Bellafill vs. Fat Transfer, Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra – Which Filler Provides the Longest Lasting Great Results?

Bellafill nasolabial folds, marionette lines, cheek filler offered by Dr. Brian Machida, facial plastic surgeon, Inland Empire, CA

Everyone who wants to improve their appearance wants to do it with the quickest, most pain-free method possible.  From where I practice in Inland Empire, California to Miami, Florida;  Los Angeles to New York;  Chicago to Atlanta; San Diego to Virginia; Boston to Dallas and Houston; and Seattle, Washington to Providence, Rhode Island, people want to know the best and easiest ways they can look younger and better.  You may not need a facelift.  You may just want to get rid of facial hollows and lines, nasolabial folds and marionette lines.  Until recently, doctors have recommended Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane or Sculptra injections to fill these areas.  A different filler now provides great results that last up to 4 times longer.  It can also be more cost-effective than other fillers.  Let me explain why, as a facial plastic surgeon in Inland Empire, CA, I feature it in my practice.

Why use fillers for marionette lines, hollow cheeks and nasolabial folds?

Nasolabial folds, marionette lines can be treated by Bellafill, Dr. Brian Machida, Inland Empire, CAFacial plastic surgeons once thought a good facelift that tightens underlying muscles, tissues and skin would restore a person’s youthful appearance.  And with many patients it does.  However, facial rejuvenation experts noticed that sometimes tightening sagging muscles and skin helped, but not enough.  Other patients had hollow cheeks, nasolabial folds (that run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth) and marionette lines (that run from the corners of the mouth to the jaw) that weren’t deep enough to require a facelift.  Still, these people clearly looked older than they felt.  What was the problem?

They were suffering from volume loss in the fat pads under their faces’ skin.  You see, young people have natural fat deposits beneath their faces that give them a pleasing, properly rounded look with soft angles in their features.  But as you age, you lose about a teaspoon of fat every year after age 25.  By the time you’re 55, you’ve lost 30 teaspoons of fat under your face.  This is usually noticeable.  Once soft angles in your face now become sharper.  Hollow cheeks may appear.  Nasolabial folds become more pronounced and marionette lines may appear.  But you don’t yet need a facelift.  What can you do?

Is Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting) the best answer? 

cheek filler, Before photo, fat transfer, Inland Empire Doctors naturally thought that the best way to replace lost facial fat was to transplant fat from another part of your body.  This is reasonable thinking.  Fat grafting can provide permanent improvement. I perform what I believe is the best fat transfer method available.  But even with the latest technology, fat grafting has its limitations.

The problem is that many fat cells your doctor will transplant from one part of your body to another will not survive for long.  So, if your facial rejuvenation specialist does a traditional fat transfer procedure, he or she will have to inject a lot more fat than you need just to get the long-term results you want.   This can leave you with a puffy face at first.  Ideally, as some fat cells adapt to their new location and others die off, the puffiness will go down and you’ll end up with the younger-looking features you want.  But it’s a gamble.  Patients often need additional procedures when too many fat cells don’t “take.”  And if too many do take, you can end up with a plump-looking face that you won’t want.  Once the fat establishes itself in your face, you can never get it out.

PRP, platelet rich plasma, Inland Empire, CATo improve the science of fat grafting, I and many of my colleagues process the fat we remove from patients to recover the young, tiny fat cells that have the best odds of surviving fat transfer – see ”Facial Fat Grafting with PRP – Restore Your Looks with Regenerative Medical Technologyhere on LookYounger.News.  Adding PRP – platelet-rich plasma taken from your own bloodstream – further improves fat cells’ survival rate.

After 18 months of using this method I’ve learned its advantages and disadvantages.  One problem is that it’s hard to get plenty of small, young fat cells, called Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF), and PRP at one time.  12 ccs of blood yields only 2-3 ccs of platelet-rich plasma.  And processing 12 ccs of fat produces only 3 ccs of highly-survivable young fat cells.  There are even fewer fat stem cells, which naturally provide the best results.  The amount of SVF and PRP will likely not be enough to replace large volume loss from aging.  Finally, these fat grafts don’t hold form as well as fillers.

Juvederm,Voluma, Restylane, cheek filler, Dr. Ritu Malhtora, Cleveland, OH
Before & After filler injections by Dr. Ritu Malhotra

Fillers give immediate results – but don’t last long enough

Dermal fillers like Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra can instantly provide great looking results.  A skilled injector can effectively fill hollow cheeks, lines and wrinkles, nasolabial folds and marionette lines.  Unlike fat transfer, where you leave the office looking puffy, these fillers can give you just the look you want.

Unfortunately, along with great results, fillers can provide several problems:

  1. It can take many filler injections to replace all the fat you’ve lost in your face
  2. Repeated filling of deep lines can create a bluish tint in the areas treated
  3. Your body will absorb most fillers in 12-18 months (24 months for Sculptra)
  4. Getting enough filler injections to achieve the long-lasting look you want can be costly

Bellafill is a nasolabial fold and marionette lines filler 

Bellafill, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, filler, cheek filler, Inland Empire, CA
Before and After Bellafill

Bellafill is an FDA approved filler that uses PPMA, a substance used in orthopedic bone cement, to provide scaffolding for your own natural collagen.  It delivers both instant and long-lasting results.  Bellafill has millions of round microscopic particles (microspheres) of PPMA evenly suspended in bovine collagen, once the filler of choice for millions.  The reason fillers like Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane and Sculptra have become much more popular is that while bovine collagen provides great, natural-looking results, it doesn’t last very long.  Your body will absorb it in a few months.

Those few months, though, are long enough for Bellafill’s PPMA microspheres to attract your body’s own natural collagen, which will start growing around them.  Unlike fat transfer, with Bellafill you’ll leave the office looking great right away.  And, as your own collagen forms around the microspheres, you’ll continue looking good for a long time – up to 5 years or even longer – see 5 year Before and After photo below.

Unlike Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra, Bellafill doesn’t produce the Tyndall Effect – the bluish tint we mentioned earlier.  That’s why it’s FDA-approved to treat nasolabial folds and even deep acne scars.

Experience shows me Bellafill is the best filler available

Don’t get me wrong – Fat Transfer, Juvéderm, Voluma, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra are all good treatments.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.  But since I practice in Inland Empire, California – once dubbed “America’s Most Wrinkle-Prone Area,” I’ve made a careful study of which methods work best for my patients.

I can say without reservations that if you’re looking for a relatively pain-free treatment that will let you leave the office looking your best and keep your good looks for years, Bellafill is the filler of choice.  Not everyone is a good candidate for Bellafill.  If you don’t know what you want, Bellafill may not be the best choice.  If your injector is not a skilled facial rejuvenation specialist, Bellafill might not be a good choice, because, unlike HA fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, it cannot be reversed if you don’t like it.

Bellafill is not for everyone.  Would it work for you?  To find out, please consult an experienced, board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist in your area skilled in the art of facial rejuvenation, and preferably a physician who only treats the face.  I’m sure you can find one in places like Florida, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego, Virginia, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Charleston or Providence, Rhode Island.  In Inland Empire (metro Los Angeles), you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA.                 CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA

Bellafill, filler, nasolabial folds, Before and After photos, Inland Empire, CA

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About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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