Fat Transfer vs. Fillers: Pros and Cons

Candidates for facial rejuvenation have more options than ever. In addition to traditional procedures like lasers and peels, autologous fat transfer and dermal fillers are incredible options for patients who desire volume restoration but may not be ready for a facelift or other surgeries. With facial aging comes loss of tone, or laxity, and loss of volume in soft tissue spaces, such as the cheek. If a patient has primarily a volume loss issue, then a facelift procedure is not the best answer. Soft tissue volume loss patients need volume replacement. These treatments can also be used to correct facial asymmetries and create better balance among the facial features.

With all of the available treatments, which option is best for restoring youthful facial fullness, symmetry and balance? In this post, Dr. Jonathan Grant, a facial plastic surgeon in Mt. Vernon, compares fat transfer to fillers, weighing the pros and cons of each.

Understanding Fat Transfer

If your face is beginning to look gaunt or hollow with age, fat transfer may restore the youthful fullness and contours that you desire. Fat transfer, otherwise referred to as fat augmentation, can also correct facial asymmetries for better balance between the features.

Dr. Grant can harvest unwanted fat from your abdomen and inject it into your face to plump up hollow areas (i.e., the hollows of the cheeks or the area around the eyes) and give the facial features more structure or definition.

Pros of Fat Transfer

  • Results last longer
  • Donor area (e.g., abdomen) may look slightly slimmer
  • Fat may contain stem cells that produce growth factors for improved tissue quality
  • Very little downtime needed

Cons of Fat Transfer

  • A more technically demanding procedure than dermal filler injections
  • Some fat may be absorbed by the body – not all fat transferred survives long term
  • May require an additional procedure to achieve desired results

Understanding Injectable Fillers

Another reliable way to add youthful fullness and volume to the face is with injectable fillers like Juvéderm®, Restylane® and Radiesse®. After meeting with you to discuss which areas of your face you wish to rejuvenate, and performing a facial analysis on you, Dr. Grant can recommend the filler product most likely to give you the results you are looking for.  He can also determine the appropriate placement and dosage, and lay out a treatment schedule to maintain the effects long-term.

New fillers are continually being introduced to target specific areas, such as Juvéderm® Voluma and Restylane® Lyft for the cheeks.

Pros of Injectable Fillers

  • Quick and non-invasive treatment
  • Many choices in fillers to accomplish different goals

Cons of Injectable Fillers

  • Last for varying amounts of time (generally a few months up to a year)
  • Repeat treatment is needed to maintain the effects
  • Costs of regular treatments can add up

What’s Best for Your Needs

No two patients are exactly alike or have the same treatment needs. Dr. Grant considers every patient on an individual basis and creates a customized approach to satisfy their needs.

To learn more about what will give you optimal facial rejuvenation results, please book a consultation with Dr. Grant at Cascade Facial Surgery & Aesthetics. Contact our office today.