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Benefits of Fat Grafting over Fillers

Benefits of Fat Grafting over Fillers

Fat grafting is a surgical process by which a doctor removes fat from one area of your body and places it in another. It has a long history and can address many common cosmetic concerns, making it one of the fastest-growing aesthetic treatments.

Dermal fillers are a minimally invasive treatment used to address wrinkles that result from collagen loss and plump up areas like the lips, cheeks, and hands that lose volume with age.

Oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery regularly uses fat grafting as a component of his surgical facelifts. He also offers traditional dermal fillers for his patients who want them in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona.

Though both fat grafting and dermal fillers address the same types of problems, grafting has many benefits that fillers can’t touch. Let’s compare.

History and development

Though the first fat grafting procedure dates back to 1893, it wasn’t until the 1990s that a New York-based plastic surgeon published standardized techniques for extracting, processing, and re-injecting fat cells. That allowed surgeons to use fat grafting reliably to enhance the appearance of the face, breasts, hands, feet, hips, and buttocks.

Among its many aesthetic uses, fat grafting smooths out facial lines and wrinkles; improves your skin texture, including smoothing out acne scars; restores lost volume in your cheeks and midfacial region; fills in the hollows around your eyes; and improves the appearance of nasolabial folds that form a crease between your nose and mouth.

All told, fat grafting gives you a plumper, more youthful appearance. You can use it as part of a surgical facelift or as a standalone minimally invasive dermal filler treatment.

Fillers were introduced in the 1970s and were originally formulated with bovine collagen. Unfortunately, it produced allergic reactions since it’s not native to the human body. It also produced a lot of associated swelling, and the effects weren’t long-lasting.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the FDA approved using fillers made from synthetic hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a natural substance found in substantial amounts in the skin, where it binds and holds moisture. HA products were safer and lasted much longer than collagen fillers (about 6-12 months), so they quickly became the go-to choices.

The first HA filler line introduced was Restylane®, followed by JUVÉDERM®.

Here at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, we use both of these product lines to treat a variety of cosmetic complaints. 

Restylane is completely biocompatible, and it’s formulated to add volume to the lips and to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles in patients over 21. The filler works much like its natural cousin, attracting and binding moisture within the skin to make it appear fuller and softer. It also fills in the spaces between the depleted stores of collagen and elastin fibers, promoting an even tone and supple texture.

JUVÉDERM comes in a line of products, each formulated for a different area of the face and neck.

Benefits of fat grafting over fillers

Fat grafting and fillers address similar cosmetic complaints, such as hollows from lost volume and skin tone smoothing. However, you might consider fillers as a “trial run” before you opt for fat grafting because they only last up to a year.

Once you’ve seen how much better you look, you can choose the permanent solution — fat grafting. You may need several treatments to get the look you want, but those results last once you’ve achieved it.

Also, many people have pockets of fat on their body that they wish they could get rid of. Fat grafting makes that possible by removing unwanted fat from an area with too much and moving it to an area that doesn’t have enough, giving you a more balanced look.

If you’d like to learn more about how fat grafting can flesh out your features, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, give us a call at either of our locations or book online with us today.


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