Fat Grafting Versus Fillers: Which is Best?

Filler InjectionsStaten Island, New York – As you age, you may begin to notice that areas of your face no longer look as full as they once did. Do you long for the days when you had the cheekbones of Kim Kardashian, but have resigned yourself to a more sagging appearance?

There’s good news – you can regain that full, healthy look and get rid of your droopy cheeks through a fat graft or filler injections. Both can help you get back that youthful look you thought was lost forever. Fat injections have quickly become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, and are now even more popular than liposuction. In 2011, Botox and injections accounted for 82 percent of all procedures performed.

So what makes these procedures so great, and how do you know if you should opt for fat grafting or filler injections?

Dr. Andrew Miller, a top plastic surgeon in Staten Island, says that the only way to be sure which one will work for you is by having a thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon. It also depends on how much work you really want done.

“Harvesting fat for a fat transfer generally requires liposuction,” says Miller, whose practice performs countless liposuction procedures in their Staten Island office. “If the patient is already planning to have liposuction performed, it makes sense to simply move the fat from one location to another. Fat grafting can be an expensive procedure to perform on its own, especially because the effectiveness of the procedures isn’t 100 percent guaranteed. But the beauty of it is the fat can then be injected almost anywhere.”

The nasiolabial creases, the areas around the mouth and lips, and the cheekbones are the standard spots to have injections or fillers. These areas tend to flatten and elongate over the years, aging patients who otherwise still look youthful. While the lips, cheeks, jawline and under eye areas are the most common, fat can also be injected into the buttocks to create a firmer looking bottom – yes, through fat grafting you can have cheekbones and buttocks more like Kim Kardashian’s!

Today, there are more options than ever before for patients to regain that youthful fullness to their face. The other option is what patients commonly know – using man-made fillers. Restylane, Juvederm, Artefille, Sculptra and Radiesse are the most commonly used fillers.

One advantage to using filler injections is the immediate results patients see. Because patients are able to visually see the results right away, they can make a decision about when they feel their face has reached their desired fullness. Another advantage is that, because these are non-permanent solutions, if the patient decides they are unhappy with their new appearance, they can simply stop the injections.

“In some hands, fat grafting can be somewhat unpredictable,” says Miller. “It takes a very skilled surgeon to perform this procedure, and even then the results may not always be ideal. We have fine-tuned our technique over the last 15 years to create results that are quite reliable and natural appearing. Unfortunately, everyone continues to age over time, so we freeze several syringes of fat to re-inject at a later time.”

If the graft takes, the new look of the face will be permanent. However, if it doesn’t, the fat will simply be reabsorbed into the body.

You can take a quick look through celebrity photos over the years to see how popular the procedure has become, even if celebrities aren’t admitting to having work performed. Madonna, Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox and even America’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston all appear to have had either fat grafting or filler injections.

But they’re not the only ones taking advantage of fat grafting. Ever wonder how those new celebrity moms find the time to work out enough to be back in their skinny jeans just weeks after their baby is born? Many plastic surgeons speculate it may not be from rigorous diet and exercise, as the celebrities would have us believe. Instead, some think they may be undergoing fat grafting, where the excess fat is removed from their abdomens, and then placed either in their buttocks or breasts to make them look trim and back to their photo ready selves.

While this isn’t recommended for the average citizen, fat grafting and filler injections can go a long way in helping you regain the self-confidence of your youth. When making your final decision about which procedure is best for you, take into account all of the facts, but most importantly, listen to the advice of your surgeon. He will be able to best explain the procedures and determine which is the best option for you. And in no time, you can be on the road to a fuller, healthier and younger looking self.