Fillers – Getting the Most from Fat Transfer or Bellafill, Radiesse and Voluma Injections

fat transfer, fat grafting, Inland Empire, Dr. Brian Machida
Before and After BeautiFill Fat Grafting by Jeffrey Hsu, MA, FACS

Every year, more and more people use fillers like Juvéderm Voluma, Radiesse and Bellafill along with fat transfer (fat grafting) procedures to improve their looks.  It’s no wonder.  The US population is getting older and more health-conscious.  Losing weight is a great idea for many people.  But losing weight can cause you to lose the pleasing fat pads that make your face look younger and more attractive.

Age only accelerates the process.  Each year after 25 your face loses about a teaspoon of fat.  By the time you hit 41, you’ve lost about a full cup of facial fat.  That volume loss starts to become noticeable.  At age 57, about 2 full cups of volume are gone.  Lines that began to appear around age 40 deepen.  Your once pleasingly rounded features become sharper.  That makes you look older.  And if you lose weight, as many of us should, you may even see hollows in your cheeks.

If this kind of volume loss is making you look older, fillers or fat grafting procedures provide the quickest path to a younger look.  Is fat transfer better for you than a filler?  If not, which filler is best for you?  Each has its advantages.  Let’s consider how to choose your best method for restoring facial volume.  And we’ll discuss the best strategy for helping you look younger.  It’s probably not what you might think.

Temporary fillers – too temporary to make sense for you?

When most people think of fillers, the names Juvéderm and Restylane immediately come to mind.  And why not?  These hyaluronic acid fillers are quick, easily tolerated by most, and widely advertised.  Unfortunately, “all good things must end,” and the benefits of many popular fillers end too soon.  Even fillers made specifically to restore volume, like Juvéderm Voluma, only last 12-18 months.

That’s great if you only need to look your best for a special occasion.  But a year to a year and a half can come awfully quickly.  You’ll start seeing hollows and sharp edges you had hoped were gone.  So, you’ll need to plan on a new round of shots every year or so.  Before long, you can spend $4,000 to $5,000 restoring volume to your face.  That’s just too much.

Fat Transfer can be more lasting and economical

Fat grafting using the BeautiFill process may be your best value for adding volume to your face.  The results can last, not just 12-18 months, but many years.  And where fat cells transplanted using traditional fat grafting techniques only had survival (“take”) rates of 50% to 70%, the BeautiFill system can have take rates of over 90%.  This can mean getting back to the facial volume and pleasing rounded features you had years ago.

Fat grafting involves removing fat cells from a location where you don’t want them so they can be re-injected where you need volume in your face.  So, if you’re considering liposuction, have your fat transfer procedure first.  You’ll have the most healthy fat cells available to restore your younger look.  The best candidates are people from 40 to their 60s with reasonable amounts of body fat.  Those 70 and older are often slimmer with fewer fat cells available.

fillers, fat grafting, fat transfer, fat transfer to face, fat grafting to face, Inland Empire, Dr. Brian Machida
BeautiFill fat transfer by Stephen Weber, MD

Why doesn’t everyone from 40 to 70 make fat grafting their first option?  Traditional fat grafting procedures are rough on fat cells.  They’re harvested using liposuction.  Being sucked out of the body with a vacuum is hard on delicate fat cells.  Then they’re washed, put through a centrifuge and manually packed into syringes.  During this process your fat cells are exposed to outside air, which contains microbes.  When your white blood cells kill those microbes, your newly transplanted fat cells can be collateral damage.  No wonder such a low percentage survive!

In contrast, the BeautiFill system is completely sealed.  When the patented laser tip is inserted into an area where you want to lose fat, it gently melts and draws it into the air-tight system.  The BeautiFill equipment washes your fat cells and carefully inserts them into syringes for injection where you need volume.  In controlled testing, up to 95% of cells used in fat grafting with this system survived.

That means you can leave the office with results you’ll enjoy seeing.  That’s an advantage that used to only be available using temporary fillers.

Longer-lasting fillers are a good second option

If you don’t have enough healthy fat available for fat transfer, longer-lasting fillers are your next best option.  These are often called “permanent fillers.”  And while they last longer – sometimes far longer – than hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm, Voluma and Restylane – most cannot be considered a permanent solution for volume loss.  Radiesse, for example, lasts about 18 months.

Bellafill is the longest-lasting artificial filler.  It’s FDA-approved to treat nasolabial folds for 5 years or longer.  It can have similar results in other areas of the face.  Bellafill costs more per vial than other fillers, but when you consider that you won’t need another treatment for 5 years, it’s actually more economical.  And you can count on maintaining your attractive new look for an extended period.

fillers, nasolabial folds,Inland Empire, Bellafill,Before and After photos, Inland Empire, CA
Before and After Bellafill for deep nasolabial folds

Quick fix or facial rejuvenation strategy?

Many see fillers as a quick fix for a troublesome line or two that’s one of their first signs of facial aging.  That is often a good way to use fillers.  However, trying to fill multiple lines can get your face out of balance.  Additionally, improving one part of your face can make other areas that need improvement stand out.

It’s better to use fat transfer or fillers to rejuvenate your entire face.  If volume loss is your main issue, restoring it can help you look years younger without a facelift.  And if you have a facelift, don’t forget to restore volume in areas your procedure can’t improve.  These include your temples, areas of bone loss in your cheeks and the malar area at the front of your cheeks.

Rejuvenating your entire face with fat transfer or long-lasting fillers can restore the youthful, attractive appearance you might fear was gone forever.  You’ll want to look for an experienced facial plastic or plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist in your area.  Make sure they have plenty of experience in fat transfer procedures or filler injections.  If you’re looking for fat grafting or fillers in Inland Empire, California, you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.

CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA

fat grating, fat transfer, fillers, Inland Empire, offered by Dr. Brian Machida, MD
Before and After BeautiFill Fat Grafting by Stephen Weber, MD, FACS

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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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