Volume loss to the face is a natural part of the aging process or can happen when an individual experiences significant weight loss. The two options for treating volume loss are injectable fillers and fat transfer. Filler can be done in the office as a “walk-in, walk-out” treatment with no downtime and immediate results. Fat transfer is a surgical procedure that involves removing fat from one are of the body, usually the abdomen, hips or thighs, and placing it in the face where volume is needed. There is a recovery period of a few days to one week. Fat transfer is a permanent long term solution, where fillers are temporary.
Patients experiencing volume loss in their face are typically good candidates for injectable fillers. In some cases, a patient may have such significant hollowing that fat transfer may be a better option due to the amount of volume needed. Voluma® by Allergan is the first FDA-approved filler for volume replacement, while other fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, etc. are used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Injectable fillers are not permanent, so an ongoing commitment is needed to maintain optimal results.