Fat Grafting vs. Fillers for Facial Volume

Providing facial rejuvenation today is not just about lifting and tightening but also restoring volume to the face that is lost over time. Popular fillers, such as Voluma and Juvederm, can add volume to the mid-face and fill in deep folds and wrinkles. Such is the case with our ViveLift technique. But fat grafting (fat injections or fat transfer) to restore lost volume has gained a lot of popularity in the field of cosmetic surgery and is commonly used today.


So what is all the hype about fat grafting?

Dr. Thompson has been doing fat injections for a number of years, typically in combination with facelift surgery. Fat, in this case, is a better option as the patient is already under general anesthesia, it can be added to multiple areas of the face, and it’s more cost effective than repeated treatments of manufactured fillers.

That is not to say it’s necessarily better though. Fat can be somewhat unforgiving and it’s important to only trust a surgeon with a lot of experience with fat injections. For small areas or those close to the surface of the skin, there is more of a risk of lumps and bumps than with hyaluronic acid fillers that are very smooth in consistency.

Another factor to consider prior to fat injections is that not all of it will stay in the face. As long as the fat attaches to a blood supply, the results are permanent. But it’s hard to know beforehand how much fat will actually “take”. The good thing is that most people have a decent fat supply available should they decide on a second treatment. At Utah Facial Plastics, most patients achieve beyond satisfactory results following their initial procedure.


So how do you know which option is right for you?

Because everyone’s facial anatomy is so different, it’s really a case by case determination by Dr. Thompson. As mentioned above, most patients undergoing facelift surgery will also benefit from fat injections. But they may only need it in one area of the face or he may recommend adding it to multiple areas of the face, even lips that have thinned over time.

For under-eye hollowing, he may suggest either option. It often comes down to whether the patient prefers multiple non-surgical injectable treatments or if they’d rather do one or two in-office surgical procedures for a permanent result. Or instead of adding fat to smooth under-eye hollowing, which he commonly recommends, he may suggest fat repositioning instead, where he uses the fat already in place fill in hollowing.

Bottom line, it’s best to come in for a complimentary consultation to determine which procedure(s) will best help you achieve your aesthetic goals. To do so, contact us HERE or call (801)776-2220.



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