What is the difference with using Sculptra versus a fat transfer in the hollows in my temples?

I am getting ready to do an upper and lower blemph and a facelift.  My RPS suggested I do a fat transfer to fill,in the hollowness in my temples.  After reading all the reviews I am a little skeptical.  I used Sculptra about 7 years ago to fill,the hollows in my cheek and jawline and it was fabulous.  I feel that since I had such a great result with Sculptra that maybe that would be the best route.  I hardly have any fat on my body and that is also a concern......if you take it from my hip then it will make me even more skinnier than I already am don't you think?  Any comments will be helpful in making my final decision.  Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Fat transfer for hollow temple area can be long-lasting

Fat transfer could be permanent while sculptra and other fillers are not. While sometimes the fat transfer doesn't take, it would be my first choice because ot the potential for greater longevity.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Fat Transfer to temples

Dear Sara,

Either option works well, my thought process when I am seeing someone for fat transfers is that if they would like volume in multiple places, then fat transfer is the way to go.  You have a virtually unlimited supply (you only need 2-4 ounces of fat) to fill the face.  If you need volume in your cheeks, under eye areas, jawline, smile lines etc, then go with fat.  If it is just one area you need or want to improve, then Sculptra is a nice alternative.  Fat transfers, when properly done, last many years, look and feel natural.

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Sculptra vs. Fat Transfer

  Honestly, if you were so happy with the results of Sculptra, this is what I think you should do.  Also, this material works great in the temples so I think you will be quite pleased.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Sculptra or Fat to fill facial hollows?

Excellent question! Fat is a natural substance that is unpredictable but can have great results, results that can last a lifetime if weight is stable, but it does require some harvesting which requires surgery on an additional part of the body. Sculptra does not last forever, 3-4 years , but is very predictable and has great results in the temple area. Really up to you and your surgeon, can not go wrong either way.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Both good techniques

Dear Sara

To be honest, both are great techniques to achieve volume where volume is lacking. There are some differences, however:

1. Though Sculptra is quite long lasting [up to three years,some claim a bit longer], it is not a permanent solution. Fat however is permanent. With fat at about 3 months, what you see is what you get.

2. Sculptra's results are not immediate. The product injected initially has some volume because of the fluid injected. But the real long term results are due collagen production engendered by the Sculptra. This takes a few weeks to finalize. Thus sometimes, you need incremental injections about 6 weeks apart to get your final result. So it can take a few months to achieve.

3. Sculptra does sometimes, though infrequently, produces an inflammatory response in some patients leading to some lumpy areas, especially if you feel for them.

4. Finally, though less importantly, the general trend is that surgeons tend to use fat grafting, because its a surgical technique and that's who we are, whereas dermatologists most commonly use Sculptra because you don't need an operating room, and they aren't surgeons. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. Some surgeons also use Sculptra, and some dermatologists have mastered fat grafting.

Some of my photos posted on Realself illustrate results with fat grafting.

Hope this was helpful.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

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.