Can I Use Juvederm Injections to Preview the Look of Fat Grafting to the Face?

I'd like to pursue fat grafting to my face, but would like to preview how it would look beforehand with Juvederm injections (to lips, n/l folds and cheeks). Would the Juvederm injections give me a good idea of how the fat grafts would look? Thank you for considering my question.

Doctor Answers 16

Juvederm to Preview Fat Transfer

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The answer is- not really.  If you are getting fat transfer to a specific area such as the nasolabial folds or cheeks etc then you can accurately preview the fat with the filler.  

However, if you are treating multiple facial zones, it would likely be cost preclusive to treat all these area with a filler. With a well done fat transfer, the face is volumized in a seemless and natural way.  With fillers, things can look choppy and patchy because we are forced to treat specific areas while ignoring the adjacent regions.  Further, to keep cost reasonable with fillers, the tendency is to under treat an area so that you don't spend a fortune on fillers.  So the end result is that the change will be somewhat underwhelming relative to the high level of correction you will see with a well-done fat transfer.  

My suggestion is to look at plenty of before and afters of the surgeon's work who you are considering having the fat transfer with.  If you like the appearance and level of correction, then go straight to the fat.  Remember, fat transfer is not meant to change your appearance, it is meant to rejuvenate your appearance. So, the only preview you need is your old photographs.   Good luck.   Dr.  Karam

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Juvederm or fillers to preview fat injection results

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juvederm is an excellent way to preview the results of more permanent fillers.

It gives the patient the chance to ponder additional volume in a specific area over time, different lighting, reaction of friends, etc.

Of course, an injectable substance is a bit different from fat injections, which are more crude, and other autologous filling materials, but they can provide a nice way of "trying out" the augmentation for several months, and can also enable more precise discussions with your plastic surgeon on the intended results.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

How to Preview Fat Transfer Results

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While you certainly could spend the money and have Juvederm or another filler placed prior to having a fat grafting procedure, the cost of treating multiple areas could be prohibitive.  Consider instead having your surgeon augment the areas with saline instead.  While this will not duplicate the results exactly, it is a much less expensive alternative and will provide you with a very good idea of what your face will look with volume resorations.  If you don't like it, the results are gone in a couple days.

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Using Juvederm to preview Fat Transfer?

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In my practice in Newport Beach I use Fat Transfer as a component to restore volume enhancement for the aging face. I usually use it in conjunction with an endoscopic Browlift or Facelift. If you are just wanting superficial lines injected and not volume enhancement then Juvederm is probably a better method for you. It is difficult to answer your question completely without having a photograph to evaluate what your concerns are, however I would discuss these options with your surgeon. I have used saline before in patients to preview a purposed Fat Transfer and this is certainly an option. I use a digital imaging computer in my practice which can show the purposed result to some degree. I hope this is helpful for you.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Juvederm Before Fat Transfer

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I often suggest patients undergo Juvederm injections before fat transfer. Keep in mind that you will not want to undergo the fat transfer until the Juvederm has dissolved on its own though. In addition, I would agree that fat is not a great option for the nasolabial fold though I think it does well in the lips - but takes several treatments to get optimal results.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Fat transfer to the Face

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Hello and thank you for the question.

Juvederm certainly can be used in the face to emulate the effects of fat transfer. You must keep several factors in mind prior to proceeding, however:  First and foremost, if you are planning on having several areas of your face treated with Juvederm, the cost could be substantial as compared to fat transfer as fat is relatively "cheap" in comparison cc per cc. Secondly, you must keep in mind that the size of the Juvederm molecule (hyaluronic acid) is much smaller than a fat cell. In sensitive areas such as around the eyes, fat transfer is often times not required and Juvederm can actually be a better alternative. Furthermore, in areas such as the lips, both fat and Juvederm will act to volumize the area well. However for fine definition which is often required in patients lacking nascent anatomy, Juvederm is a far superior product in developing and augmenting the natural anatomy of the lip. In such areas, it is not uncommon for me to use both products in combination in order to get optimal results (i.e. the volumizing effect of fat with the defining effect of Juvederm). I hope this information was helpful. 


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Use of Juvederm or Restylane prior to fat injections

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Using Juvederm or Restylane or Perlane prior to fat injections does make sense. If you are unhappy with the result, these hyaluronic acids can be dissolved. If you are happy with the aesthetic result, you can do fat injections when the fillers dissolve on their own. Some patients have fat injections and at the same time still have some Juvederm or REstylane injected into finer areas than where fat would be used.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Fat grafting preview with restylane

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While you certainly could do this, you would have to wait for the HA filler (restylane, etc.) to re-absorb before your actual fat grafting procedure.  This could take months.

Cheaper and easier - have your physician inject you with some saline.  That will be gone in a few days, and has fewer risks.


All the best,

Best Way to Preview Fat Transfer to the Face

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Hi Burl,

Why not save lot's of money and have your physician inject you with saline.  It won't last as long as Juvederm, but that's was photography is for.  Plus you will have more money to buy those fabulous Vera Wang shoes to go with your marelously re-voluminized face.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Using Juvederm to preview fat grafting results

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Having a treatment with a facial filler such as Juvederm, Restylane, or Radiesse can give you a pretty good idea of the volume enhancing results of fat grafting.

That being said, fat grafting does not work as well when placed in the lips or directly in the nasolabial folds (compared with a skin filler). Improving cheek volume can help with the nasolabial fold indirectly, however, by "lifting" the cheek tissues off of the fold. The "feel" of filler treatment is different from fat as well.

You would need to wait for the filler to reabsorb before having a fat transfer. This would allow for a more accurate placement of fat (in the correct volumes). Juvederm and restylane take about 6-12 months. Radiesse takes 12-18 months.

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.