How successful are fat injections to the nasolabial folds of the face? Within the last two years, I have had Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm injected into the face. They worked well, but of course, don’t last. A doctor suggested I try this more permanent type of injection. What is your feeling about this procedure? Is it similar to the gel fillers only with some fat removed from my body first? What is the down time and the average cost?

A: Fat transfer as a facial filler

Although fat transfer to the face (nasolabial folds) is not permanent, it does last longer than the injectable fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm,and Radiesse.

Approximately 80-90% of the fat will remain viable (alive) after one year. It is possible that a patient may need a second or even third fat transfer throughout one’s life to maintain the desired contour. Fat transfer seems to last longer in the cheek area as compared to the nasolabial fold area.

In the long run, compared to injectable fillers, fat transfer is more economical and has more longevity. It does however, involve a trip to the operating room to be performed usually under local anesthesia with sedation.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to any fat transfer procedure.