Which Is Better For Facial Rejuvenation, Nano Fat Grafting or Dermal Fillers? Well, before we answer that question, let’s see how many of you can relate to this.
Have you ever seen yourself tagged in a photo on Facebook and think something about your face looks older or looks more tired than you are? Taking it a step further for those on those numerous zoom calls, who may notice some more unpleasantries, like some loose sagging skin around the mouth, flattened cheeks, even some slight notices of a possible jowl forming?
Well, beauties, you are not alone as what you are experiencing is the loss of facial volume, and there are facial rejuvenation treatments that can help with this. But before I get into these, we at Barbie’s Beauty Bits think it is important that you understand why this change is happening, so those who may want to add volume, improve skin texture, etc., can better understand the options, reasons, and outcomes.
What Causes Facial Volume Loss
One quick way to look older than you are is the changes in our skin texture, shape, and volume. These changes come from the loss of collagen, elastin, and fatty tissue that once gave the skin a youthful appearance.
Think round full cheeks, smooth skin, even something I once called an upper lip. And guess what, this volume loss can start as early as in our 30’s. That’s right, studies have shown that by the age of 35, our natural aging process causes us to lose about 10% volume in our face, with an additional 5-10% facial fat every 5-10 years. This means by the age of 55, many of us could have lost 40% off of facial volume, causing our cheeks to drop and sag, eyes start to appear sallow, and other signs of aging.
Add that to stress, hormonal changes, and environmental exposures, like makeup, smoke, and over-exposure to the sun. Your skin is going to be looser, thinner, and rougher. Leaving many left with more than they bargained for.
So, what treatments can we get that can help with facial volume loss?
Whether you’re struggling with sallow, sunken eye sockets, thinning lips, deflated” flattened cheeks, hollow temples, or loose sagging skin around the jawline, also known as jowls. Two main cosmetic remedies are using injectable fillers that will make a significant difference in the appearance of your face: Nano fat grafting and dermal fillers.
Well, to help me share these answers with you, I got with Dr. David Sieber Plastic Surgery in San Francisco. Let’s see what he had to say on the subject.
Nano Fat Grafting vs. Dermal Fillers, Which Procedure Is Better To Help With Facial Volume Loss
If you’ve ever seen a plastic surgeon about the issue of facial volume loss, they have probably already listed both of these procedures as options. Still, you may have some follow-up questions — namely: What’s the difference between nano fat grafting and dermal fillers? What works better? What looks more natural? And which lasts longer?
Up ahead, we’ll go over the basics of each one of these procedures, followed by the major pros and cons, so that we can hopefully answer any questions you may still have about nano fat grafting and dermal fillers. By the end of this article, you’ll have a strong understanding of your options regarding loss of facial volume and will be able to make a sound decision moving forward.
Why Do We Lose Volume In Our Faces As We Age?
I touched briefly on this above. But let’s see how Dr. David Sieber expands on this further.
Before we can examine the pros and cons of nano fat grafting vs. dermal fillers, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the aging process itself. Everyone knows our faces change as we age. But what’s actually going on beneath the skin?
For starters, when you’re young, you have mostly evenly distributed fat, and certain fat pockets nicely plump up all the right areas: the cheeks, forehead, lips, and temples and around the eyes. With gravity and time, however, small amounts of fat tend to shift downward. This causes bags to form beneath the eyes, jowls to form near the chin and neck, loose skin to gather at the bottom of the face, and fat to clump up in inconvenient locations.
The result is often a thin bony appearance, hollow-looking cheeks, and an overall tired and sullen look.
Fortunately, these signs of aging can be remedied with either nano fat grafting or dermal fillers.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Nano Fat Grafting Vs. Dermal Fillers
The skin rejuvenation process depends on many factors, but most healthy adults are good candidates for either nano fat grafting or dermal fillers. Let’s take a look at each of these facial fillers.
What Is Nano Fat Grafting?
The key to facial rejuvenation may already be hidden in your body with fat grafting (also known as fat transfer). This process can be performed on many parts of the body, including the breasts, buttocks, thighs, and more. It involves injecting fat (live) cells from one area of the body to another.
For example, if you have excess fat on your hips/thighs that you’d like to reduce, and you’d also like to increase the volume of your breasts, we can take fat from your hips (via liposuction), harvest, and process it, and move it to your breasts.
Nano fat grafting is very similar. The key difference between nano fat grafting and traditional fat grafting is the size of the grafts. With nano fat grafting, extremely small particle sizes are used. This is because smaller-sized fat particles are best at injecting into the face, repairing facial skin issues — namely, loss of volume, fine lines and wrinkles, and scarring.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is always some level of reabsorption when it comes to fat grafting. That is, not all of the transferred fat will survive; some will die, and your body will reabsorb it. This is totally normal, and your surgeon will anticipate this issue by slightly overshooting the amount of fat they transfer.
Using Your Own Fat For Facial Rejuvenation…Pros of Nano Fat Grafting For Improving Facial Volume Loss
- Uses your own fat-derived stem cells to rejuvenate and improve the overall tone, texture and appearance of aging or sun-damaged skin. Best for significant loss of volume on the face
- Usually less expensive than fillers
- Harvesting unwanted fat is a simple process (typically no shortage of fat supply for facial transfers)
- The area the fat is harvested from can appear slimmer and more contoured
- Long-lasting (usually lasts longer than dermal fillers)
- Bonus: They can even be used as alternatives to injectables like Botox to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the forehead and eyes
Cons Of Nano Fat Grafting For Improving Facial Volume Loss
- Post-procedure swelling and bruising may last longer than with dermal fillers
- The fat-removal procedure usually requires the use of an anesthetic
- Long-lasting for those that may wanna test the waters so to speak
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are chemical substances used to augment the face in some way. Usually, fillers are used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and they can also be extremely effective at adding plumpness where volume has been lost due to aging or significant weight loss.
Most dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), but there are several different types that include such recognizable brands as Juvéderm, Restylane, and Sculptra.
HA is found naturally in the skin and is responsible for hydration and plumpness. Your cosmetic surgeon will decide which filler will work best for your problem areas and ultimate goals. Some fillers are constituted best for areas like the undereye, while others do better in the lips, along the jawline, or on the cheeks.
Unlike the process of fat grafting, dermal fillers do not require anesthesia because there’s no liposuction step. The process is quick and simple and is usually done in as little as 30 minutes right in your plastic surgeon’s office.
Pros of Dermal Fillers For Improving Facial Volume Loss
- A cost-effective way to “test drive” facial rejuvenation methods
- Good for “small jobs” (adding volume to the lips, for example)
- Fillers add volume, smooth facial folds, improve contour deficiencies and diminish wrinkles.
- Particularly beneficial for contouring near the eyes — great for sunken, sullen eyes with dark circles
- No anesthetics are needed
- Recovery time is fast
Cons of Dermal Fillers For Improving Facial Volume Loss
- Not quite as long-lasting as fat grafting (the skin eventually absorbs fillers and will require additional fillers to maintain volume)
- Long term cost can be more expensive than the fat transfer process, as it has to be done more often
- Although fillers are considered safe, you are injecting a foreign
substance into your body. It is important to choose a skilled plastic
surgeon to perform this procedure to ensure that it is done properly.
To Sum It Up…Nano Fat Grafting Vs. Dermal Fillers, Which Is Better?
There is not a definitive answer as the both treatments work great for facial rejuvenation. The goal in deciding is to look at the pros and cons of both and see which one better fits your lifestyle.
More About San Francisco’s Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Sieber And His Practice
Dr. David Sieber is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery, making him one of the few double board-certified plastics and reconstructive surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area.
After graduating from Loyola University-Stritch School of Medicine, Dr. Sieber went on to the Loyola University Medical Center to complete a five-year residency in general surgery. This was followed by a three-year residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Minnesota and a one-year aesthetic surgery fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern program in Dallas.
Among his many accolades, in 2015, Dr. Sieber received the award for best research paper from the Aesthetic Surgery Journal editorial board. He was the recipient of the inaugural Frederic Brandt, MD Memorial Scholarship. He currently serves on committees for the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF).
For more information about Dr. Sieber, visit his practice online at Dr. David Sieber Plastic Surgery in San Francisco.
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