Is Facial Fat Transfer a Better Alternative to Dermal Fillers?
When it comes to aesthetics, fat is a double-edged sword. Too much fat means bulges and rolls, but too little creates hollows and emptiness. This is especially true for facial appearance. A youthful face is dependent on fat, but as aging progresses, these fat deposits shift and change, creating many of the telltale signs of aging.
Facial Aging and Fat- What Happens?
When you’re young, facial fat is even and distributed throughout the face, from forehead to jawline. Like a perfectly filled balloon, this creates the smooth, even contours that are appreciated in a youthful face. As you get older, gravity takes its toll and fat begins to move downward. The mid-face is highly affected. Lower fat levels in the middle face lead to hollows in the cheeks and under the eyes and droopiness. The face may look sunken in or deflated.
Shifting fat deposits combine with changing skin quality, creating a snowball effect of aging. Skin is becoming thinner, collagen levels are decreasing, and supportive tissues are eroding in the face. Without the fat to hold things together, the skin starts to droop and sag. While the mid-face is experiencing a decrease in fat, the fat levels in the lower face often increase, creating jowls or a double chin.
Restoring a Youthful Facial Appearance with Fillers
Since a lack of fat, or volume, in the middle face leads to drooping, sagging, and wrinkling, we can restore a more youthful appearance by recreating volume in this area. Putting volume back in the area can lift sagging, smooth the skin, and recreate youthful contours.
We recreate youthful facial volume using a variety of techniques. One of the most common and easiest is the use of dermal fillers. There are many different fillers available, but Dr. Singleton often prefers to use a hyaluronic acid filler.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally found in the skin and body. HA plays an important role in skin hydration and helps keep the skin looking smooth and supple. When an HA filler is injected into the middle face, it can restore facial volume. It also smooths wrinkles and improves skin quality.
An experienced injector skillfully uses fillers to replace the volume that has been lost to aging. The smooth gel consistency of our filler products ensures a natural-looking appearance. Dr. Singleton performs all filler treatments at our Washington, D.C. office himself. He is trained and experienced using every filler we offer.
Dermal fillers are temporary but can last for several months after each treatment. This a non-surgical option for facial rejuvenation.
Is Fat Better than Fillers?
Another option for restoring facial volume is a process known as fat transfer. This procedure uses a patient’s own fat to restore facial volume. Fat transfer offers a longer lasting result than fillers. A typical dermal filler treatment may last 3-6 months, but fat transfer has the potential to offer permanent or near-permanent improvement in many patients.
Fat transfer is very similar to a filler treatment, but instead of using an HA filler, Dr. Singleton uses purified fat, extracted from the patient themselves. Fat is harvested using a simple liposuction technique, and local anesthetic, on the day of treatment, shortly before it is injected. After a short recovery, the additional fat provides volume and youthful fullness to the face.
Fat offers a few benefits to fillers including:
- Uses a Patient’s Own Fat- Many patients like using their own natural fat for facial rejuvenation. Since fat transfer uses your own tissues, there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
- Longer Lasting Results- Fat transfer results last a long time, in many cases permanently. Dermal fillers must be reinjected every few months to maintain volume.
Fat transfer offers many benefits, but dermal fillers have their perks too. Fillers are non-surgical and offer a shorter recovery period. Let’s talk and figure out which option is best for you!
Volume loss is a common facial aging concern but easily treated with fat transfer or dermal fillers in Washington, D.C. Call Capital Facial Plastic Surgery to learn more about your options.