Athleo L. Cambre, M.D.
What are the benefits of fat injections vs Restylane or collagen in vertical facial lines?
There are a number of options for management of vertical facial lines. In general, the more superficial lines can be treated with injectables like Collagen or Restylane, or in some cases may respond to skin tightening procedures like chemical peel or laser treatments.
Deeper lines may benefit from Cosmoplast (cross-linked collagen) or Restylane injections, or fat injections. The advantage of Collagen or Restylane injections is the ready availability of the material "off the shelf", without advanced preparation or harvesting, and the procedure involves no more than a quick office visit every few months, in order to maintain the desired result.
The principal disadvantage of fat injections is that they involve a minor surgical procedure to harvest the fat from a separate donor site location where there is surplus fat, along with time for preparation of the fat for re-injection into the desired recipient area. Fat injections may not be suitable for very fine or superficial lines in the face, and the injected fat may not survive completely, possibly requiring additional future injections. The advantage of fat injection is that there is a possibility of survival of a substantial amount of the injected fat, which would eliminate the need for future "maintenance" injections if complete or near-complete correction is achieved, since the lines have now been filled with living tissue.