Facial Fat Grafting vs. Dermal Fillers, Which One is Right for Me?

Has the aging process caused you to lose volume from your facial features? Loss of collagen can cause sagging and wrinkles, while volume loss leaves areas of your face looking less full and healthy. You have several options for restoring lost volume and smoothing lines and wrinkles. These include facial fat grafting and dermal fillers. Both are very effective at giving your face a softer, more youthful fullness, but they work differently. 

What are Dermal Fillers?

At Specialty Aesthetic Surgery, we offer a variety of dermal fillers to meet your needs. Dermal fillers are injectable materials that add volume to the treated areas. They come in many different formulas that work on the lips, cheeks, around the mouth, and for deep lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers use materials recognized by the body to minimize any risk of a reaction. These include hyaluronic acid, found naturally in the skin, and calcium hydroxylapatite, typically found in bones and teeth. 

What is Facial Fat Grafting?

Facial fat grafting offers another option for restoring lost facial volume. This procedure uses excess fat removed from another area, usually the stomach or thighs. The fat is injected into targeted areas of the face to enhance volume. The injected fat cells will graft, establish a new blood supply, and become permanent residents. After grafting, these cells will behave like all the other fat cells in your body, including changes in size if you gain or lose weight. 

Facial Fat Grafting vs. Dermal Fillers, Which One is Right for Me?

If your facial volume loss makes you feel self-conscious, you may be considering your options for restoring youthful fullness. Facial fat grafting and dermal fillers accomplish this task, so the choice depends on you and your provider

Facial Fat Grafting Manhattan & Upper East Side

What is the Procedure Like?

Getting dermal fillers usually takes between fifteen and twenty minutes. The procedure involves a series of injections into the treatment area. Some fillers have an immediate effect, while others can take several weeks to show full results. 

A facial fat transfer requires either local anesthesia or sedation. A surgeon performs liposuction to harvest fat for the transfer. This fat contains stem cells that help it establish itself when injected into the targeted areas of your face. Overall the procedure can take an hour or more

How Long Do Results Last?

Depending on the type of dermal filler, results last from a few months to a few years. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last between six months and two years, while dermal fillers that stimulate collagen production can last two years or more. 

The fat cells from the facial fat transfer will not go away. They will behave like the other fat all over your body, responding to weight loss and gain, but they will last for many years. Some of the fat injected will not graft, but the fat that does will stay in place for good. 

For lasting results, facial implants place a firm, natural-looking silicone implant under the skin and muscle of the chin, jaw, or cheeks. This option requires a small surgical incision, but you can expect results to last a lifetime. 

What are Your Areas of Concern?

Certain areas might respond better to one treatment or the other. Most providers have a preference for which technique they will use for different areas of the face. A fat transfer requires a more involved procedure and a surgeon experienced in this technique to achieve good results. 

Is There Downtime With Facial Fat Grafting or Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers require no downtime, and after a short treatment session, most people go back to work or daily activities. Facial fat transfer can cause more swelling in the facial area than dermal fillers, and you will also have some recovery time from the liposuction. You can expect a few days of recovery time before resuming your usual schedule. If you have no time for a few days of recovery, you may prefer dermal fillers. If you want to take a few days now to enjoy the long-lasting results later, facial fat grafting might be for you. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Grafting or Dermal Fillers?

Most people make good candidates for dermal fillers. These safe, popular injectables work almost anywhere on the face to smooth lines, wrinkles, and creases while enhancing volume. Dermal fillers make a great option for people who want to see what their filler results will look like without a permanent commitment.

If you have enough fat for liposuction and lost facial volume, you may be a good candidate for facial fat grafting. Ideal candidates for this procedure are willing to tolerate a few days of recovery and some small incisions from the liposuction in exchange for long-lasting results. Because these results will not fade like a dermal filler, you should feel confident about the results you want to see. 

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about facial fat grafting or dermal fillers? Schedule your consultation or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 


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