Fat grafting and dermal filler injections are popular cosmetic treatments to replace loss of facial volume. Although both treatments are designed to produce similar beneficial outcome, fat grafting and dermal filler treatments don’t do exactly the same thing.
Even for dermal fillers, some are designed to add more volume to the face while others plump the skin by hydrating the superficial layers of the skin.
Very few people, when it comes down to it, are able to say with certainty which option they feel more comfortable with. Let’s talk to Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics, who gives us more insight about fat grafting and dermal fillers.
Surgical vs non-surgical
Fat grafting is technically a surgical procedure even though it involves administering the contents into the face. The fat used in the procedure has to be harvested from somewhere else on your body in order to move them to your face.
Fat is usually harvested from buttocks or thighs using liposuction. Depending on the area and the volume to harvest, an incision is made and a tube is inserted into the fat. The tube breaks the fat deposit under the skin and it is removed through the tube. Once the required amount is harvested, the doctor prepares the fat for injection.
Fat grafting is a surgical procedure; hence it requires a longer recovery time. The incision site may have to be closed with a surgical tape or sutures. There may be some swelling or discomfort for about 2 weeks at the harvest site.
On the other hand, dermal fillers are much less invasive in nature because they are non-surgical, which generally makes them more desirable for patients. A dermal filler treatment can be done in less than an hour. A dermal filler treatment doesn’t require you to undergo general anesthesia. There may be a topical anesthetic used to prevent discomfort during the treatment, but that will wear off shortly after the procedure.
Most reputable aesthetic clinics in Singapore offers a decent range of dermal fillers. With the doctor’s skills, it is possible to create remarkable outcome with only a few injection points on the face.
How do the results compare?
Both fat grafting and dermal fillers provide effective, instantaneous results.
The immediate outcome of fat graft may seem a little more shocking at first because the doctor needs to transfer more than is necessary as some fat deposits will be absorbed by the body during the healing process. As a result, your face may appear more puffy or swollen than you expected in the first 2 weeks.
Sculptra, a collagen-stimulating dermal filler is often compared with fat grafting because of its volume-replacing capabilities. Its contents are made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) that works with the body to produce new collagen and help to establish a scaffold under the skin.
Unlike fat grafting, Sculptra does not get absorbed by the body in the first few weeks after treatment. It is, therefore not necessary to put in more volume than required, avoiding the embarrassment of having a swollen face for 2 weeks.
In terms of longevity, results from fat grating are often longer lasting. The fat will stay in place once it has been transferred. Sculptra, on the other hand, can last for at least 2 years, although some people have reported to still enjoy the results of Sculptra even after 5 years.
What about the costs of fat grafting and Sculptra?
It can be difficult to compare both treatments. Comparing both treatments on prices alone, dermal fillers are much most cost-effective as compared to fat grafting. Dermal fillers price can range from S$600 for hyaluronic acid fillers to S$1400 for collagen fillers such as Radiesse and Sculptra.
The cost of a single fat grafting treatment starts from S$4500. This may not include the costs associated with post-treatment care.
Different doctors charge differently for dermal fillers and fat grafting treatments. Although both treatments are not complicated, appropriate knowledge and experience are required to carry out the procedure safely and effectively. A less expensive doctor will save you some money now, but they could also cause you problems that will cost more money for rectification.
Sculptra or fat grafting: Which is better?
Choosing the appropriate treatment depends on your risk appetite level, lifestyle habits, and budget.
Always schedule a consultation with a well-trained aesthetic doctor in Singapore to discuss your needs and requirements. When you meet with your doctor, you can tell him your goals for your appearance.
Request to see some before-and-after photos of his clients so that you have an idea of what your result will be like.
Radium Medical Aesthetics offers both hyaluronic acid fillers and collagen fillers such as Radiesse and Sculptra.