Lip Fillers vs. Fat Grafting: What You Need to Know

Lip Fillers vs. Fat Grafting: What You Need to Know | RefinedMD

Lip Fillers vs. Fat Grafting: What You Need to Know

If you’re like a lot of people stuck at home on endless Zoom calls, you’re finally ready to treat yourself to a little augmentation—starting with your lips. At RefinedMD and all around the country, patients are lining up to tweak and beautify themselves. After all, it’s a perfect time! You’ve had no choice but to stare at yourself in those non-stop virtual calls, so you know exactly what you’d like to work on in order to look and feel your best. Plus, social distancing and zero travel means it’s the ideal time to schedule a treatment that might call for a few days of recovery. If you do have to go out in public after a lip augmentation, your must-have mask is the ultimate way to stay discreet.

Now that you know you want fuller, more youthful lips, you have to decide—are lip fillers or fat grafting the right choice for you? The primary difference is that lip fillers are temporary while fat grafting is permanent. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be permanent. However, the differences between the two aren’t exactly binary. There’s a reason that lip fillers are significantly more popular than fat grafting, so let’s break down the differences.

What You Need to Know About Lip Fillers

There are all types of different lip fillers available! Many people choose a combination of lip fillers to achieve the exact results they want. Most lip fillers are temporary, but they all last a different length of time. This means you can opt for a very temporary option that lasts about six months to try out a new look. Alternatively, there are longer-lasting lip fillers like the new Restylane Kysse that can last up to nine months.

Most lip fillers are made with hyaluronic acid (HA), a compound that is already synthesized naturally in the body. This is great since there’s virtually no chance of your body rejecting HA products. However, there’s also a lip filler called Sculptra that works a little differently. It’s the only lip filler that doesn’t provide immediate results. Sculptra encourages the body to produce collagen at the injection site (the lips) and this occurs in the weeks and months following the injection.

Sculptra is semi-permanent because it kick-starts collagen growth. Collagen is what helps our skin look young and plump (in the right ways). Unfortunately, we produce less collagen as we get older. The collagen from Sculptra or any collagen-induction therapy isn’t going to last forever. It will slowly fade just like other collagen in your body. However, the effects on your lips will last a lot longer than when using HA fillers. You can count on Sculptra to last a couple of years and many patients like it because it’s 100% plumpness caused by your own, natural collagen—jut with a little help.

Fat Grafting Facts

Some patients bypass the idea of lip fillers because they want something that really lasts. This can mean fat grafts, and this is an actual surgery (not an aaesthetic treatment). It’s just what it sounds like. A small amount of fat, usually about a teaspoon, is taken from a donor site on your body (most often, this site is the belly). The fat is then injected into the lips. It’s a very minor surgery compared to more aggressive cosmetic surgeries, but it still comes with the risks inherent to any surgical procedure.

Having seemingly permanently plumper lips using your own fat sounds like it’s worth the risk to a lot of people—but hold on. There’s a catch with fat grafting. Not all of the fat transferred to the lips is going to survive. A certain percentage will not take or “die,” but there’s no way of telling how much will die or in what area! This means surgeons will often over-fill the lips to account for a certain amount of fat cell death. This means that if you’re a patient who does very well with fat grafting, then you’ll get stuck with over-filled lips that need to be surgically addressed. On the contrary, if a very large amount of the fat dies then you’ll need a second fat grafting surgery. There’s simply no way to know for certain how you’ll respond to fat grafting, and there’s quite a bit of a guessing game involved.

There’s no guessing when it comes to lip fillers. Once you have lip fillers injected, some minor swelling and bruising can occur in the first few days after the treatment, but that’s it. As you can see, lip fillers are safer, more customizable, and much more affordable. To find out more about lip filler options, get in touch with RefinedMD at (408) 688-2082 to schedule an appointment or complimentary consultation.