We’re lucky to live in an era that gives us so many options for minimally-invasive cosmetic treatments. These days, you can improve your facial aesthetics without surgery or the extensive downtime and discomfort involved with it. However, not all problems can be fixed with non-invasive treatments alone.
The key to a successful procedure is choosing the right procedure and the right plastic surgeon to help you reach your goals. But how do you choose? If you’ve been interested in injectable treatments, then you’ve probably heard of both injectable fillers and fat transfer. But which is right for you? Let’s take a look at the differences between the two treatments.
Facial Fillers vs. Fat Transfer
The first difference between the two treatments is that fat transfer is a surgical procedure, while fillers are not. Fat transfer involves removing unwanted fat from a “donor” area of the patient’s body, preparing it in a centrifuge, then injecting it into various areas of the face in order to rejuvenate and revitalize the face. Not all of the fat will survive long-term, but the cells that remain after about six months are considered to be permanent.
Injectable fillers are synthetic formulas created to help fill in wrinkles and contour the face. Many are comprised of hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the skin. Injectable fillers are injected directly into the areas with signs of aging. There is no surgery required and there is little to no downtime involved. However, the results are not permanent. Patients who want to maintain their results can expect to need treatment approximately once per year, depending on the filler and lifestyle.
Fillers & Fat Transfer for Facial Volume Loss
One of the most significant signs of aging occurs when the face begins to lose volume. Fat, collagen, and elastin become depleted, leaving people with hollowed eyes, deep folds, and sagging cheeks. Both injectable fillers and transferred fat can help address these signs of facial volume loss.
Facial fillers are best for people with subtle signs of volume loss or for volume loss concentrated in one specific area, such as the cheeks. There are many different formulas available which are optimized for different treatments, such as lifting and filling in the cheek area, or smoothing out deep wrinkles.
Fat transfer is often a better option for people who want a natural, permanent option for all-over facial volume loss. It is easier to improve a large amount of hollowness with fat transfer since a larger amount of fat can be used than fillers. The procedure is also more expensive initially, but is cheaper than injectable fillers in the long run, since the added volume is long-lasting.
Lip Augmentation and Facial Contouring
Both treatments can also be used to enhance and augment the lips or improve facial contour. Lip augmentation is a very popular procedure that is more often performed using synthetic fillers. However, it can also be achieved with fat transfer for natural augmentation. Both hyaluronic fillers and fat transfer produce a very natural look and feel for lip augmentation, as long as your facial plastic surgeon is experienced in this area. Dr. Donath is a national trainer for multiple fillers in the lip area along with the rest of the face and indeed lectures around the world on facial aesthetics and treatments.
A Personal Decision
When it comes down to it, the treatment that is right for you depends on your goals and it is a very personal decision. If you’re not ready for surgery, fillers may be a good option for “testing” the rejuvenation treatments you’re looking at. You can always opt for fat transfer later. If you’re looking for more permanent rejuvenation or prefer not to use synthetic products, a fat transfer treatment might be the perfect option.
Only you and your surgeon can make the decision about which treatment is right for you. During your consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get an expert evaluation and recommendations. Then, it’s up to you to decide whether fat transfer or an injectable filler is right for you. That decision might be affected by your candidacy for either treatment. For example, patients must have sufficient body fat in order to complete a fat transfer procedure.
Whichever treatment is most appealing to you, your next steps should be to schedule a consultation with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss your options. If you’re looking for an expert in the Cincinnati area, give Donath Facial Plastic Surgery a call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Alexander Donath. Dr. Donath is an expert in facial surgery and cosmetic treatments, and he can help you reach your facial rejuvenation goals. Call (513) 891-5438 to schedule your appointment today!