Fat transfers vs injectable fillers

Dr paul gerarchi

Thanks to advancements in modern cosmetic medicine, there are now more options than ever before when it comes to anti-ageing procedures.

As well as advancements in non-invasive facial treatments like chemical peels, laser procedures and skin tightening facials, there has also been leaps and bounds made with anti-ageing injectables and fat transfer procedures.

Injectables are ideal for people who want amazing results but are not quite prepared to have to have surgery.

As we age, our skin loses elasticity and volume and can result in a hollowing out of the face. If you are experiencing volume loss, then an injectable filler or fat transfer might be for you.

Fat transfer

Fat transfer is a way to restore volume and plumpness back to the face and skin.

Fat is harvested using liposuction from anywhere in the body where there is surplus, usually the abdomen, inner thighs or hips. The incision for the liposuction is minor and does not even require stitches.

It is worth mentioning here that the liposuction is not being carried out to reduce the size of the area selected for the collection of fat. It is simply to collect enough fat to inject into the face.

Once the fat is collected, it is prepared for re-injection into the face. Prior to the procedure, Dr Gerarchi will consult with you to identify where the fat needs to be injected to achieve the desired results.

After the procedure, there may be swelling or bruising around the liposuction site and the eye area.

Initially, you may notice the areas where the fat has been injected seem a little fuller. The final results for a facial fat transfer procedure may not be visible for a few months.

Injectable fillers

Injectable fillers are another way to restore a youthful appearance.

Dr Gerarchi offers both wrinkle relaxers and dermal fillers to help you combat common signs of ageing.

During your consultation, Dr Gerarchi will discuss with you the areas of your face you wish to rejuvenate and recommend the filler product most likely to give you the best results.

Wrinkle relaxers are injected into the selected facial muscles using a very fine needle. Generally, the treatment takes about 15 minutes, discomfort is minimal and no anaesthetic is required. It takes 2-3 days for the treatment to take effect, and about 7-10 days to see the full result.

Your dermal filler treatment will likely involve a number of injections and should take approximately 30 minutes. Results are instant, and you will be able to resume your normal day to day routine as soon as the procedure is over. Some swelling and some bruising may occur.


There are quite a few significant differences between fat transfers and injectable fillers including:

  • Cost – Fat transfer is usually cheaper because the injectable fat is sourced from your body as opposed to wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers where the injectable solutions have to be purchased per mL and this cost is forwarded onto the patient.
  • Appearance –  Fat transfers achieve a softer more natural appearance as a final result. Fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments have greater lifting capacity in certain areas and can be noticeable if done by someone inexperienced.
  • Longevity – Fat transfer can last for many years although there is a small chance of fat not ‘taking’, leading to no result. Most temporary fillers last between 6 to 18 months.
  • Stem Cells – Fat transfer has the added benefit of also transferring stem cells. Stem cells encourage regeneration and can lead to added results. There are no stem cells in dermal fillers or anti-wrinkle injections.
  • Results – It can take a few months for the results of a fat transfer to be visible and you will require more than 1 session for ideal results. Desired results can be achieved with 1 session for dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections with results visible immediately.
  • Downtime – There is slightly more downtime required for fat transfers mainly due to the liposuction and the different technique used to inject the fat. With dermal fillers there is usually less bruising, swelling and downtime.
  • Surgical – Fat transfers are considered a surgical procedure and can sometimes require some intravenous sedation. Dermal fillers and wrinkle-injections are non-surgical.

To find out if injectable treatments are the right choice for you, contact our office.