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Filling out my Thin Face - Should I Get Fat Transfer or Implants?

I would like to fill out several areas of my face permanently. Fat transfer sounds most natural to me, but I've heard that only about 50% of the injected fat tends to remain where it is injected, and even that 50% eventually disappears after 5 or 10 years. I'm 31 and I don't want to keep having fat transfers at age 40, 50, etc. Are implants a better option for me?

Doctor Answers 8

Fat transfer

Any procedure you choose will require further surgery in the future if you want to maintain the results.

You will continue to age and loose fat in the face whether you have any thing done now or not.

Fat transfer may need toutch ups, Facial implants will need maintainance. Implants can move, get infected, become more visible etc.

Discuss all your concerns with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. your options alternatives and potential risks. Then make your decision based on facts.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Implants Best for Significant Augmentation

I think it sounds like you have various areas that you would like to consider filling. Implants are best used for significant augmentation of a specific area such as the chin or cheek bones. If you are looking to soften folds and fill creases, fat is a much more flexible treatment and can be used in the small quantities that some smaller areas require.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Facial Harmony

I believe there is a place for both fat and implants.  If you are trying to make up for a bone deficiency and have good tissue cover, an implant is a really good, long lasting choice.  For many people, they are coming in with loss of facial fat volume due to aging.  The expert return of fat to the face can often be done under local anesthesia with a high degree of persistence, more than 5 years.  The key disadvantage is the fact that some  of the fat injected gets eaten by the body, typically around 25 %.  More fat can always be injected as needed, better to under correct than over correct!!

Julius W. Few, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat injections

In reality,  implants may need to be readjusted as you get older and the bony framework upon which they sit get thinner. Fat injections may need to be repeated years later also. Fat injections, however, can be placed in areas that have lost volume for which implants can't be inserted.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Facial Implants

It is ultimately your choice.  Fat transfer is easy, effective and less expensive (atleast in my practice).  It can be often done in an office under local anesthesia rather than operating room.  It may need redoing but it looks more natural and has fewer potential complications.

Volume enhancement for facial rejuvenation

Which area of your face do you want to add volume to.  Both are great options.  For the malar/submalar region, implants are a far better options for the long term.  Today's implants are excellent and completely natural appearing.  For the tear trough implants can be done but fat is a better option.  For the chin and jaw implants are by far and away a better option giving superior results that are also permanent.

Jason B. Diamond, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Try it first, then place implants

Fat is a great starter if you would like to see how you'll look with a plumper face. You would need multiple sessions, but can last for many years. An implant may be placed if a patient realizes that this is the face they are willing to keep. Implants are more time consuming and cumbersome. Try fat transfer, you may like it to actually keep it.

Hassan Galadari, MD
Dubai Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.