Soft-Tissue Fillers vs. Fat Grafting

Is fat grafting or fillers the right procedure for you?

As we age, we often lose tone and volume in the soft tissue areas of the face which results in loose skin and a sunken appearance, especially around the cheeks, nose, and mouth. If this is your primary concern, then a facelift isn’t the best treatment option because that procedure is not designed to restore volume. Instead, you may want to consider either fat grafting or the use of soft-tissue fillers. As experts in facial restoration procedures, we wanted to share the pros and cons of each method, so you can determine which may be right for you.

What is Fat Grafting?

An innovative and safe cosmetic procedure, facial fat grafting uses a patient’s own fat harvested from areas such as the abdomen and thighs to add fullness back to certain areas of the face.

How is Facial Fat Grafting Performed?

It’s a three-stage process that takes, from start to finish, 90 to 120 minutes to complete and includes:

  1. Harvesting: Your plastic surgeon will select a site for fat removal and inject it with a local anesthetic. A small tube called a cannula is inserted into a small incision to carefully extract the fat.
  2. Purification: Once the required amount of fat has been extracted, it will be processed to filter and remove impurities.
  3. Placement: Your plastic surgeon will then use a needle to carefully deposit fatty tissue into the treatment area until the desired look has been achieved.

What are the Benefits of Fat Grafting?

When performed by a skilled and knowledgeable plastic surgeon, fat grafting is a safe and effective procedure. These are some of the major benefits of the procedure:

  • You’ll see immediate, natural-looking results.
  • The fat is removed from your own body, greatly reducing the risk of any allergic reactions.
  • It’s a minimally invasive, same-day treatment and no lengthy recovery time is required.
  • There’s no need for general anesthesia.
  • There’s no facial scarring.
  • The results are long-term, if not permanent.

What are the Drawbacks of Fat Grafting?

Like any treatment, there are some drawbacks:

  • It’s a lengthy treatment option when compared to injecting tissue fillers, which can be completed in 15 to 30 minutes.
  • In the short-term, facial fat grafting will cost more than dermal fillers or other injectables. However, the long-term cost is lower.
  • Only a limited amount of fat can be grafted at any given time, which may mean more than one session is needed to achieve the desired results.
  • There may be limited bruising around the treatment areas for a few days.

What are Soft-Tissue Fillers?

Soft-tissue fillers such as Restylane®, Dysport®, and Sculptra are naturally-derived materials that are injected beneath the skin to increase fullness.

These tissue fillers work by:

  • Plumping up the tissue beneath the skin.
  • Shrinking wrinkles.
  • Stimulating collagen production.
  • Restoring volume to your face.

What are the Benefits of Tissue Fillers?

Tissue fillers are becoming one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in America for several reasons:

  • The treatment is extremely effective.
  • It only takes 15 to 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • There’s no recovery time.
  • No anesthesia is required.
  • It’s virtually pain free.
  • There are minimal, if any, side effects.

What are the Drawbacks of Soft-Tissue Facial Fillers?

The results of tissue fillers are long-lasting, but they are not permanent. To maintain best results, you’ll need to repeat treatments every 6 to 12 months, which may be cost-prohibitive over time.

What’s the Best Treatment Option?

No two patients are exactly alike or have the same treatment needs. Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Fodero who can listen to your concerns and recommend a treatment plan to help you achieve the appearance you desire.

Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have about the procedures we offer. We strive to ensure that your experience with us is positive. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.