Filler vs. Fat: Which Volumizer Is Best for You?

Commonwealth Plastic Surgery

Facial fillers are a popular way to enhance facial features for the lips and chin. Likewise, they are popular for restoring lost volume due to aging below the eyes, around the mouth, or in the cheeks.

How Long do Fillers Last?

Fillers vary in their elasticity and density, so their longevity depends upon which filler we use and where. For example, filler below the eye is quite thin, but because we do not move that portion of our face, it can last several months. In the lips and mouth, filler may last only 3-6 months even though it is thicker because we move our mouths to chew and talk.

Do You Metabolize Filler?

The length of time a filler should last is just an estimate. What really matters is our metabolism and activity level. Dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), or sugar molecules, naturally found in the skin. These molecules are responsible for water absorption and keeping the skin plump. But because HA is a sugar molecule, we metabolize it or break it down over time. This means a fast metabolism or active lifestyle will speed up that breakdown.

What Can You Use Instead of Filler?

Hyaluronic acid is an easy way to improve volume, and it is often a great start for people wanting to add volume, but those who metabolize filler too quickly or start to notice that they need more filler more often, might find injecting facial filler cost-prohibitive. If you find that to be the case, a minor procedure done in the office, called Facial Fat Grafting can often offer longer results for less because fat does not metabolize as quickly as sugar. Fat is transferred from other areas of the body (such as the neck or inner thighs) and moved to portions of the face to restore lost volume. In the before and after pictures below, fat was removed from her neck and transferred to her cheeks and lips. This procedure can last years, so we offer reduced pricing for repeat patients who like to maintain their fat grafting results. This makes fat grafting more cost-effective for those who metabolize or have aged out of filler.

Before Facial Fat Grafting ProfileAfter Facial Fat Grafting Profile


Ready for More?

If you are ready to learn more about our filler and fat treatments, please request a consultation or call us at (859) 277-9435. Dr. Nimtz will help you decide which option is best for you!


For the holidays we’re offering special deals for fillers AND fat grafting! Make sure to check out our Specials Page for more!

Buy One Filler, Get the Second Filler 50 % Off

$500 Off Facial Fat Grafting Consultations through January 8, 2023*


* Eligible for standalone FFG procedures.

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