Facial Fat Grafting Vs. Dermal Fillers By Michael A. Devlin, MD on June 21, 2016

Facial Fat Grafting vs Dermal Fillers - Non Surgical Facelift

Are you considering facial plastic surgery or non-surgical treatments to help you look younger? Dr. Michael Devlin in Little Rock, AR offers Dermal Fillers and Facial Fat Grafting as an option to traditional facelift surgery.

Aging produces several different effects on the face, including wrinkling, sagging skin, and facial volume loss. Fortunately, there are many effective and safe procedures available to help improve the visible signs of aging.

Two popular options fat grafting to the face and facial fillers, are a great way to restore youth to the face. You may not know how these two differ and how they could benefit you.

Facelift and fat graft before photo by Dr. Michael Devlin in Little Rock, ARFacelift and aft graft after photo by Dr. Michael Devlin in Little Rock, AR



What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are used to fill in lines and wrinkles and restore volume to the face. There are many types of fillers available, such as Voluma® and Restylane®. Sometimes a combination of fillers is used to treat an area, such as the cheeks and tear troughs.  All fillers are administered via injection with no downtime.  The process takes about 30-45 minutes.  You may have slight bruising or swelling. 

Fillers are unfortunately temporary solutions to wrinkles.  Depending on the product you choose, results will last from nine to 18 months. 

What Is Facial Fat Grafting?

Fat Grafting or Fat Transfer as you may hear it called is a procedure that takes excess fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the face to restore volume. The treated areas are somewhat overfilled, as some of the cells will not survive and be reabsorbed into the body.During a fat grafting procedure, Dr. Devlin will perform liposuction, typically on a small area around the abdomen to “harvest” the fat from. It is then prepared and injected into specific areas of the face such as the brows, cheeks, tear troughs and lips, as those areas tend to show aging and volume loss the most dramatically. The addition of volume is a great way to improve your appearance and yet look naturally youthful, not pulled or plastic.

Fat Grafting is done under light oral sedation in the office. Fat Grafting does require a day or two to recover, and as with the dermal fillers, there is a possibility of bruising and swelling especially if the lips are injected.

The results of fat grafting to the face are longer lasting. Except for a small portion of fat that reabsorbed by your body, most of the fat that is transferred will survive for years.

Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Treatment

While facial fat transfer involves injecting fat harvested from the body into the face, it is a minor surgery; there is only one small incision where the fat is harvested. There is some recovery due to the oral sedation that is needed. You may also have some mild soreness from the liposuction procedure.

Non-surgical fillers are nice because they require no anesthesia and very little discomfort.

Facial Fat Transfer Cost

Because fat transfer is a more in-depth process, the treatment is, naturally, more expensive than fillers. However, the results last longer, since the fat remains in the areas to which it has been injected.

Fillers have a lower initial cost, but because they are temporary, costs can add up over time. It’s a good idea to evaluate how often you will be willing to refresh your fillers when considering the cost comparison.

Not Sure Which Option is Best for You?

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which treatment is best for you. That’s where Dr. Michael Devlin comes n! During your consultation, Dr. Devlin will discuss your goals and from that he will recommend a specific course of treatment tailored to meet your needs.


Any product injected into the face has the potential to create contour irregularities.  Complications can be minimized with a thorough understanding of the different dermal fillers and fat grafting techniques.  There are problems that can happen so it is extremely important to have a doctor who is well trained to carry out n injection-a doctor who really understands the procedure and facial anatomy-such as Dr. Michael Devlin.


If you would like to learn more about fat grafting or dermal fillers please contact Devlin Cosmetic Surgery at 501-227-8811



Related to This

Plastic surgeon Michael Devlin, M.D.

Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D.

Dr. Devlin is a cosmetic surgeon who provides each of his patients with personalized care and a compassionate approach. He offers a range of procedures in an environment where patients feel safe, comfortable, and heard. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Arkansas Medical Society
  • Pulaski County Medical Society

To get started on your plastic surgery journey, fill out our form or call (501) 227-8811.


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