Why should I choose fat grafts, compared to artificial fillers?
There are many ways to achieve changes for contouring the body and patients should be given the opportunity to make their own informed choices.
Having said that, fat grafts do have particular advantages. For larger volume areas, fat grafts are far more cost effective than artificial fillers. The cost of fillers to the face alone for a similar volume is around 450% of that using fat grafts, for example. The cost of using fillers for a similar volume of correction in the hands would be 460% that of using fat grafts.
Large volumes of fillers can cause a slight bluish discolouration under the skin, especially when used in areas such as the back of the hand or the lower eyebag margin. This is not a problem with fat grafts which restores skin colour as it is a substance which occurs underneath the skin naturally.
In the lip, fat grafts can maintain sensation and the correction does not result in overly filled lips, unlike some types of filler injection. Some of the advantages are due to the transfer of living cells.
During the healing process, fat cells actively produce chemical messengers which then recruit local and regional cells for repair. These processes can improve the blood supply to the area, improve cellular division and cause a moderate skin rejuvenation effect in addition to maintaining volume.
Finally, fat grafts have the potential to be long lasting. They can persist for years and are almost permanent (although there is an initial absorption) while standard fillers last for about 3 – 6 months.
(Part of article by Dr Yap Lok Huei)