Dermal Fillers & Fat Grafting

Dermal Fillers


One of the major events in the process of facial aging is loss of fat tissue-which results in loss of volume-in multiple areas of the face. Considering that fact, it seems logical that a significant part of the facial rejuvenation process should be replacement of the lost volume. For that purpose, there is no better material than fat itself, as used in fat grafting for Fort Lauderdale-area patients.

What can fat grafting do for you? Cheeks lose their youthful rounded shape and look flat and deflated, especially in the area below the eyelids. The same happens with the lips, which lose their fullness and become thinner as the upper lip appears longer. These are target areas for fat grafting.

In other areas, fat deposits become more obvious and appear increased in volume, as in the jowls, below the chin, and in the front part of the neck. The crisp lower jaw line that separates the face from the neck is lost. As a result of this volume loss and loss of skin elasticity, deep grooves and folds form below the eyes and around the mouth. Deep creases like crow’s feet, nasolabial creases, and marionette lines become the dominant feature of an aging face. Fat grafting and facial fillers work well to round these out, too.


Dr. Zoran Potparic can discuss fat grafting for Fort Lauderdale and Miami-area patients. For a free consultation, please call (954) 779-2777 or contact us online.



Fat grafting was used sporadically in reconstructive surgery for more than 100 years. Its use in cosmetic surgery, however, is relatively new. In short, fat grafting involves the patient’s own fat tissue, which is removed with liposuction under sterile conditions; it is separated from blood and tissue products and then injected with a fine cannula into the particular area to augment and shape it.

There is no need for a surgical incision with fat grafting, and since both harvesting and injection of fat grafts requires minimal skin opening for the small cannula, there are no visible scars.

The areas of the face most frequently treated with fat grafting include cheeks, lips, the nasolabial groove and marionette lines, the glabella area between the brows, and, in small amounts, around the eyes and brows.

  • Price estimate for facial fat grafts: $2,000 – $3,500+
  • Type of anesthesia: local or twilight
  • Duration of procedure: 1 to 2 hours
  • Facility: AAAA-certified Ambulatory Surgery Center, outpatient surgery center
  • Recovery time: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Discomfort: mild

Dr. Zoran Potparic

Dr. Zoran Potparic is a world renowned, board certified plastic surgeon serving the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area. He is known for achieving natural looking results for his plastic and cosmetic surgery patients.


Fat grafting works well for filling out grooves and flat areas, but it is not the only option. If you’d like to restore youthful fullness to your face, enjoy plump lips, enhance shallow contours, or soften those facial creases and wrinkles, dermal fillers may be the answer. Dermal fillers have been called “liquid facelifts” because they offer many of the benefits of a surgical facelift without the downtime. Although they can’t help with excess sagging skin, these fillers can add more volume and provide immediate results at a lower cost than surgery. These treatments aren’t permanent, however, and they must be repeated and maintained.

  • Wrinkle fillers can be divided into two categories: temporary and semi-permanent. Temporary human fat, also known as autologous fat, is harvested from your own body. Using your own fat requires a more extensive procedure than other injectable fillers because you first must undergo liposuction to extract the fat prior to injection. You eliminate the risk of allergic reaction or rejection by the body by using your own fat, but you can expect a fairly high rate of re-absorption. Because of this, your doctor will likely overfill the area being treated. At first you might look abnormal, but everything will soon settle.
  • Collagen is a protein and is the main component in cartilage, teeth, and bones. It is derived either from human skin or cows (known as bovine collagen). Brand names include CosmoDerm, Cosmoplast, Zyderm, and Zyplast. Human cadaveric dermis is skin that is cultivated from a cadaver, then injected into your face. This substance results in particularly impressive filling of facial hollows. Brand names include Cymetra, Dermalogen, and Fascian.
  • Hyaluronic acid is also a natural substance found in your body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissue and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. It is also in some cartilage and joint fluids, as well as skin tissue. The same substance is often injected into the joints of people with arthritis to ease pain by providing extra cushioning. Hyaluronic acid is not derived from animal sources. Brand names include Captique, Esthélis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvéderm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen, and Restylane.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite, the heaviest of facial fillers, is found naturally in human bones. This mineral-like compound is reserved to fill the deepest creases, such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and frown lines. It’s also used to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours. Calcium-based microspheres are suspended in a water-based gel. Brand names include Radiesse and Radiance.
  • Polylactic acid is a synthetic material. When it is injected, it stimulates the body’s own production of collagen. This substance is known to work particularly well in the lower half of your face to fill the lines caused by laughing, augment thin lips, and fill out deep nasolabial folds. This substance is unlike other dermal fillers because it doesn’t produce immediate results. Instead, results appear gradually over a period of a few months. Brand names include Sculptra and New-Fill.
  • Semi-Permanent PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) fillers are about 20 percent microspheres suspended in 80 percent purified collagen gel. This substance, considered semi-permanent, can be removed. PMMA is most often used to treat medium to deep wrinkles, folds, and furrows, particularly nasolabial folds. It can also be used to fill out pitted scars and to augment thin lips. PMMA has been used for many years in permanent surgical implants. Because of this, surgeons typically under-fill on the first treatment, adding more later if needed. Brand names include Articol, Artefill, and Metacrill.

Facial fillers can be used along with Botox, which paralyzes muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but doesn’t add volume.


Dr. Zoran Potparic is happy to discuss fat grafting with his Fort Lauderdale and Miami-area patients, and he makes before and after pictures available for visual reference. To set up a consultation, or for more information, call (954) 779-2777 or contact us online.

RealSelf Q&A with Zoran Potparic, MD