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Volume loss is one of the first visible aspects of facial aging. This loss occurs in the cheeks, nasolabial folds, troughs beneath the eyes, and various other areas on the face. As this effect changes the overall shape and contour of the face, it is, unfortunately, much more noticeable than many people would like.

Both fat grafting and dermal fillers restore facial volume and correct issues like facial creases and sunken cheeks and can be used as an alternative to facelift surgery for qualifying patients. These less invasive procedures allow patients with a lesser degree of facial aging a chance to restore their youthful contours without undergoing a facelift.

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While fat grafting and dermal fillers both restore volume to the face, they are very different procedures.

What Is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting is a two-step procedure that removes excess fat from your body and uses it to fill the areas of loss. Fat transfer gently removes fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs, or buttocks, purifies it to isolate the strongest fat cells, and injects those cells into various areas of the face.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM® and JUVÉDERM VOLUMA®, are hyaluronic acid fillers that can safely return volume to the face and provide smoother, more youthful-looking skin. These injectables can be administered in only a few minutes.


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What Are the Benefits of Fat Grafting?

Longer-Lasting Results

Dermal fillers are readily absorbed by the body, meaning they will need to be repeated once a year to maintain desired results. While transferred fat is also absorbable, it is not absorbed nearly as quickly as dermal fillers. Fat grafting allows patients to enjoy their results for years, whereas dermal fillers provide results for months.

No Allergy Risk

Even though the ingredients used in dermal fillers are synthetic versions of naturally occurring substances, there is still a chance that a patient will experience an allergic reaction. Since fat grafting uses the fat from your body, there is no way for your body to have a poor reaction.

Provides Slimmer Contours

Grafting requires harvested fat to use as the contouring material—fat that is taken from areas on your body. It removes fat from your body and transfers it to the areas where you desire filling.

What Are the Benefits of Dermal Fillers?

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Less Invasive

Dermal fillers are non-surgical, non-invasive, and can be completed in a one-step treatment. There is no trauma to any region of your body as there is with fat grafting, and patients typically recover from a dermal filler injection within a few hours.

Stimulate Collagen Production

JUVÉDERM® products fill the facial hollows by attracting moisture to the area and stimulating collagen production to maintain stronger and more supple skin.

No Long-term Commitment

Just as the temporary nature of fillers can be a detriment, it can also prove beneficial. Some patients think they want volume on various regions of the face only to realize the results of the treatment were not what they were hoping to achieve.

Dermal fillers last about a year, allowing patients the opportunity to give different treatments a test run to find out what type of injection and volume works best.

Does Not Require Excess Amounts of Fat

Fat grafting requires an adequate amount of fat to harvest to be a candidate. Many patients need additional volume to the facial region but do not have enough fat present in other areas of their bodies. Dermal fillers allow these patients an opportunity to restore facial volume even when the rest of their body is void from excess fat.


To learn more about these treatments, contact Dr. Hiatt by calling (480) 844-1410 or by filling out our online contact form.