At first, facial rejuvenation was something for a plastic surgeon. To make the face look younger, it was necessary to undergo a surgical procedure which would manipulate facial structure that had begun to sag downward. Several years ago, injectable solutions were developed to address more subtle signs of aging. Dermal fillers became a common method of plumping cheeks and lips that had flattened and smoothing lines just about anywhere on the face. Now, we have the option of trading the temporary effects of dermal fillers for the long-term effects of fat injections.
Where Fat Injections are Used
First, we should explain that fat injections are exactly as they sound; treatment involves taking a small amount of fatty tissue from a place on the body, such as the abdomen or thighs, processing that tissue to separate out the fat cells from other fluids, and then reinserting those cells into the face.
Fat injections may be used in all the same places dermal fillers have commonly been used. Fat cells have been injected into the cheeks and lips, the temples and into lines and creases around the nose and mouth. Where we may avoid using fat is in the forehead or brow area. The problems that affect the upper part of the face usually relate to muscle movement and are better addressed with Botox, blepharoplasty, or a brow lift.
Invasiveness is a Detail to Consider
One of the primary differences between dermal filler treatment and fat injections is that, when we use fat, we must obtain it from a place on the body. This means liposuction, which is a minor surgical procedure. So while dermal fillers and fat are both considered minimally-invasive procedures, fat injections do have a minor surgical element to consider. Depending on the extensiveness of the liposuction procedure, mild soreness and swelling may be noticed for up to a week.
An advantage found with both fat injections and dermal fillers is that we can observe the changes in tissue as we inject product beneath the skin. This enables us to achieve beautiful sculpting that adds proportion and dimension to the face. One thing to note is that swelling tends to be more substantial with fat injections. Therefore, results may appear more exaggerated at first. Some of the fat that is injected will naturally get absorbed, as well, so we may account for this by injecting slightly more fat than we would fillers.
The reason that more people are choosing fat injections instead of fillers is that they know what fillers can do for them and love the results they have achieved using temporary products so much that they want extended results. Dermal fillers can last up to two years, depending on the product used. Fat is permanent and only changes alongside the aging process.
Discuss your options for facial rejuvenation using dermal fillers or fat injections with an experienced provider. Schedule a consultation in our St. Louis office at 314-475-3700.