Radiesse Vs. Fat Injections: Treating Facial Depressions

I need more direction and honest suggestions with regard to Fat injection. I am 30 years old, and wanted to get a filler to fill a small depression from the nose to the mouth and also a small depression on the front side of my cheeks located underneath my eyes which has always been there since I was a kid but with time it became slightly bigger. My doctor suggested to do fat injection but after reading these comments, I am scared! Also, I have a high metabolism and as a result of that I burn fat easily in my body. Should I opt for Radiesse instead? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Small areas - grab the Radiesse

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 I am the inventor of the Viafill system - a system designed to transfer more viable fat cells. But I also love to do Radiesse and Juvederm. For small volumes,like the nes you describe - I grab the Radiesse. I hope that helps!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Radiesse vs Fat

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Fat usually is permanent once it "takes" to the target area, but can be affected by aging and weight fluctuations. Radiesse is temporary. Both can achieve great results. however, if you dislike the results achieved from Radiesse, it's easier to correct. 

Fat is unpredictable

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Fat is unpredictable in terms of the amount that survives. When we inject it we usually over compensate to account for the absorption of some of the fat. Even doing this we really cannot predict how much will survive. If if does, great.

Fillers are good alternatives but are not permanent. Depending on the depression depends on which filler should be used. Sometimes the deeper fillers such as Radiesse and Sculptra are best and sometimes the more superficial hyaluronic acid ones are best. It just depends on the deformity.

With all of the correct information you should be able to make an informed choice.

Use hyaluronic filler first.

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I completely agree with the use of a hyaluronic filler to "try out" the appearance and to see if you appreciate the results.

If you like what you see, you could consider fat grafting at a later date.

If you don't: no harm, no foul and the filler will wear off most likely in a year. IF you really don't like it, you could employ off label use of hyaluronidase to diminsh the fillers effect.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Filler vs. fat injections for facial depressions

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I agree with Dr. Francis and would suggest first trying Juvederm or Restylane for the depressions you are describing. Radiesse can be used, but the skin between the nose and mouth is a less forgiving area for Radiesse. If you like the results with the temporary fillers, then consider fat injection with an experienced plastic surgeon.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

Try a non permanent filler first

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If there is any question as to whether you will like the results of fillers or not, start with a non permanent material, such as Juvederm, Restylane, or Radiesse. If you are happy with the results of the filling you can consider something more permanent like fat transfer. Refinements in fat transfer techniques have made the procedure more popular and more effective over the past few years. Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in fat transfer techniques. Good luck!

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.