The conversation regarding facial aging and, more importantly, facial rejuvenation, has continued for years. We don’t see an end in sight because new and improved systems and techniques are developed each year. As such, we expect to witness further progression in the area of aesthetic medicine, as we have for the past decades. This is an exciting prospect and one that puts us in the position of having to answer some very important questions. The one we want to discuss here is the value of fillers vs. fat with the goal of facial rejuvenation.
It’s Not This or That
Because fillers are synthetic and fat is natural, there may be a perception that one is better than the other. Ultimately, though, each method of rejuvenation has value.
Most synthetic soft tissue fillers are made to replicate the action of the hyaluronic acid produced by the body. Hyaluronic acid holds water molecules; that is how it plumps the skin, by drawing water into the treatment area and tethering to molecules.
Dermal fillers are commonly used to treat concerns like nasolabial folds and thin or deflated lips. Recently, we have seen an increase in the use of dermal fillers for undereye bags or hollows, dark circles, flattened cheeks, and jowls. In addition to the versatility of treatment, patients also like the temporary aspect of dermal fillers. Most fillers last between 6 and 12 months, with some, like Juvederm Voluma, lasting as long as two years. While retreatment is necessary, patients also can see their results immediately and also see them diminish over time.
Fat grafting is a more involved process but is also the technique preferred by patients who have tested the effects of soft tissue fillers and want long-lasting results. It is the longevity of fat grafting that is most appealing, but there are also aspects of this technique that patients must consider carefully. Because fat cells that are transferred to the face from another area of the body, they integrate into their new “home,” which means they grow as if they have always lived there. On the other hand, though, it is also necessary to recognize the unpredictability of this integration. The performance of fat grafting is carried out as carefully as possible to maximize retention, but patients should expect some fat to absorb within the first several months after treatment.
There is no “perfect” way to rejuvenate the face. This is why we take our time getting to know your ultimate goal and your current status. Learn more about fillers, fat grafting, and other facial rejuvenation treatments by calling (801) 776-2220 and scheduling a personal consultation in our Layton or Draper office.