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Dr. Cecil Yeung

Dr. Yeung

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Fat Transfer vs Fillers: Which Is Best for You?

fat transfer vs fillers - yeung institute

With today’s advanced technology and state-of-the-art nonsurgical procedures, you have quite a selection of cosmetic treatments to choose from to help reverse the outward signs of aging. This can include both facial lines and sagging skin. Our highly skilled facial plastic surgeons offer men and women their expertise in the latest nonsurgical cosmetic procedures: fat transfer and facial fillers.

So, how do you know which facial rejuvenation technique is best for you? Let’s discuss the differences among these procedures, as well as the facial conditions that they most effectively treat.

What would you like to improve: Wrinkles or sagging skin?

You can check the table below for a comparison between facial fat grafting and facial fillers.

Facial Problem TargetedWrinkles, folds, scars, and wartsSagging areas
Primary IngredientHyaluronic AcidHarvested body fat
Number Agent UsedNumbing Cream; some fillers include a specialized numbing fluidLocal anesthesia for liposuction; numbing cream for injection
Procedure Duration10 - 30 minutes1 - 3 hours
Procedure DowntimeNone1 - 3 weeks
Effect Duration1 year, but usually lifetimePermanent, unless the body absorbs too much of the fat
RisksAllergic reactionsFat necrosis

Fillers: Reduce or Eliminate Wrinkles

Facial fillers were first invented as a long-term replacement for Botox injections. These gels contain hyaluronic acid, a compound naturally produced by the body that repairs soft tissue. Aging and sun exposure damage the natural production of HA, and injectable fillers are meant to supply new HA to the face.

This causes fine lines, wrinkles, and even warts to disappear completely because the body naturally repairs them thanks to the new supply of hyaluronic acid. The gel absorbs water, increasing the lifting effect of the filler. Both effects are also long-lasting, with most dermal fillers having a minimum duration of 1 year. Some patients report a lifelong effect after just two injections.

Fat Transfers: Plump up the Skin and Add Volume to Hollow Areas

Facial fat transfer or grafting is a relatively new technique that uses processed, unwanted fat to restore volume to the face. The fat is usually harvested from the buttocks, thighs, abdomen, or breasts via liposuction. After separation, only the fat and stem cells will be injected.

Fat injections are best used to add volume to areas of the face that have begun to sag or droop. The injected fat cells serve to plump up these areas once again; the stem cells repair any damage on the skin and muscles from within, literally reversing facial aging and restoring lost volume. While there are instances where the body absorbs all the inserted fat (thus requiring another injection), the process is otherwise safe and gives the most long-lasting results after just one injection.


Either technique can help restore your youth and delay aging, so ultimately what you choose is up to you. A board-certified plastic surgeon can certainly help you make your decision.

Schedule a consultation now with the leading plastic and cosmetic surgeons of the Yeung Institute.

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