Is it unwise to consider fat transfer over sculptra to restore volume to my cheeks and temples in order to save money? (photo)

I am 31 and very athletic but not underweight. I have tried fillers and I metabolize them very quickly. I do not want to dramatically change my appearance. I am very afraid of loosing my strong features and I have read many horror stories about fat transfers gone wrong.

Doctor Answers 6

Fat grafting vs. Sculptra

Fat grafting is a nice alternative to Sculptra for restoring volume in the cheeks and temples. Fat grafting may or may not be more cost-effective than Sculptra depending on the OR/anesthesia costs. Fat grafting offers permanent results, but is a little less predictable in terms of how much volume remains. Utilizing proper harvest and injection technique makes fat grafting safe and greatly reduces the risk of contour irregularities or granulomas.

Juvederm Voluma is another effective non-surgical option and will have results that last around the same amount of time as Sculptra (2 years).

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews



Although it is a financial commitment, Sculptra is ideal for you. Fat transfer to the face can be a little unreliable as we are not certain how much fat will survive and there is the possibility that the survival of fat will be uneven. Sculptra works very well and is generally low risk if properly diluted and executed. You are young and should respond to the Sculptra well, producing a good amount of your own collagen with a 3 vial session. Sculptra should last 2-3 years and the results continue to improve for 6-9 months after treatment. Good luck!

C. Andrew Salzberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Sculptra vs fat transfer vs ??

In my experience, Sculptra is usually going to create volume, but some individuals need more than others to create enough volume. If you've tried Sculptra, placed by a very experienced physician who knows the best techniques of injecting it, then another great and predictable option is Juvéderm Voluma. It can be very long-lasting after a full correction is done. Fat transfer is not likely to be less expensive, and its longevity is very unpredictable.

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Restore Volume in Cheeks

Fat transfer may be more expensive (due to it being a surgical procedure) especially if it’s only the cheek area that is the concern. Sculptra is a good option, but another option that will be longer lasting is Voluma.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat Grafts vs. Sculptra: pros and cons

Sculptra is a great way to soften harsh contours in a very lean face. Fat grafts also work well, but actually are not always a less expensive option. When I perform fat grafts, I always use a sterile operating room, and my patients are under twilight anesthesia. The fat graft procedure, when done properly, often results in significant bruising and swelling. Results from new techniques in fat grafting are more reliable than they used to be, and can last for many years. Most of my fat graft patients are in their mid forties and older, and the procedure is often done at the same time as a facelift or mini-facelift. Sculptra may be a better option for younger patients who need less rejuvenation and more of a gentle volume enhancement. Results from 3 Sculptra treatments (each done 4 to 6 weeks apart) can last up to 2 years. Many of my Sculptra patients like to return for a single booster treatment at about 1 year in order to maintain a great result.

Pamela B. Rosen, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fat Transfer vs. Filler

Hi SF. While fat transfer is certainly an option for you, we would suggest sticking with fillers. The problem with fat transfer is that the fat does not last a long time in the face and is often gone faster than the filler would be. The second issue is that it is more difficult to make fat transfer look natural than it is to make Sculptra look natural.

For our perspective, we would keep you going on the Sculptra. Good luck.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 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.