’s effectiveness is due to a stem-cell response within the skin, but this is not yet proven.
More than one fat grafting treatment may be needed to achieve your aesthetic goal, but the results typically last for years. Many patients require no future treatments.
Benefits of facial fat grafting include:
- Significant volume restoration
- Lasting results that continue indefinitely
- Use of your own fat to fill the face instead of chemicals
- Improved skin texture and tone
- Wrinkle reduction in certain areas, particularly around the eyes
- Fewer risks and side effects than facial fillers
If you’re more concerned with deep wrinkles but still want to improve volume, facial fillers may be a better choice. Injectable fillers, such as Juvéderm Voluma® XC, Restylane®, and Sculptra® Aesthetic, are made up of biocompatible substances such as hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid, and calcium hydroxylapatite. When these substances are injected into the face, they add volume, improve contouring, and fill in even the deepest wrinkles by stimulating collagen production.
Depending on the type of filler that’s used, results can be immediate or gradual. However, all injectable fillers have temporary results that typically last a few months to a year.
Side effects of injectable fillers are minimal, but an allergic or adverse reaction can occur in some patients.
Benefits of facial fillers include:
- Significant wrinkle reduction and volume improvement, particularly in the cheeks and lips
- No downtime, as opposed to the one- to two-day downtime required for fat grafting
- Immediate results in most cases
- Less expensive than fat grafting, per treatment
If you’re considering facial rejuvenation, our staff at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston can help you decide which type of treatment is right for you.