Your Guide to Facial Contouring: Comparing Fat Grafting and Fillers for the Best Results

Your Guide to Facial Contouring

As much as we appreciate the privilege of aging, most of us could do without the unwelcome volume loss and sagging skin that often comes with time.

Facial contouring procedures are one way to avoid temporary fixes and revitalize your youthful glow for good. But amidst the array of options out there, which is best for you?

In the realm of facial rejuvenation, we’ll compare two treatments that promise transformative results: facial fillers and fat grafting to the face, both expertly performed by the renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Cat Begovic.

In today’s article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of each procedure, as well as the benefits and potential drawbacks, to make it easier when choosing the right method for your unique circumstances.

What Are Facial Fillers?

Facial fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are non-surgical cosmetic treatments designed to restore volume, enhance facial contours, and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines via injectable gels.

They can also be non-surgical alternatives to procedures like chin implants and rhinoplasty.

These injectable gels are typically made from a combination of hyaluronic acid, polylactic acid, collagen, calcium hydroxylapatite, or other substances chosen for their ability to add volume and restore facial structure.

By carefully and artfully injecting fillers into specific areas of the face (like your under eyes, cheeks, lips, nasolabial folds, or even ears), they can plump and rejuvenate the skin, resulting in a more refreshed and youthful appearance.

So, who qualifies for facial fillers? Almost everyone.


If you want a quick and effective way to enhance facial contouring, address signs of aging, or improve specific facial features without surgery or extensive downtime, fillers are the way to go.

The prerequisites are as simple as:

  • Generally good overall health
  • Realistic expectations for the outcomes

You might not be a good candidate for fillers if any of the following criteria apply:

  • Allergy or sensitivity to filler ingredients
  • Active infections or inflammation in target treatment areas
  • Pregnancy or current breastfeeding
  • History of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis
  • You’re a smoker, have medical conditions, or take medications that could potentially interfere with treatment
  • Unrealistic expectations or desired outcomes

Now that we have the precursors covered, let’s dive into the procedure itself.


At Dr. Cat’s practice, every treatment begins with a comprehensive facial analysis and in-depth consultation. Your initial meeting is the most extensive, allowing for a detailed assessment of your unique facial features, concerns, and aesthetic goals.

Once you’re ready to receive your facial fillers, Dr. Cat will use different solutions to cleanse your face and reduce any risk of infection.

Then comes the facial contouring.

To ensure a comfortable experience during treatment, Dr. Cat uses ice and a special probe to minimize the likelihood of pain.

After mapping out your treatment areas, she skillfully administers the filler using an ultra-fine needle. With meticulous precision and artistic expertise, she injects small amounts of filler to sculpt and shape the desired aesthetic.

Every step of the process is guided by your extensive pre-procedure discussions, ensuring the best possible outcome tailored to your desired goals.

The procedure typically takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the treatment and considerations discussed beforehand.

Facial rejuvenation in just one hour? Sold!


Similar to Botox, facial fillers have no downtime or recovery time.

That said, there are a few guidelines you’ll have to follow in the first 24 hours to ensure optimal results, such as:

  • No makeup or bacteria-prone products
  • No strenuous activity or exercise

You may experience swelling or bruising after treatment that typically subsides after a few days. If directed, you can apply ice to gently massage and soothe the treated areas.

Depending on the type of filler used, your results can last from several months to years.

Together with Dr. Cat, you’ll establish a personalized maintenance plan to sustain long-term results with future treatments.

In other words, you’ll never miss a beat on looking and feeling your absolute best.

So, what’s the cost of fillers for facial rejuvenation?


In addition to minimal downtime, many patients prefer fillers instead of fat grafting because of their affordability.

On average, the cost of facial fillers can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per treatment session. Fillers typically come in either half or full syringes.

Some factors that can influence the price of facial fillers are:

  • Type of filler used
  • Amount of filler used
  • Surgeon’s expertise and skill
  • Geographic location

Thinking of pursuing facial contouring with fillers?

Benefits and Drawbacks

If you’re considering fillers to enhance your confidence and appearance, weighing the benefits and drawbacks to make an informed decision is essential.

First, the good:

  • Quick and convenient
  • No downtime or recovery time
  • Cost-friendly alternative to surgery
  • Immediate, natural-looking results
  • Minimal side-effects

Now, the potential drawbacks:

  • Multiple sessions are needed for long-term results
  • Temporary bruising, swelling, or redness post-treatment
  • Excessive use or improper placement can lead to a puffy, “overfilled” look
  • Risk of filler migration (the movement of filler material from the injected area to unintended areas, potentially resulting in an undesirable aesthetic outcome)
  • Potential for allergic reaction to filler ingredients
  • Achieving desired outcome is technique-dependent

Now that we’ve covered fillers, it’s time to turn our attention to Dr. Cat’s preferred method of facial rejuvenation: facial fat grafting.

What Is Fat Grafting to the Face?

Facial fat grafting, also called facial fat transfer, is a procedure that involves harvesting fat from a discrete part of your body (belly, thigh, or flank) and strategically injecting it into your face.

This helps restore volume, improve facial contouring, and rejuvenate your appearance.

In some cases, Dr. Cat combines facial fat transfer with facelift surgery for a more comprehensive and revitalized transformation.

So, why does Dr. Cat favor fat grafting instead of fillers?

Her preference stems from its ability to create a more natural look. Many of her patients emphasize wanting to rejuvenate their facial appearance but are afraid of looking puffy or “like a chipmunk.”

Dr. Cat believes that using a patient’s own fat for rejuvenation can restore facial balance and harmony in a more natural way. 


Since this procedure uses your body’s natural resources to sculpt and rejuvenate your face, you must meet a few more criteria to qualify for fat grafting instead of fillers.

If you check off these boxes, you’re a prime candidate:

  • Have adequate fat donor sites
  • Struggle with facial volume loss
  • Want to enhance facial contouring
  • Are in good overall health
  • Have realistic expectations

On the other hand, you may not be the best fit if any of these apply to you:

  • Insufficient fat deposits for transfer
  • Active infections or skin conditions in areas where fat grafting is planned
  • Smoking, medical conditions, or medications that increase complication risks
  • Unrealistic expectations of results fat grafting to the face will achieve


Like facial fillers, your first appointment begins with an in-depth consultation involving a detailed facial evaluation, your medical history, current health, and finally, your goals and expectations.

While facial fat grafting can be performed under local anesthesia alone, it can often be a bit uncomfortable. Therefore, Dr. Cat combines localized numbing with general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety.

The first step in Dr. Cat’s pioneering multi-stage technique is carefully extracting fat from discrete, tactfully chosen donor sites on your body. Next, the fat is transferred to the face via a layering method through tiny, hidden incisions.

In cases where a facelift is performed concurrently, the donor fat is introduced through the facelift incisions, eliminating the need for additional ones.

The result? Stunning facial rejuvenation and virtually invisible scars.

As for duration, the procedure can take two to four hours, depending on additional procedures and how much liposuction is involved.

After the procedure, it’s time to focus on healing.


Although the recovery process for fat grafting to the face may be more extensive compared to fillers, the long-lasting, natural results it yields make it a worthwhile journey.

That said, Dr. Cat’s specialized technique allows for minimal pain and a speedy recovery.

With regards to your face, you may experience minimal swelling, bruising, or discomfort within the first week. Then it will take about a month to see the full facial contouring results.

For the liposuctioned areas, recovery varies according to the extent and number of areas treated.

Here’s what your initial recovery timeline will look like:

  • Week 1: Rest and relax in the week following surgery.
  • Week 2: Return to normal activities and start scar treatment.
  • Week 3: Introduce moderate exercise (walking or stationary biking).
  • Week 4: Resume vigorous exercises (running or aerobics).
  • First few months: Avoid the sun and adhere to scar care instructions.

Dr. Cat prides herself on achieving natural-looking results that enhance your appearance without creating noticeable or abnormal changes.

Thanks to her expertise and artistic approach, you can expect a gorgeous, refreshed look that stays true to your unique beauty.

When it comes to cost, how does fat grafting compare to facial fillers?


Fat grafting to the face can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.

Pricing varies according to:

  • Cost of other procedures performed
  • Surgery length and complexity
  • Surgeon’s skill and expertise
  • Geographic location
  • Other associated fees

While initially costlier than fillers, facial fat grafting offers long-term results, eliminating the need for repeat treatments—which can add up over time.

Ultimately, the investment in facial fat grafting is often worth it for those seeking lasting, natural results.

Think facial fat grafting might be a good fit? Before choosing the right method for you, let’s lay out the pros and cons.

Benefits and Drawbacks

When it comes to achieving natural facial rejuvenation, fat transfer offers distinct benefits and potential drawbacks.

The benefits of facial fat grafting are:

  • Natural, long-lasting results (as you’re using live cells from your body)
  • Improved facial contouring
  • Minimally invasive
  • Dual benefits (facial rejuvenation and body contouring)
  • No foreign substances involved
  • One-time cost (since repeat sessions aren’t typically needed)

As for the potential downsides:

  • Longer recovery time than fillers
  • More expensive than fillers upfront
  • A need for adequate donor fat
  • Variable fat survival (some transferred fat cells may not survive)
  • Technique-dependent results

Rediscover Your True Reflection with Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery

One thing is clear: the path to facial rejuvenation is paved with careful considerations and the guidance of a skilled, compassionate surgeon. Choosing a doctor who understands your vision, concerns, and possesses the technical mastery to achieve your aesthetic goals is non-negotiable.

Dr. Cat stands as a beacon of expertise and prestige in the world of facial contouring. With her extensive repertoire and unwavering dedication to the art of beauty enhancement, she has transformed countless lives, helping individuals regain their confidence and radiate renewed vitality.

Together, you’ll assess the differences between the fat transfer vs. filler techniques and choose the right course of action for you.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Cat today, and let your transformation begin!