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Are Fillers or Fat Injections Better at Fixing Your Face?

Are Fillers or Fat Injections Better at Fixing Your Face?

Facial fillers are all the rage when it comes to non-invasive techniques to revitalize the face. Wrinkles, crow’s feet, lost volume… The wear and tear of age can be masked by these fillers in minutes. The only drawback, however, is how long they last. The majority of fillers last for a few months, and then patients must come back and have them reapplied in order to maintain the rejuvenation. Is there not anything that will last forever?

The answer to that may be here. Dr. Jackie Yee of Miami and Dr. Bruce Van Natta of Indianapolis sit down and discuss the place of fillers in cosmetic surgery and how using fat might tip the scales as to which non-invasive procedure gives the best, and longest, results.

By Jackie Yee, MDBruce Van Natta, MD
and Susan Kamyab

Fillers Fix Fine Lines on the Spot

Your face starts to show noticeable signs of aging over time due to sun exposure, heredity, lifestyle and the constant pull of gravity. One of the earliest signs of aging is a loss of volume in the face and the appearance of wrinkles. The most common way to soften these facial lines and restore the volume and fullness in the face is with injectable fillers.

Fillers do exactly what their name suggests: they fill! Fillers are injected into regions of the face that are lacking volume, showing signs of wrinkling and even folding. “If someone’s got a fine line that needs fixing, I can attack it with just a syringe off of my shelf, ” says Dr. Yee. “If a patient comes in with facial rejuvenation goals, I can literally prepare a syringe and have them on their way in no time with real results.” Doctors are able to shape the face immediately after the injection and there is no downtime.

As with most things, nothing is perfect. The biggest downside to fillers is they’re not permanent; injections must be repeated every few months in order for the results to maintain. Patients want to know, “Is there anything more permanent?”

Fat, the Natural Product

Fat grafting has become one of the most promising tools for plastic surgeons. What started with injecting fat into breasts has now expanded to being able to inject fat almost anywhere in your body. Especially considering liposuction procedures where fat is removed, surgeons have decided that fat shouldn’t be wasted, but distributed elsewhere on the body! Breasts, hands… but what about the face?

For Dr. Van Natta, the choice between using fat or fillers for the face is clear. “My patients like to have a natural product used to rejuvenate their face. With fat grafting, I utilize their own fat to replace the volume missing from their face. What’s more natural than that!”

While a bit more invasive than filler injections, the benefits of fat grafting are many. Besides being completely natural and effectively replacing lost volume, fat grafting has shown signs of improving the cells of the face, based on stem cells contained within the fat. Ultimately, patients are most thrilled about the fact that fat injections can last a very long time. Instead of putting in something foreign that only last a few months, why wouldn’t you want to put in your own tissue that lasts much longer?

More Tools, Better Results

When it comes down to it, there is a role for both of these procedures. Depending on where you are in your aging journey, fillers may be the right thing for you, or fat grafting may be better. It is important to seek out a board certified surgeon to analyze your goals and anatomy in order to make the best decision as to which procedure is right for you. The good news? The box of tools for combating aging is growing, and able hands are ready to eliminate those wrinkles and bring youthfulness back to your life.

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