Facial volume loss is one common sign of aging that many of us want to treat or improve. Fortunately, a number of effective procedures are available to address this. Dermal fillers and facial fat grafting/transfer are among the common treatments that many look into when restoring fullness or youthfulness in the face.


Both procedures can address volume loss in the face to give you a younger-looking appearance. One, however, is different from another, especially when it comes to how the procedure is performed. Continue reading to learn the difference between facial fat grafting and facial fillers.

The surgical option: Facial fat grafting

With facial fat grafting or fat transfer, the patient’s fat is used to restore volume in the targeted area. The procedure involves harvesting fat in different areas of the body (commonly in abdomen and thighs) through liposuction. The collected fat is processed and then injected to certain areas of the face.

With facial fat grafting small droplets of fat are injected into the face using fine cannulas. It can be used on different parts of the face like cheeks, jaws, nasolabial folds, and under eye hollows to improve facial volume and contour. Fat transfer is also combined with other surgeries to improve overall facial balance.

In most cases, multiple procedures are needed to achieve desired goals. Common side effects include bruising and swelling, which may last a few weeks. Recovery varies, but most are required to take several days off from work and other activities. The final results are visible after six months.

There is lasting improvement with facial grafting and the results can last for years. The natural aging process, however, does not stop and facial volume will continue to decrease as time goes by. This is why the need for more procedures is recommended to maintain the results.

The nonsurgical alternative: Dermal fillers

While facial fat transfer is effective for treating volume loss, not everyone is a candidate for surgery or willing to go under the knife. This is where dermal fillers enter the picture. These injectable gels are commonly used for restoring and filling in volume loss. They can plump up the skin and be used on different areas for total facial rejuvenation

At Cutis Laser Clinics in Singapore, we use fillers made of naturally occurring substances in the body like hyaluronic acid or HA (Juvederm). We also have fillers made of calcium-based microspheres like Radiesse, which is a volumizing filler and a bio-stimulator of collagen.

Dermal fillers have many uses and can be used on different parts of the face. A consultation with an aesthetic doctor will determine what type of filler is right for you based on your goals. You can turn to these injectables to:

  • Restore volume in sunken cheeks
  • Improve lines and nasolabial folds
  • Correct tear troughs
  • Plump up the lips
  • Reduce dark circles and eye bags
  • Contour the jawline
  • Increase the height of nose bridge
  • Improve skin’s hydration
  • Stimulate natural collagen synthesis

Facial fillers are injected under the skin and work by boosting the supply of the substance like HA. This helps revitalize the skin and improve volume. You may see the results immediately, but it can take two weeks for the fillers to settle and blend with the surrounding tissues. The results can last from six months to two years depending on the type of fillers used.  

Swelling and bruising are the common side effects, but these are temporary and resolve within a couple of days. You can return to most activities immediately, but it is advisable to avoid intense physical activities for the first 24 to 48 hours. 

When you’re not comfortable with surgery

Dermal fillers are a good choice for facial rejuvenation if you’re not willing to go under the knife. You can also turn to fillers if you’re not a good candidate for surgery or if you don’t have enough fat to be harvested for the procedure. 

Fillers cost less than fat transfer because the procedure is less complicated. Recovery and downtime is also minimal. A consultation with a skilled aesthetic doctor will let you know what to expect and which type of filler is right for you.

At Cutis Laser Clinics, we have Dr. Sylvia Ramirez who has extensive experience with dermal fillers including the use of Juvederm. Contact us today to book an appointment or learn how dermal fillers in Singapore can treat volume loss and address other signs of aging.