Fat grafting great for younger faces
If you have a thin face then fat grafting me be the answer. Fat injections can offer you a longer term (possibly permanent) improvement than most fillers and can be used in places where some fillers cannot be used (under eyes).
Achieving a younger and fuller face.
SCulptra would require multiple sessions and the costs could well exceed the use of microfat grafting as a longer term solution. Radiesse has also been used for this purpose and may be a more a more cost efffective short term solution. You may want to consider a shorter term filler to "check out" the resutls of enhanced facial fullness and assess the appearance of this approach.
Fillers are a great idea in a younger patient
Facial fullness and aging are correlated.
I have provided a nice link from the NY Times that discusses aging and variables such as sun, smoking, and weight below.
A filler such as you own fat sounds nice, but over time this if you gain or lose weight, your facial fullness will change also.
Fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, or Sculptra can help lift a "deflated" face much as a balloon wrinkles when it is deflated. These more likely will help you, rather than a cutting and lifting facial procedure.
In a younger patient, such as those in their 30's, it is more common to use Botox, laser, or fillers to maintain a more youthful look.
Fillers a substitute for a Facelift?
Fillers and a facelift do very different things.
For young patients in their 30's, fillers are almost always the better choice. They do of course need to be repeated.
The patient should also assess if they like the shape of their face or if there are areas that have deficiencies (i.e. very flat cheeks). In that case, that problem never goes away and maybe a more permanent solution is better.
When it comes time to correct facial looseness and jowl formation, nothing beats a well done facelift, usually also with volume augmentation in critical areas.
Juvederm best for cheek fullness.
Because you are so young, I would recommend avoiding surgery for now. We think, of all the fillers, Juvederm is safe, effective, and long lasting for creating full cheeks.
Fat Grafting or Sculptra replacing facelift
The direct answer without seeing any photos is YES!. I would use fat transfer over Sculptra. But that is just my experience. BUT on the horizon is the Stem Cell Enhanced Fat Transfer to the face. Could be an interesting idea. Regards.
Sculptra for Facial Volume Rejuvenation in California
Sculptra is very effective at replacing volume in the face in a natural manner as it stimulates your own collagen production. Fat will also replace volume, but is slightly more technically challenging and involves a trip to the operating room.
More important than whether you ultimately use either Sculptra or fat transfer is whom you choose to perform the procedure. These procedures are extremely technique, skill, and experience dependent. They are also very long lasting. Therefore, do your homework and choose your treating physician most carefully.
Definitely stay away from the facelift in your 30's!
Good luck and be well.
Filers a better choice in your 30's
I agree with other posters that most patients in their 30's do not have indications for a Facelift. Generally, the aging changes seen in the mid 30's include crow's feet, dynamic glabellar and forehead lines, nasolabial folds, some vertical lip lines, and possibly dyschromia from sun damage. Most of these changes can be addressed by Botox, fillers (Juvederm, Radiesse), IPL, and fractionated lasers. Many women in their 30's also desire slightly fuller lips, which can be accomplished with fillers (preferaably hyaluronic acid based). I like the consistency and patient satisfaction I achieve with fillers and have not been a fan of fat grafting. However, there are many qualified surgeons who are and who get nice results.
Volume correction of the face
Volume correction is not a substitute for a face lift. A face lift lifts but a filler replaces the volume that has been lost. Many physicians who perform Sculptra, Radiesse and Fat injections notice an improvement in the texture of the skin. It appears almost immediately after the procedure and may be related to a distension or stretching of the skin which makes the fine lines less noticable until the filler wears off . Face lifts are not normally done until the patient is in their fifties, and some in their forties. Volume correction with fillers is more common in the forties than a facelift. When someone is in their late fifties or sixties, both fillers for volume correction and a face lift to raise the jowl and improve the smile folds can be done. Fat injections act as a graft and after several sessions of fat injections, there may be long term correction as the fat can live for years. Sculptra may last for a couple of years after a series of three treatments. Although fat injections could create a slight risk of a delayed cyst to develop, there is a chance with Sculptra that there may be some small bumps felt in the dermis or subcutaneous fatty layer when touching the skin from the outside. These can last for a long time but are usually not readily seen. It is extremely rare to see a visibly raised nodule that develops some time after the procedure, but it can happen.
In your mid-30" you woiuld be too young for a facelift unless you had a very unusual situation. Fillers can be helpful in holding back the revages of time but will not substitute for a facelift when the time comes for you to need one. I would say that fillers beat a mini facelift for you.